The Spectacle of the Art Market Part 3 – artmarketblog.com

The Spectacle of the Art Market Part 3 – artmarketblog.com

Natalya Goncharova's Linen

I am sure that many of you would agree that it has become the norm for people to approach fine art as consumers instead of as scholars or connoisseurs. If you were to ask me whether there is anything wrong with this I would say that there definitely is. Don’t get me wrong, I am obviously a strong supporter of the art market, but also recognise the need for a balance between the commercial and the cultural. Without that balance the art market becomes unstable and the art world becomes too closely connected to the art market. Whether you realise it or not, the art market requires a certain level of “infiltration” by scholars and connoisseurs. It is the scholars and connoisseurs who add value to works of art by generating information and knowledge that make works of art historically and culturally more significant. It is this information that is generated by scholars and connoisseurs that we should be using to justify the dollar value of a work of art because this information is usually based on intrinsic characteristics of the work of art that cannot be disassociated from the work of art or become obsolete, and therefore encourage more stable long term values. The contemporary art market, on the other hand, often relies on factors that have very little to do with the work of art its self such as social status, economic status, popular trends and financial gain. These factors can become obsolete very quickly which usually means that the dollar value that these factors generated also disappears causing the sort of correction that we have just experienced.

In February of 2008 Nicholas Penny, the curator of the British National Gallery, made a statement that he was going to put an end to the gallery’s blockbuster exhibition days. According to an article in the Guardian Newspaper, Penny said “The responsibility of a major gallery is to show people something they haven’t seen before. A major national institution should be one that proves a constant attraction to the public. What is important is encouraging historical and visual curiosity in the general public.” Ralph T. Coe, the former director of the Nelson Gallery-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Mo., a former president of the American Association of Art Museum Directors and a former chairman of the Museum Committee of the National Endowment for the Arts, put the problem in even simpler terms when he said: “One of the saddest things museum connoisseurs like me have had to observe is the substitution of entertainment values for the intrinsic values incarnate in great works of art that alone can confer aesthetic authenticity.” This problem of the substitution of entertainment values (the spectacle) for intrinsic values that the cultural sector is experiencing is also a big problem for the art market as I have shown above. We need to stop the spectacularisation of the contemporary art market if we want to have a more culturally and historically significant period of art production. I believe that we need to be asking the following question on a far more regular basis: in one hundred years time will this work be able to be exhibited in a museum, and will people consider the work to be culturally significant and be historically important?

**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

Do-Ho Suh at SculptureCenter – artmarketblog.com

Do-Ho Suh at SculptureCenter – artmarketblog.com

 SculptureCenter Home Exhibitions Events Visit Join About Press Store Limited Editions Bookstore Event Tickets Search  All content © SculptureCenter. All rights reserved. Limited Editions Do-Ho Suh Doorknob/Bathroom, 2003   Polyester fabric, lithograph on paper in acrylic box 12" x 18" x 7 3/4" Edition of 20 with 3 artist proofs $4,500.00

SculptureCenter Home Exhibitions Events Visit Join About Press Store Limited Editions Bookstore Event Tickets Search All content © SculptureCenter. All rights reserved. Limited Editions Do-Ho Suh Doorknob/Bathroom, 2003 Polyester fabric, lithograph on paper in acrylic box 12" x 18" x 7 3/4" Edition of 20 with 3 artist proofs $4,500.00

A new auction record was set for a limited edition work by the popular Korean artist Do Ho Suh at Philips De Pury’s June 2nd Editions sale where one of the artist’s limited edition lithographs, “Untitled, 1998”, sold for $7,500 against an estimate of $2000 – $3000. A far more interesting limited edition work by Do Ho Suh titled “Doorknob/Bathroom is available from the New York based SculptureCentre for $4,500.00. An edition of 20 with 3 artists proofs, “Doorknob/Bathroom” is “a full-scale reproduction of the doorknob of the artist’s Chelsea apartment. Do-Ho Suh often works with semi-transparent fabrics that he delicately sews together to represent – and defy – existing and functional spaces and objects. Doorknob/Bathroom exists as an isolated architectural element, separated from Suh’s apartment and therefore abandons its ties with a specific place and becomes a loose abstraction with a new-found flexibility and transparency”

The popularity of Do-Ho Suh’s work and the inclusion of his work in the collections of the NY Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the LA Museum of Contemporary Art makes this limited edition a good investment.

