The Rise of Victorian Paintings Pt. 2 – artmarketblog.com

The Rise of Victorian Paintings Pt. 2 – artmarketblog.com

The availability and affordability of top Victorian paintings during the first half of the 20th Century allowed a select few collectors to corner the market and put together amazing collections of major historical and cultural significance. A short resurgence of interest in the Victorian era during the 60’s, particularly in the work of the Pre-Raphaelites, saw even more of the few remaining top Victorian paintings go to private American and British collectors. With so many of the best that the Victorian era had to offer hidden away in the private collections of a few wealthy individuals, the market was left with an abundance of second and third rate works. Considering that a majority of the Victorian era’s top works of art were hidden for so long behind closed doors, it is no wonder that Victorian era paintings suffered such a poor reputation for so long.

With no financial or other incentive to sell works from their collection, most of the paintings snapped up during the first half of the 20th century, and the 60’s revival, remained in the hands of collectors and behind closed doors. Death, debt and disaster proved to be the saving graces for the market as a variety of unfortunate circumstances led to a number of the best private collections of Victorian paintings being released back onto the market after spending decades out of sight and out of mind. The auction houses love nothing more than a single owner collection that has not been exposed to the market for decades and, as these collections began to become available, spared no effort in making them seem as desirable as possible.

The first of the major collections of Victorian paintings to make an impact on the market was that of American millionaire Fred Koch who, in 1993, sold his major collection of Victorian paintings which consisted mainly of narrative work by artists such as Alma-Tadema, Tissot and Lord Leighton. Koch is thought to have made the decision to sell his collection after plans to open a museum in London were somewhat affected by a huge fire at a storage facility that housed most of the furnishings for the museum, as well as Koch’s collection of Bronzes, all of which were destroyed. The devastation of the fire is rumored to have been so disheartening for Koch that he lost his passion for Victorian paintings. Koch began by selling some of his collection in Britain through Sotheby’s and achieved some success, particularly with a 7ft painting of the Emperor Heliogabalus drowning his courtiers in rose petals by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema which sold for 1,651,500 pounds. Also achieving a high price was a painting by Sir Frank Dicksee of a a seventh-century Persian heroine reclining on cushions with a vase of lilies by her side which sold for 793,500 pounds. It was, however, in New York that works from Koch’s collection received the best reception with Christie’s selling Tissot’s “L’Orphine” for a record US$2,970,000. A few months later further works from Koch’s collection were entrusted to Sotheby’s New York who sold Alma-Tadema’s “Baths of Carcalla” for a record US$2,532,500.

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

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Network of Arts and Culture Websites Creates New Model for Online Publishing – artmarketblog.com

For Immediate Release

Contact: Brigid Brown, Publicist

Cell) 551.358.1058

brigidbrown13@yahoo.com

Network of Arts and Culture Websites Creates New Model for Online Publishing

“Life in the arts has taught (Kathryn) Born that you can’t have a life in the arts unless you’re ‘able to work for free or almost nothing.’ She thinks that’s wrong … “

Chicago Reader, January 2010

The network of websites that comprise Chicago Art Map and Chicago Art Magazine are not simply local websites but a case study for a new model of online publishing.

See: http://chicagoartmagazine.com/transparency-pages/

“Print media is in a mindset that online publishing is simply posting on a screen rather than printing on paper,” says Kathryn Born, founder of the CAM. “It’s rarely utilizing the internet’s capabilities to connecting the story ancillary data and deeper pools of information. It doesn’t harness the power of online distributions, which can categorize and deliver content to the audience — in the exact moment and form they wish to receive it.”

What does that have to do with Chicago Art Map? The network stands as a proof-of-concept of new publishing through several scenarios.  The key example is that Chicago has 300 art venues and countless events every week. Comprehensive lists are ideal, but unwieldy.

The answer? Put all the information into a database instead of a list. Put a Google Map layer on top, add images, and code additional software tools so the events can be sorted and filtered.

