Halsey Minor Battles Sotheby’s Again – artmarketblog.com

Halsey Minor Battles Sotheby’s Again – artmarketblog.com

In my previous post I made reference to a court case involving CNet founder Halsey Minor who sued Sotheby’s in 2008 for allegedly failing to fully declare when they had an ownership stake in works that they sold him. Sotheby’s won the case and were awarded $6.64 million in outstanding debts. I mentioned that I was not aware of whether Minor had appealed the decision – well, just after publishing this post, I received an email from Halsey Minor to inform me that he had in fact made an appeal on the 24th of November 2010.  Minor will be hoping for another positive outcome like the one he received when he sued Christie’s in December 2008 for waiting too long to return some of his art after failing to sell the works on his behalf, and not returning the works when they said they would.  Minor won the case against Christie’s and was awarded $8.5 million which was the calculated drop in value that the works in question experienced while in Christie’s possession. According to Minor in an email sent to myself: “in 8 hours a jury found Christie’s guilty of Fraud, Theft and Failure to Honor a Contract and awarded me $8.5 million”.

As the appeal against Sotheby’s is still being processed I cannot comment on the case, but I would like to revisit the case Minor won against Christie’s.   The reasoning behind Christie’s holding the paintings by Richard Prince that Minor had consigned to Christie’s, but had failed to sell, was that Minor owed Christie’s $12 million at the time for works that he had purchased through the auction house.  Christie’s essentially held the Prince paintings to ransom in the hope that they would be able to recoup some of the money that Minor owed them.  Unfortunately for Christie’s, this was not an ethical means of encouraging Minor to pay them what he owed, and was what essentially won the case for Minor.  Christie’s also had a $1.5 million breach of contract counterclaim for when Minor declined to pay for work that he had purchased at auction which Christie’s won.  Mind you, the win for Christie’s was no-where near as significant as Minor’s win.

At the end of the day one expects a reputable and highly respected business like a major auction house to act ethically, morally and legally at all times regardless of how their clients act.  Although I would never condone illegal or immoral action by a client of an auction house, considering the number of clients that the large auction houses deal with it is almost inevitable that some of them will not play by the rules.  A major auction house, on the other hand, should never be seen to conduct their business in a way that breaches ethical, moral or legal boundaries – yet there is plenty of evidence that they have.  What is even more disturbing is that the auction houses are so powerful that even the most discrediting mud seems not to stick.

To be continued……..

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications

Christmas Gifts for Art Lovers 2010 – artmarketblog.com

Christmas Gifts for Art Lovers 2010 – artmarketblog.com

My ‘Christmas Gifts for Art Lovers’ posts are always popular so it is with great pleasure that I present the 2010 version.

1. ‘The Art Detective: Fakes, Frauds, and Finds and the Search for Lost Treasures’ book by Philip Mould

‘The Art Detective: Fakes, Frauds, and Finds and the Search for Lost Treasures’ is a collection of case histories that provide a fascinating insight into the sleuthing escapades of the art world’s answer to Sherlock Holmes

Residents of the USA can purchase a hard or soft copy of ‘The Art Detective: Fakes, Frauds, and Finds and the Search for Lost Treasures’ here:


Non US residents can purchase a copy here:


2. ‘Cracking Antiques’ book by Mark Hill & Kathryn Rayward

Turn your home into a work of art with this awesome book by Mark Hill and Kathryn Rayward.

Shows you how to add style and glamour to your home by buying secondhand, vintage and antique furnishings. Companion to a new prime time series for BBC2, this book also shows you how to turn your back on bland, mass-produced flat-pack furniture and embrace secondhand treasures.

UK residents can purchase here:


Non-UK residents can purchase here:


3. A great limited edition photo from focusmaine.com

Each week FOCUSMAINE.COM features one of Maine’s fine art photographers and one of their images. These photographs are exclusively available through FM until each edition size is sold out


4. Large Spot Clock – Damien Hirst

The clock uses Hirst’s popular spot paintings as its face, the front of which is printed with his signature and the Hirst/Hirst logo. The rear is printed with the Other Critera logo and the clock name.