To purchase or inquire about this SculptureCenter Limited Edition, please contact Mary Button at mbutton@sculpture-center.org or 718-361-1750 x111

For more information go here:
http://www.sculpture-center.org/storeLimitedEdition.htm?id=10159

**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.

Art Market Blog in the News – artmarketblog.com

Art Market Blog in the News – artmarketblog.com

blog1Hi Art Market Blog readers, I thought you might be interested in seeming some of the press that the Art Market Blog has received over the last few weeks. Enjoy !!

http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/-bay-area-sculptor-gains-recognition-combining-classical-art-/2009/03/25/4081341.htm

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/visual_arts/article5981759.ece

**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.

Mai-Thu Perret Edition from Parkett Art – artmarketblog.com

Mai-Thu Perret Edition from Parkett Art – artmarketblog.com

perretMai-Thu Perret is a rather interesting Swiss artist who I was not really aware of until recently when I came across a rather intriguing limited edition of Perret’s work being sold at Parkett Art. An exhibition of Perret’s work titled “New Work: Mai-Thu Perret” is currently on show at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) in San Francisco, California. The exhibition includes works that have been influenced by a fictional narrative that Perret has created called The Crystal Frontier which the SFMOMA website describes as a “a fictional account of a group of women who found a small utopian community in the desert of southwestern New Mexico in an attempt to escape the impositions of capitalism”. Perret started The Crystal Frontier in 1999 and has since produced films, posters, mannequins, furniture, paintings, wallpaper, sculptures, ceramics, banners and performances most of which Perret exhibits as having been made by members of the fictional Crystal Frontier community.

Parkett Art are currently selling a limited edition work by Perret titled “A Portable Apocalypse Ballet (Red Ring), 2008” which is a model of a girl holding a red ring that lights up. A brief description of the work is provided which states that “The purity of the circle, unassailable with eyes closed in order to see”. This work appears to have been created in conjunction with a film that Perret produced called “An Evening of the Book” in which female dancers performed movements in group formation along with simple acts, like cutting through a black banner, manipulating white fluorescent tubes, opening a book, or playing with hula hoops. According to the text by Julien Fronacq that is part of the feature on Perret in the latest edition of Parkett Art “The film
itself takes its inspiration from Varvara Stepanova’s set designs for an agit-prop play of the same title. Viewing the piece in the gallery’s three-projection installation, one can’t help but think of modernism’s most emblematic objects (the monochrome, the
neon tube) or of Yvonne Rainer’s everyday gestures, like walking or sitting, that play down the pathos of dance.”

The body of work that has been produced by Perret as part of “The Crystal Frontier” is eclectic and complex which makes explaining the symbolism and meaning behind “A Portable Apocalypse Ballet (Red Ring)” rather difficult to do in a single blog post. What I can tell you is that Mai-Thu Perret’s has been receiving plenty of attention over the last six months and with current exhibitions of her work at the SFMOMA and Aspen Art Museum there is no doubt that Perret is an emerging contemporary artist well worth keeping an eye on.

A Portable Apocalypse Ballet (Red Ring), 2008 is an edition of 45 and is available from Parkett Art for US$2500. For further information or to purchase the item go to http://www.parkettart.com/index3.htm

and you can read more about Perret’s work here:  perret-21

Image: “A Portable Apocalypse Ballet (Red Ring), 2008″
sculpture, opaque non-toxic polyurethane resin, color cast with instant polyurethane pigments, clothing designed by Ligia Dias, beige viscose fabric with white accents and metal buttons, black leather belt, modacrylic light brown wig, solid cast polyurethane resin base, painted, neon ring powered by 12 V CE and UL approved universal wall adapter, 14 3/4 x 7 x 7” ( 37,5 x 17,8 x 17,8 cm) production by Gamla Model Makers, Feasterville, PA, USA, Ed. 45/XX, signed and numbered certificate.