The result? Search an art map by geographical range or  exhibit type (a museum vs. a gallery or alternative art space) or type of art or type of event. Sort alphabetically or by neighborhood,   location, specialty and filtered by date and geography.

For Chicago Art Magazine, footnotes are back in style using “hovering” tools, paragraphs of extra information expand with a click to instantly reveals more information (without refreshing the page).   And images! Since ink is no longer a cost factor, they’re abundant, and expand to full size when clicked upon.

Chicago Art Magazine doesn’t publish monthly, it publishes twice a day. Each piece is pushed out to over 5,000 Facebook and Twitter followers.

It’s operational budget, for what would-be a 200 page magazine, is only $1,700 a month. Every dime goes to writers, editors and staff. No rent, no paper, no trucks. Suddenly, an advertising-based model that only requires $2000 per month to support freelancers and stay in the black, is attainable, often with sole-sponsorship deals that provide a blast of coverage for only a few sponsors each month.

“‘Advertorial; content is permissible, but only if it’s fully disclosed in every instance,” is the policy of the magazine, as they are supported with “sponsored posts” along with graphic advertisements.

Most unusual, yet still in accordance with the Open source (software) background that prepared Kathryn Born for the task, is the idea of freely sharing ideas so that others can build upon what was learned. A tab called “transparency” reveals everything from tech tricks, to philosophy and budgets. A weekly blog gets into even smaller details about editorial and survival

-MORE-

The site speaks to all tiers of art fans whether a seasoned collector or a newbie looking to go out on a Friday evening. This breadth of reviews is credited to the aptly named “Friday Night Army” which is a team of critics, released onto the city, with the mission to report back on what is seen and heard in their own voice. “The editorial goal is to write about art in a simple, lively way, using pictures, video and audio,” says Born. “Our belief is that writing about art can be a literary style that’s as colorful as the art we describe.”

Chicago Art Magazine ~ Reviews & Features

Chicago Art Map ~ One-Stop-Shop Gallery Finder

The Chicago Art Machine speaks to all tiers of art fans whether it is a collector on the prowl for the latest discovery or a newbie looking to branch out. This breadth can be credited to the aptly named “Friday Night Army” which is a team of critics, released onto the city, with the mission to report back on what is seen and heard in their own voice.

Some features are more mainstream like, “The Bath Haus of Gaga” and others more niche-y but still accessible such as, “A Crash of Critters at Fill in the Blank”. No matter what genre, each article is informative and as a whole the network feels like a mini-course in art history. After a short time of perusing the sites, visitors will walk away knowing way more than when they started.

“The editorial goal is to write about art in a simple, lively way with a whole bunch of pictures, video and audio,” says Born. “The belief is that writing about art can be a literary style that’s as colorful as the art we describe.”

Kathryn Born is the Editor-in-Chief of the online Chicago Art Magazine and oversees ChicagoArtMap.com. Born breaking off to start her own network of sites, Born had created the blog Art Talk Chicago for the Chicago Tribune-sponsored network of blogs called ChicagoNow.com.

If you plan to run a review and/or would like to set up an interview with Kathryn Born, please contact: Brigid Brown @ 551.358.1058 or brigidbrown13@yahoo.com

Visit us online at: www.chicagoartmagazine.com

-END-

Boo Saville at Trolley Gallery – artmarketblog.com

Boo Saville at Trolley Gallery – artmarketblog.com

One of my favourite young artists, Boo Saville, is currently having her work exhibited by Trolley Gallery in London. Saville’s interest in the visual representation of death has been a recurring theme in her work which she has continued to explore in this new body of work. What I love about Saville’s work is that she doesn’t just express herself through the image it’s self but also uses the medium she is working at the time to add another dimension of emotion and effect to her work. The gestures, textures and the different physical properties of her chosen medium are all used to great effect to convey the message and emotion that Saville is aiming for. It is her amazing understanding of the tools of her trade that make Saville such an effective and encapsulating artist whose work is sure to impress. Definitely an exhibition worth checking out.

Exhibition Summary:
Trolley Gallery is proud to present a second solo show by artist Boo Saville. Entitled ‘Totem’, this new body of work encapsulates the unifying anthropological and archeological aspects evident in her work, and her representation of the deceased captured through an exploration of various forms of mark-making, itself a reflection of human expression and representation. Saville constantly researches source material from a wide variety of documentary and scientific origins; books, journals and resources such as the Wellcome Institute. The internet also offers an almost limitless exploration of imagery and keywords, the small, often low resolution images becoming the direct subject matter in the final work, where the colours and often gnarled compositions of a deceased human translate into a delicate and detailed painting and drawing. “There is beauty and creativity in the process of destruction. I am interested in decay not as a negative reduction but as a unifying symbol of matter, of our bodies. There is a clarity for me when something is stripped down to the bare bones and studied or just observed.”

http://www.trolleybooks.com/exhibitionSingle.php?exhibId=283
Trolley Books
73a Redchurch Street
London
E2 7DJ

tel +44(0)20 7729 6591
fax +44(0)20 7739 5948

**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

20/21 British Art Fair Report – artmarketblog.com

20/21 British Art Fair Report – artmarketblog.com

BAF_logoThe 20/21 British Art Fair held at the Royal College of Art building was a great event that attracted plenty of admirers (and buyers) with a wide variety of fantastic art. Sales at the fair were reported to be quite good and the atmosphere was very positive. Most of what was on offer was the work of well known British modern artists such as Ben Nicholson, Graham Sutherland, L.S.Lowry , Mary Feddon and Ivon Hitchens etc. , which would make sense considering that the market for contemporary art (21st century) has suffered so much. Perhaps the show should have been called the 20/20 British Art Fair instead of the 20/21 British Art Fair.

The Modern British market did not experience the same level of price inflation that other movements/markets experienced during the boom, and consequently did not suffer as much when the art market downturn took place. As a result, demand for top quality works by Modern British artists that are fresh to the market has remained high even though the number of works being sold at auction has dropped considerably. A major increase in demand for works by Modern British artists between 2006 and 2008 did produce a large spike in the number of works sold, but the market has since levelled out and is on a much less rapid and vertical trajectory.

feddon

Mary Fedden RA (b. 1915) ‘Bowl of Fruit’, 2008, oil on canvas, 60 x 50 cmMary Fedden RA (b. 1915) ‘Bowl of Fruit’, 2008, oil on canvas, 60 x 50 cm

The lack of an international profile combined with a primarily British clientele has somewhat limited the extent to which the Modern British market can grow. By no means are the British Modern artists any less talented or worthy of being purchased than their American or European counterparts. In fact, I would suggest that the British artists are not given anywhere near the recognition and praise that they deserve. Part of the problem is that the Modern British market is driven by discerning British collectors who are quite discreet and are generally not willing to pay any more for a work of art than they believe it is worth. A lot more visibility from collectors and buyers along with a considerably less reserved attitude to the contributions of their great Modern artists would go a long way to promoting the work of Modern British artists to a wider audience. The same enthusiasm for Modern British artists that was shown for the work of the YBA’s, for instance, is what is needed.

What has kept the market afloat is the fact that there is a high demand for top quality works which collectors are more willing to fight for and pay comparatively more for. More and more people are beginning to recognise the British Modern market as an undervalued and underappreciated market that hides relatively undiscovered talent. Once the art market recovers from the correction it will be interesting to see what happens.

**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.

Location Matters for Art Sales- artmarketblog.com

Location Matters for Art Sales- artmarketblog.com

coffee-barAt a recent art auction that I attended here in Australia a couple of prints by Sybil Andrews attracted huge amounts of interest resulting in both selling for well above their estimates. This wasn’t really surprising considering the level of interest that there seems to be in the work of Sybil Andrews at the moment. What was surprising, however, was the estimates given by the auction house for each of the works. The first print auctioned was:

“Coffee Bar”
linocut in 4 colours, 1952
signed, titled and editioned 20/60
8 x 9 in, 20.3 x 22.9 cm
Estimate: AUD $5000 – $7000
Sold for AUD $9000

and the second was:

“Grader”
linocut in 3 colours, 1959
signed, titled and editioned 10/60
11 7/8 x 11 3/4 in, 30.2 x 29.8 cm
Estimate: AUD $7000 – $9000
Sold for AUD $8000

With Andrews being a Canadian artist I did a bit of research into the market for her work in Canada and found some rather interesting information. In November 2008 the same two prints were sold one after the other, just as they were in Australia, at an auction in Canada conducted by Heffel Fine Art Auction House. “Coffee Bar” sold for $17,550.00 CAD ($20,416.48 AUD) against an estimate of $10,000 ~ $15,000 CAD (11,676.89 AUD to 17,515.34 AUD) and then “Grader” sold for $8,775.00 CAD (10,249.81 AUD) against an estimate of $6,000 ~ $8,000 CAD ($7,006.36 AUD to $9,341.81 AUD). What is particularly interesting is that Heffel gave a considerably higher estimate to “Coffee Bar” than they did “Grader” where as here in Australia a slightly higher estimate was given to “Grader” over “Coffee Bar”. Why did this happen?. Well, without having asked the auction houses myself I cannot be 100% certain but I think I have a pretty good idea. Because these two works are inspired by a particular place in Canada where the artist lived it would be safe to assume that these works would have a different significance to Canadians than they would to Australians.

Considering that both prints are of the same edition size and same condition the difference in the estimates between the two prints in the Heffel auction would have to be due to another factor. Size can’t be a factor because “Grader” is larger than “Coffee Bar” which would have meant that the estimate for “Grader” would have been higher than “Coffee Bar” if size was a factor in this auction whereas the opposite was the case. Provenance couldn’t be a factor because neither print has a provenance that would be make the provenance of one print more valuable than the other. Even the year each of these prints was produced is quite close with “Coffee Bar” having been produced in 1952 and “Grader” in 1959. The difference in date may have been a contributing factor to the assigned values considering that the earlier work has a higher estimate but the effect on price would not be that great. Having ruled out the potential for the above factors to have had an effect on the price paid for these works the only real remaining factor is subject matter. There must have been something about the subject of “Coffee Bar” that had a greater significance for Canadian collectors.

The two prints sold in the Australian auction have the same credentials as the two prints sold in Canada with both having come from the same private collection and being of the same condition etc. Here in Australia, however, the estimates provided by the auction house suggest that the Australian market has different priorities and that the significance of each of these works differs to that of the Canadians. First of all, the subject matter appears to be of much less importance to Australian buyers than the Canadian buyers judging by the fact that the estimates provided for “Grader” and “Coffee Bar” are much closer together and do not seem to have been assigned due to the subject matter. In fact, the fact that the larger print has a higher estimate would suggest that the auction house thought that size of the work was of more importance than the subject matter. Date appears not to have been a factor because the later work has a lower estimate which is at odds with the higher value usually given to earlier works.

So, had the person who sold the two Sybil Andrews prints in Australia made arrangements for the works to be sold in Canada or had they marketed the sale of the works in Canada they may have been able to obtain a higher price. The potential for a higher price would be much greater for “Coffee Bar” as this work is obviously considered to be of greater value in Canada than “Grader”. In fact, the top price paid for a copy of “Coffee Bar” was reached in February 2008 in Canada where number 54 of the edition of 60 sold for $27,500 CAD ($31,771.11 AUD) which was, interestingly enough, achieved by an online auction conducted by Heffel auctions. Instead of the $9000 AUD achieved for “Coffee Bar” in Australia, the Australian seller of this work may have been able to get up to three times as much for the same work in Canada.