5. Art Safari series DVD by Ben Lewis

In ART SAFARI, Art Geek Ben Lewis travels the world in search of Great Contemporary Art – and art that might be great. A playful series of eight films that are both analytical adventures and adventurous analyses.

UK residents can buy here:


Non-UK residents can buy here:


6. Limited edition print by Jitish Kallat from Saatchi Gallery

The lithographic print “Sweatopia (1000 People/ 1000 Homes)” has a simple image of a shirt hung to dry on a clothes line. As if the garment were a carrier of the city’s inner secrets, it drips a thousand narratives culled from a vast, colliding humanscape. The string it hangs on is formed by a text drawn from Tristan Tzara’s nonsensical and richly layered dada poem titled “The Great Lament Of My Obscurity Three”.

Price: £558

Purchase here:


7. Subscription to Modern Painters magazine

Modern Painters is your source for international contemporary art. Covering artists and works like no other, Modern Painters provides you with updates on avant-garde design, new artists to watch, and much more from all over the art world.  Ten issues for only US$20 !!

Get a digital or hard copy subscription here:


8.Limited edition photo by Alin Popescu from Pure Photo Collections at PurePhoto.com

Alin Popescu, a simple Romanian photography hobbyist, became internationally renowed after winning the first edition of Microsoft’s Future Pro Photographer contest in 2006.


9. Artist of the Month Club Membership

The AMC works like a subscription. Each month for one year, a different curator selects an artist to create an original artwork. These artists can be established or up-and-coming, but must represent what the curator sees as vital and long-lasting. Someone worth owning. Subscribers to the AMC will not know the identity of these artists beforehand, which introduces Duchampian chance into the act of collecting.


10. Custom sculpted mini portrait by Mark Swan

Portraiture has always formed an important part of Mark’s work and following recent commissions for a series of celebrity and sporting figurines, he has specialised in sculpting mini-portraits, which even though palm sized still capture the likeness and feeling of his subjects.


**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications

Christmas Gifts for Art Lovers 09 – artmarketblog.com

Christmas Gifts for Art Lovers 09 – artmarketblog.com

Limited Edition Photo by Youngsuk Suh from Humble Arts

Limited edition print from Humble Arts
Youngsuk Suh
Boating, Idaho, 2009, from Instant Traveler
Archival Pigment Print on Rag Paper, 16 x 20 in.
Signed and numbered, Special Edition of 3
Buy Here: http://hafny.org/editions/youngsuk-suh-limited-edition-print/

The Great Contemporary Art Bubble DVD by Ben Lewis
Art critic and film-maker Ben Lewis spent 2008 following the contemporary art market; travelling to art fairs, auctions, museums and the offices and homes of billionaire art collectors. He spoke to dealers, auctioneers, gallery-owners, art market analysts and art collectors trying to find out the reasons behind the greatest rise in the value of art in history.
Buy Here: http://www.benlewis.tv/?cat=22

Adopt a painting with the Fine Art Adoption Network
FAAN is an online network, which uses a gift economy to connect artists and potential collectors. All of the artworks on view are available for adoption. This means acquiring an artwork without purchasing it, through an arrangement between the artist and collector.
More info here: http://www.fineartadoption.net/

John Baldessari edition from Parkett Art
Edition for Parkett 86
Raised Eyebrows / Furrowed Foreheads: Crooked Made Straight, 2009
9-color silkscreen print (front and back) on Plexiglas, 5 x 12 x 1/8″ (12,5 x 31 x 0,4 cm), printed by Atelier für Siebdruck, Lorenz Boegli, Zurich, Ed. 45/XX, signed and numbered certificate
$ 2400.00
Euro 1700.00
Buy Here: http://www.parkettart.com/qwr/edition_info2.php3?edition_nr=198