**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.

Private Collections and the 09 Art Market – artmarketblog.com

Private Collections and the 09 Art Market – artmarketblog.com

warner

Mr and Mrs Warner

There have not been any major auctions of art yet this year but the auctions that have been conducted are already giving clues as to what to expect in 2009. Two auctions of single owner private collections were conducted in January both of which were very successful considering the art market correction and financial downturn. These two auctions were not dedicated art auctions as the people who owned each of the collections collected a range of antiques and other objects but they did include some art. Even though the auctions were not dedicated art auctions, the similarities in the market for antiques, collectibles and art means we can quite often use a sale of items from one market as an indicator of buyer behavior, buyer sentiment and market trends in another market.  Two January sales – one at Sotheby’s and one at Christie’s – gave good indications of what characteristics are attracting buyers at the moment.

The first sale was the sale of the private collection of the late Roger Warner by Christies on the 20th and 21st of January.  According to Christie’s,  Warner was one of the most renowned and admired British antique dealers of the 20th century as well as a major collector.  What makes Warner’s collection even more enticing is the fact that he kept a meticulous record of the provenance of each item that he purchased.  The best items from Warner’s collection which amounted to 640 lots were included in the sale and were expected to fetch a total of around 800,000 pounds.  When all was said and done the sale had generated more than double it’s estimate reaching a total of over 2,0000,000 pounds .

The second sale was the single-owner sale of the Property of Dr. and Mrs. Henry C. Landon III which took place on the 24th of January at Sotheby’s in New York.  Dr. and Mrs. Henry C. Landon III’s collection had been profiled in several publications and had been the subject of an exhibition at the University of Virginia Art Museum. The sale, part of Sotheby’s Americana Week Sales, comprised of American furniture, objects of decorative art as well as some paintings but it was the rare and important pieces of furniture that attracted the most interest. The auction was a big success with 95% sold by lot.

These two sales prove once again that the market for antiques and art is still very receptive to provenance, rarity, quality and market freshness.  The same trend was evident towards the end of 2008 with several single owner collections going under the hammer and achieving excellent results that defied the generally poor results being experienced all over the world. You can read the two posts that I wrote on the single owner collection sales at the end of 2008 here:

Single Owner Auctions Defy Downturn:
http://artmarketblog.com/2008/12/15/single-owner-art-auctions-defy-downturn-artmarketblogcom/

Single Owner Art Sale Success Part 2:
http://artmarketblog.com/2008/12/17/single-owner-art-sale-success-part-2-artmarketblogcom/

**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.

Sigmar Polke at Editions Schellmann – artmarketblog.com

Sigmar Polke at Editions Schellmann – artmarketblog.com

polke1German artist Sigmar Polke is undoubtedly one of the most important and influential artists of the post-war generation. Polke is often grouped with other important German artists such as Keifer, Penck, Richter and Immendorf all of whom were part of the Neo-Expressionist movement. The Neo-Expressionist movement developed in the late 70’s as a reaction to the minimalist and conceptual art that had been a dominant force in the art world during the 70’s. The Guggenheim website defines Neo-Expressionism as: “Rejecting the restrictions against imagery and gestural treatment set by their Minimalist and Conceptual teachers and contemporaries, the Neo-Expressionists revived the formal elements of German Expressionism and Abstract Expressionism”

The market for Polke’s work has risen significantly since 2004 and, according to artprice.com, continues to rise. The artprice.com price index shows that 100 EUR invested in 1998 in a work of Sigmar POLKE would have an average value of 330 EUR in December 2008.  The auction record for a work by Polke is (GBP2,708,000 / US$5,321,220) which was set in February 2007 for the work “Strand” against an estimate of GBP800,000 – 1,200,000.  A major exhibition of Polke’s work that was held at the Tate Modern in London in 2004 may well have contributed to the increase in desirability of Polke’s work at a time when the art market boom was just beginning to really take hold. To own a work by Polke is a privilege that not many people have the opportunity of experiencing so the opportunity to be able to own a work by Polke for less than US$1000 would be too good to pass up. The prestigious Edition Schellman gallery has provided such an opportunity by offering one of Polke’s limited edition silkscreens for half price. “Oase” 1998 is an edition of 70 that measures 70x50cm and is signed and numbered by the artist. A mere 600 EUR (around US$770) plus shipping will secure this fantastic work by an extremely important and desirable artist. If you are interested in owning your very own work of art by Polke you can find the contact details for Edition Schellman here. There is only one work available at this special price so if you are interested you had better get in quick!!

**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.

Australian Art Market 08 Review Part 2 – artmarketblog.com

Australian Art Market 08 Review Part 2 – artmarketblog.com

bonhams-and-goodmanBy the last round of auctions for 2008 in November and December it was obvious that the auction industry was still coming to terms with the art market correction taking place despite the fact that signs of a cooling market had been evident for several months prior. It appears that some auction houses had taken the opportunity to adjust their sales to reflect the leaner times but it also appeared that some of the auction houses had not been so savvy and either were being pressured by their vendors to work with higher estimates or had just not made the correct revisions. The bargains that people are bound to be seeking as the art market undergoes a correction had just begun to appear at the November/December sales prompting some of the more confident buyers to take advantage. Overall, however, the end of year sales continued to reflect the softening market albeit with some scattered positive results brightening that light at the end of the tunnel. What needs to be understood is that the results for 2008 were no where near as bad as many people made out. Taking all things into consideration the Australian art market appeared to have held up rather well by the end of 2008 with the effects of the financial crisis seemingly not affecting the Australian market as much as certain international markets.

One auction in particular stole the end of year show achieving results well up on the other auction houses and in the process. That auction was the November 26 Deutscher-Hackett sale which took in a total of $3,127,260 (including buyers premium) and sold 73% of works by value and 72% by volume. In comparison, the combined Deutscher-Menzies and Lawson-Menzies November sale achieved 62% by value and 70% by volume, the Sotheby’s November sale achieved 67.4% by value and 60.8% by volume and the Bonhams and Goodman sale achieved 61% by value and 59% by volume. One of the smaller auction houses, Leski Auctions, held their first dedicated art auction on the 2nd of December and managed to sell a quite respectable 61% by value and 62% by volume for a total of $510,048 (data from aasd.com.au).

Overall the Australian art market took a significant step backwards in 2008 compared to 2007 with auction sales dropping from a $175.6 million record year in 2007 to $114.5 million. Although the figures for 2008 look particularly bleak when compared with those of 2007 the bigger picture is not quite as bad with 2008 auction sales total well up on the 2006 auction sales total of AU$104 million. One of the most interesting statistics from 2008 comes from the Australian art auction sales database, the Australian Art Sales Digest (http://www.aasd.com.au), who calculated that the overall art auction clearance rate (percent sold by number) decreased from 71.9% in 2007 to 65.6% in 2008.  Importantly, the drop in the clearance rate is not as big as many people would have predicted.

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.

Credit Suisse Charity Art Auction – artmarketblog.com

Credit Suisse Charity Art Auction – artmarketblog.com

WE THE PEOPLE (EXPERIENCE LIFE), 2007 Inkjet ultrachrome archival print 111.8 x 127 cm

WE THE PEOPLE (EXPERIENCE LIFE), 2007 Inkjet ultrachrome archival print 111.8 x 127 cm by Ester Partegas

Credit Suisse in conjunction with Phillips De Pury are holding a charity auction to benefit Room to Read who raise funds educate children in the developing world who otherwise wouldn’t have access to education. The works available for auction have been touring as an exhibition where people have had the opportunity to put in silent bids. Bids can also be made in person by paddle during the auction, in writing prior to the sale, by telephone and over the internet through Art & Entrepreneurship’s online bidding facility. The final auction takes place in London with auctioneer Simon de Pury on November 24, 2008. The auction’s revenue will be split between the artists and Room to Read, a charity which partners with local communities throughout the developing world to build schools, establish libaries and computer labs, publish local language children’s books and fund long-term scholarships for underprivileged young girls. The silent bids will be recognized at this auction. 50 percent of the proceeds will go to the artists; the other half to “Room to Read”

For further details go to the auction website here:
https://artandentrepreneurship.credit-suisse.com/index.php

Works by the following artists are included in the auction:
* Allora & Calzadilla
* André Pretorius
* Anonymous
* Cao Fei
* David Benjamin Sherry
* Gonzalez & Russom
* Heman Chong
* Latifa Echakhch
* Mai-Thu Perret
* Mamiko Otsubo
* Matthew Smith
* Michael Bauer
* Nicola Gobbetto
* Pavel Pepperstein
* Plamen Dejanoff
* Thukral & Tagra
* Tzu Nyen Ho

All the works on offer can be viewed, and online bids submitted for the works here:
https://artandentrepreneurship.credit-suisse.com/page/auction/auction.php?artist=120

Form for telephone and absentee bids can be found here:
https://artandentrepreneurship.credit-suisse.com/page/guideToBidding/Bid_Formular.pdf

**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.

Art Market Past and Present – artmarketblog.com

Art Market Past and Present – artmarketblog.com

albert-oehlen3If you believe that art auction results are the be all and end all of the art market and that art auction results tell the full story of the evolution of art prices then you should probably reconsider your point of view. What art auction results do reflect is an extremely narrow view of how art market participants are reacting to the various influences that affect what price people are willing to pay for a work of art at a very specific moment in time. Looking at the sale history of an artwork over a period of one or two years or for that matter even five years may not give enough information to be able to truly appreciate how the value of that artwork has evolved.

It is difficult to make sense of what is happening when so many different points of view are being expressed by various experts and the media but when one puts things into perspective the figures speak for themselves. As an example of what I am talking about I will use the recent sale of the work “Untitled” (1992) by Albert Oehlen at the Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Day auction on the 12th of November (2008). The estimate for this work was USD $250,000 – $300,000 however it sold for $200,000 (hammer price) which doesn’t appear to be a particularly good result but the full story of this work paints a different picture. First of all, lets look at the sale history of similar works. In June 2002 another “Untitled” work painting in 1989 by Oehlen of a similar size sold for USD $17,322 (hammer price) with several other similar works selling for around the same price. To put this into perspective, if someone had purchased “Untitled” (1992) at auction in 2001 for USD $17,322 (hammer price) and then sold the work for USD $200,000 (hammer price) at the November 12 2008 auction that person would have received an increase of around 860% (taking fees into consideration) on their initial investment which, regardless of the fact that the work sold for $50,000 under the estimate at Sotheby’s on November 12, is an extremely good return. The purpose of this example is to show that the performance of a work of art cannot be determined from one auction results but needs to be assessed using data from a period of at least 10 years.

Another work by Oehlen, “Untitled” (1990), was also sold at the same sale as the above mentioned “Untitled” (1992) but with an estimate of USD $200,000 – $300,000 which was a $50,000 wider estimate than the USD $250,000 – $300,000 estimate for “Untitled” (1990). Although they both sold for the same price and had the same upper estimate the different lower estimate resulted in the sale of one work looking better than the other work. The perceived performance of these works of art have been manipulated by the auction house which once again shows how important it is to look at the big picture. The wider estimate of “Untitled” (1990) may reflect nothing more than the auction house having difficulty determining what the estimate should be and may not have been done to purposely affect people’s perception of the work but never the less the actions of the auction house did in this instance have the potential to alter the way people viewed the sale results and, consequently, the value of the works.

Am I optimistic about the future of the art market? Yes I am, because there are plenty of signs that people have confidence in the art market and have not lost their nerve. One such sign is the strong results being achieved for contemporary art which has been particularly evident with the November auctions as seen in the table below. The table from chelseaartgalleries.com shows the most successful lots from the November 14 Phillips De Pury Contemporary Art Part II auction. It is important to note that the prices in the table are exceptional and are not representative of the whole market for contemporary art but what they do show is that there is still plenty of confidence in the work of contemporary artists. There has definitely been a reduction in the average price people are willing to pay for many contemporary works but that doesn’t mean that the prices being paid aren’t still good in the overall scheme of things as I have shown in the earlier example of the Albert Oehlen works. The relatively strong market for top works of contemporary art reflects the continued confidence in the work of contemporary artists whose work would usually be expected to be the most seriously affected because of the higher risk involved in purchasing such works. Regardless of what people were paying for works of contemporary art six months ago the prices being paid in this first phase of the art market correction represent an art market that is exceeding expectations on many levels and is still showing strength and resilience in a time of financial distress and uncertainty.

Best performers from November 14 Phillips De Pury Contemporary Art Part II auction:

1 Jin Meyerson Lot: 456 $40,000 – $60,000 $200,000 3.33 times high estimate
2 Steven Charles Lot: 243 $8,000 – $12,000 $32,000 2.67 times high estimate
3 Jack Goldstein Lot: 329 $35,000 – $45,000 $90,000 2.00 times high estimate
4 Eric Freeman Lot: 449 $7,000 – $9,000 $16,000 1.78 times high estimate
5 Beatriz Milhazes Lot: 105 $150,000 – $200,000 $310,000 1.55 times high estimate
6 Yayoi Kusama Lot: 260 $12,000 – $18,000 $26,000 1.44 times high estimate
7 George Baselitz Lot: 346 $15,000 – $20,000 $28,000 1.40 times high estimate
8 Nasser Azam Lot: 120 $150,000 – $200,000 $275,000 1.38 times high estimate

Image:
Albert Oehlen
Untitled
78 3/4 by 78 3/4 in. 200 by 200 cm.
oil on canvas
Estimate: $250,000 – $350,000
Winning bid: $200,000

**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.

Awesome Online Photo Auction – artmarketblog.com

Awesome Online Photo Auction – artmarketblog.com

Daniel Cooney Fine Art are auctioning a fantastic collection of photographs by masters such as Steichen, Steiglitz, W.Eugene Smith as well as works by more contemporary photographers such as Kate Breakey and Herb Ritts. The most important piece of information is that the auction ends in a few hours so you will have to be quick if you want to bid. By the looks of things there are some real bargains waiting to be snapped up so do take the time to have a browse.

See auction here:
http://auction.igavel.com/ClientInfo.taf?_function=info&id=2759&skip=1

William Mortenson, Human Relations, 1932 D1FF

According to the auction website:
Daniel Cooney Fine Art is proud to announce our current Photographs and Fine Art Auction. The auction offers some beautiful images by long time luminaries such as Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Lotte Jacobi and George Platt Lynes and many others. The auction also features a group of contemporary photographs by Kate Breakey, Tseng Kwong Chi and Herb Ritts among others. All of the artwork in the auction is available for personal inspection during gallery hours and by appointment. If you are unable to visit us please do not hesitate to contact us for detailed condition reports or any other reason

The great thing about i-gavel is that they are art and antique auction specialists and as such provide guarantees for authenticity & condition. If you miss out on the works being offered by Daniel Cooney you can check out other i-gavel auctions here:
http://auction.igavel.com/

image:
William Mortenson, Human Relations, 1932 D1FF

**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.

Art Sydney 08 Art Fair Report – artmarketblog.com

Art Sydney 08 Art Fair Report – artmarketblog.com

img_00022A few weeks ago I attended the Art Sydney 08 Art Fair (http://www.artsydney08.com.au) which is Sydney’s largest annual art fair and is produced by Single Market Events who produced the event in association with International Concert Attractions (ICA) and the Affordable Art Fairs which take place annually in London and New York. Previous Art Sydney fairs have been rather impressive with plenty of quality work on show however this year Art Sydney 08 had to compete with the biennial Melbourne Art Fair (http://www.artfair.com.au) which is the leading art fair and public exposition in the Asia Pacific region and one of Australia’s most significant exhibitions of contemporary visual art. The art market in Australia is quite small which means that most galleries could not justify attending both fairs so with the Melbourne Art Fair being a far more prestigious event most of the major galleries chose to give Art Sydney 08 a miss. Unfortunately this left Art Sydney 08 with plenty of available exhibition spaces which were filled with tacky galleries showing works of decorative art that resembled the mass produced objects available from stores such as Target and Ikea. Luckily a few trendy galleries showing emerging contemporary artists such as Chalk Horse Gallery (http://www.chalkhorse.com.au/) and Horus and Deloris Contemporary Art Space (http://www.horusanddeloris.com.au/) were in attendance which gave some credibility to the fair.

With the Melbourne Art Fair about to become annual Art Sydney 08 will have to up the ante significantly if they are going to be able to compete which I hope they will because the fair has the potential to be a really significant event.

**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.

Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Auction – artmarketblog.com

Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Auction – artmarketblog.com

Sale Information:
Sale 2048
post-war and contemporary art evening sale
12 November 2008
New York, Rockefeller Plaza

"Lake Resort Nurse" by Richard Prince

"Lake Resort Nurse" by Richard Prince

Lot Description:
Lot 10
Richard Prince (b. 1949)
Lake Resort Nurse
signed, titled and dated ‘Richard Prince 2003 LAKE RESORT NURSE’ (on the stretcher)
ink-jet print and acrylic on canvas
70 x 48 in. (177.8 x 121.9 cm.)
Painted in 2003.
Estimate: US$5,000,000 – $7,000,000

Although Prince’s “Nurse” series of paintings are the most iconic works by the artist they are not usually regarded as his most important work. The price of Prince’s “Nurse” works has sky rocketed over the past couple of years culminating in the sale of “Overseas Nurse” at Sotheby’s in July of this year for 4.2 million pounds (US$8.4 million) including buyers premium, a record for the artist. Works from the “Nurse” series began appearing at auction in 2005 with “Bachelor Nurse” which sold for US$484,000 including buyers premium. I fear that the extreme and rapid price increase of Prince’s work, especially his “Nurse” series, may be the result of what I like to call the “trophy syndrome” where artist’s work takes on the characteristics of a designer brand and is purchased with the intention of showing how much money they have to spend on designer items where the value is more in the brand than the object it’s self. Funnily enough in 2007 Prince worked with the designer Marc Jacobs to make handbags for Louis Vuitton which were unveiled at a fashion show where the bags were paraded by models dressed in outfits inspired by the “Nurse” paintings.

With the likelihood of more “Nurse” paintings appearing at auction at a lower price point in the near future I think that buyers will struggle to justify purchasing this work at all let alone for US$5,000,000 – $7,000,000.

Lot details here:

http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=5147464&sid=452dad28-fe20-4180-9c4d-61afdc897bca

Lot Description:
Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988)
Untitled (Boxer)
signed ‘Jean Michel Basquiat’ (on the reverse)
acrylic and oil paintstick on linen
76 x 94 in. (193 x 239 cm.)
Painted in 1982.

Having died in 1988 aged only 27, works by Jean-Michel Basquiat will always be scarce meaning the artist’s very best works such as the monumental “Untitled (Boxer)” will be even more highly coveted by investors and collectors. A highlight of Christie’s Post War and Contemporary Art auction taking place on the 12th and 13th of November, “Untitled (Boxer)” is one of the most important works by the artist ever to come to auction and was one of the featured works of the 2005 Basquiat retrospective which was organised by the Brooklyn Museum and toured around the USA. Basquiat is one of those tortured geniuses who have short but intense careers that result in a profound and intense body of work which, in the case of Basquiat, reflected the fast-paced, spontaneous, passionate yet self-destructive life that he led. Very much an art world hero, Basquiat is the sort of artist whose work appeals to a wide range of people for a variety of reasons which is evident in the the amount of attention that has been given to the sale of “Untitled (Boxer)”.

The desirability of “Untitled (Boxer)” is significantly increased by the following factors:

1. Artist died young leaving small body of work
2. Artist has a dramatic and controversial life story
3. Interesting provenance including ownership by a museum and a celebrity
4. One of the most important works of Basquiat’s oeuvre
5. Art historical significance

“Profit I” (1982), a work closely related to “Untitled (Boxer)”, was sold at Christie’s in 2002 for US$5 million (hammer price) which if multiplied by the average increase in price of Basquiat’s work according to artprice.com would come to almost US$25 million. “Profit I” is, however, a significantly larger work (220×400 cm compared to 193 x 239 cm) and is considered to be Basquiat’s greatest masterpiece. The current auction record for a Basquiat is $14.6 million for “Untitled,” which sold at Sotheby’s last year. Estimated to fetch between US$12million and $16million, “Untitled (Boxer)” undoubtedly has the potential to be a record-breaker with value still beyond the upper estimate. The provenance, significance of the work as a part of the artist’s oeuvre and the importance of this work in an art historical context is more than enough to justify the purchase of this work at the upper end of the estimate (US$16,000,000) even in the current economic climate.

Lot details here:

http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?from=searchresults&pos=9&intObjectID=5147473&sid=452dad28-fe20-4180-9c4d-61afdc897bca

**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.