The amount of money you can get from the sale of a work of art can depends on many different things including the location of the sale. To maximise the potential sale price one needs to take into consideration the best location for the sale as the value of a particular work may be considerably different in different countries. If you aren’t interested in return on return on investment then the hassle of selling in another country may deter you from selling overseas but if maximising the sale price is important to you then the location of the sale should be carefully considered.

image:

Sybil Andrews
CPE 1898 – 1992 Canadian

Coffee Bar
linocut in 4 colours 1952
signed, titled and editioned 20/60
8 x 9 pouces  20.3 x 22.9cm

**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.

Hard Art Market Data Tells Real Story – artmarketblog.com

Hard Art Market Data Tells Real Story – artmarketblog.com

Dissecting Christie’s Feb 09 Art Auction Pt. 3

See part one here:

http://artmarketblog.com/2009/02/17/dissecting-christies-feb-09-art-auction-pt-1-artmarketblogcom/

See part two here:

http://artmarketblog.com/2009/03/08/dissecting-christie%e2%80%99s-feb-09-art-auction-pt-2-artmarketblogcom/

numbersA few weeks ago I posted details of the sold lots from the Christie’s February 2009 Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale along with details relating to previous auction sale activity for each sold lot.  The reason that I did this was to show that there is usually far more to a sale than the sold by lot and sold by value percentages will tell you which is definitely the case with the Christie’s February 2009 Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale.  One of the more interesting lots was “Dans la prairie”‘ by Monet which fetched £11,241,250 against an estimate of around £15 million pounds.  Although this work failed to reach it’s estimate it did sell for slightly more than the last time it appeared at auction in 1999 but was well down on the £14,300,000 that it fetched at auction in 1988.

Overall, 83% of lots were sold by number and 88% sold by value for a total of £63.4 million pounds which doesn’t appear to be too bad considering the current state of the art market but doesn’t appear too good when compared with the £105,372,000 realised at the same sale in 2008. To get a real sense of how the auction went one needs to look at a more complete set of data. Using the data that I collected of the 47 lots that were offered:
-39 were sold
-5 sold for less than the last time they were sold at auction
-9 sold for more than the last time they were sold at auction
-24 had no previous auction sale data which means that they had either never been sold at auction or had not been sold for a considerable amount of time (20+ years)
-1 had been previously sold at auction but had failed to sell
-3 sold below estimate
-22 sold within estimate
-14 sold above estimate

What we can tell from this information is that the success of the auction may be partly due to the high percentage of works that were fresh to market (ie. have not appeared on the market for 20+ years). Most auction result databases such as artprice.com only go back 20 years at most which means that if there is no record of a work appearing at auction it has either never appeared at auction before or has not appeared for a long period of time.

Different journalists and media sources will often portray differing opinions relating to the success of auction sales which doesn’t really help anyone. The reason that I conducted this analysis is to show exactly what sort of hard data relating to the success of an auction can be freely obtained and used to form a clear and precise picture of the sale.

I, myself am definitely a numbers person. Facts, figures and information get me excited which is why I focus on the art market as opposed to critiquing art.  It is all well and good to provide an opinion about the state of the art market or the success of the auction but if you can’t back up that opinion with data then that opinion doesn’t really serve any purpose other than to provide some form of entertainment.  In the end, facts, figures and information tell the true story……………….

**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.

Ana Prvacki Performance Video – artmarketblog.com

Ana Prvacki Performance Video – artmarketblog.com

In September last year during the Sydney Biennale, at the request of New Art TV, I interviewed Singapore based, Serbian born artist Ana Prvacki. As part of the Biennale, Prvacki performed a work titled “Music Derived Painkiller” which involved the collection of saliva from a flute performance. Intrigued?. If so, check out the interview that I did with Ana here:
http://www.newarttv.com/index.php?id=332

You can also find out more about Ana and her work here:
http://www.ananatural.com

prvacki

**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.