Baldessari Print

Teacup by Robert Lazzarini
Designed to be viewed from all angles, Teacup becomes a visual anomaly placed among everyday items, evoking a melancholic, otherworldly quality. Although challenging to drink from, it can be used.
$200.00 Members
Buy here: http://www.momastore.org/museum/moma/ProductDisplay_Teacup_10451_10001_62512_-1_11595_11595__feature

Gift membership for The Fine Art Fund (UK)
Art Fund membership is the perfect present for an art-lover. With benefits including 50% off tickets to exhibitions as well as free entry to over 200 fascinating art collections, historic houses and beautiful gardens, you’ll be giving the gift of hundreds of enjoyable days out.
Single membership: 33 pounds
buy here: https://www.artfund.org/join/join_gift_membership.html?recipient=gift&intro=submit

Limited Edition t-shirt from Common Threads
Looking for a great present idea? Look no further! We have a very unique, cool and unusual gifts for you to give to loved ones. A tremendous amount of care goes into each t-shirt, rendering unique hemlines, detailed stitching, and precise cuts and a unique birthday gift for him or her. All our products are garment washed, yielding super-soft fabrics with a vintage feel. Our lightweight, fine gauge and innovative fabrications are combined with sleek, modern silhouettes, and the result is a collection of apparel as unique as the individuals wearing them. In addition, all of our designs are donated from leading artists and we print only 250 of each design. Given the fact that we give a school uniform to a child in need as well, it’s $38 well spent.
Buy Here:

Art and Auction magazine subscription
Subscribe to Art and Auction magazine and give a gift subsctiption free or treat yourself to two years for the price of one,
simply fill-in your name and address twice.
Buy here: http://www.artinfo.com/artandauction/

Childrens Felt Wall Clock from etsy
Beautiful, stylish and trendy felt clock for Child’s Bedroom or Nursery Wall designed to give kids another fun point of interest in their rooms.
The color of your choice.
Handcrafted, made of felt and measures 9.5-inch diam.
Requires 1 AA battery
Buy here: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31865886

Gold and Tourmaline Ring by B. Weckstrom for Lapponia,1974

Limited Edition Photo from Troika Editions
The artworks on this site are our recommendations and they are not available anywhere else. Every artwork will be offered in the same three sizes, small, medium and large; in the same three edition runs of 300, 30 and 3; at the same price points £35, £350 and £3500. All you have to do is decide which one you like.
Buy Here: http://www.troikaeditions.co.uk/photographs

Artist iPhone Skin from Infectious
Paulo explains about his Firefox artwork: “the organic forms express interaction and connection. The hairy, fox-like elements are symbolic of nature’s speed. The hands and feet convey the need to reach everywhere and the eyes are like mirrors that reflect the global interaction, being in one place but connected to anywhere”.
iPhone Skins
Buy Here: http://www.infectious.com/iphone-skins/YUPpauloarraiano/intotheforest/910

Wearable Art from 1stdibs.com and

Finland c1970
Price: $1,850
Buy Here: http://jewelry.1stdibs.com/jewelry_item_detail.php?id=3721

Art:21 – Art in the Twenty First Century 5 (Hardcover)
Mirroring the unique strengths of the Peabody Award winning television series broadcast on PBS, Art:21 Art in the Twenty-First Century 5 presents 14 contemporary artists speaking directly and in their own words. The artists’ reflections on their processes and inspirations are juxtaposed dynamically with lush, full-color images of their work. The book also includes an introductory essay by Susan Sollins as well as artist biographies and production stills from the series. The artists featured, include Cao Fei, Mary Heilmann, Jeff Koons, Florian Maier-Aichen, William Kentridge, Doris Salcedo, Carrie Mae Weems, John Baldessari, Kimsooja, Allan McCollum, Julie Mehretu, Paul McCarthy, Cindy Sherman, and Yinka Shonibare MBE.
Buy Here: http://www.amazon.com/Art-21-Twenty-First-Century/dp/0615308368

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications