June Online Art Auctions – artmarketblog.com

June Online Art Auctions – artmarketblog.com

George S.  Zimbel:  'Marilyn Monroe and Billy Wilder, The Seven Year Itch, New York, 1954'.  Being auctioned by artnet auctions

George S. Zimbel: 'Marilyn Monroe and Billy Wilder, The Seven Year Itch, New York, 1954'. Being auctioned by artnet auctions

Online auctions can be a great source of art for collectors and investors as long as you buy from a reputable auctioneer that offers a guarantee of authenticity and condition. All the auctioneers listed below are extremely reputable and totally trustworthy so you can feel confident in dealing with any of them. There are always great bargains to be had so it’s well worth taking the time to browse through the catalogues, you never know what you may find!!!!

Canadian auction house Heffel.com is currently auctioning a selection of works by Eastern Canadian and Western Canadian modernists including works by Paul-Emile Borduas, Leon Bellefleur and Mary Frances Pratt. This auction finishes on the 25th of June.

Browse works here:
http://www.heffel.com/online/Index_E.aspx

iGavel is currently auctioning a selection of Fine Art and Antiques from Southern Estates and Various Owners which finishes on the 30th of June. This diverse auction features a group of psychedelic posters from the San Francisco music scene of the 1960s, a number of old master paintings, work from the Florida school, paintings by accomplished American illustrators working in the first half of the 20th century and other works by notable 20th century artists including Bernard Buffet, John Newton Howitt, Oliver Chaffee, A.B. Davies, Hattie Saussey and John Stobart.

Highlights from the decorative arts include a 17th century ivory inlaid Spanish vargueno, silver and objects of vertu from Gorham, Tiffany and Cartier, coin silver, American weather vanes, Venetian glass, 18th Century Georgian Furniture, 18th Century pewter and many interesting group lots.

Browse items here:

http://auction.igavel.com/AuctionHelp.taf?S=N&R=2&C=2&return=50&sort=1&ST=1&days=&category_id=&_start=1&keyword=E3AB&_UserReference=7F000001471891E7E8D3991F1FD44A35006E

Now through June 25, artnet Auctions is featuring Icons: 20th-21st Century Photographic Portraits, a special sale of 250 original fine art photographs of legendary figures including Muhammad Ali, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jackie Kennedy, Madonna, Marilyn Monroe and Kate Moss by renowned photographers from Louise Dahl-Wolfe to David LaChapelle.

Browse works here:

http://www.artnet.com/AUCTIONS/Pages/Common/Search/LotSearchResult.aspx?LotSearchState=1&Keyword=icons%20sale&SearchIn=AllArtWorks#scroll=1

**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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Investing in an Artist’s Oeuvre – artmarketblog.com

Investing in an Artist’s Oeuvre – artmarketblog.com

'Christie's Auction' by Thomas Rowlandson

'Christie's Auction' by Thomas Rowlandson

When you invest in a work of art, especially by a deceased artist, you are essentially investing not in just one work of art but in the artist’s entire body of work which is known as an oeuvre. An oeuvre is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “a substantial body of work constituting the lifework of a writer, an artist, or a composer”. When it comes to documenting an artist’s oeuvre a publication called a catalogue raisonné is usually published which lists all known works by a particular artist. What I want to look at in this post is the rather important question of what should be included in an artist’s oeuvre and how what is included in an artist’s oeuvre can have an effect on the market for an artist’s work.

Considering that an artist’s oeuvre is supposed to be the entire body of work an artist produced throughout their career it would seem to make sense that every single piece of art they produced should be included. Or does it?. I recently spoke to the widow of one of Australia’s most famous and highly valued artists who was responsible for documenting her late husband’s oeuvre. Instead of just including everything in the oeuvre she undertook a very extensive examination of her late husband’s work and made decisions relating to what should and should not be included in the oeuvre. Her decisions were based on the theory that everything an artist produces is not necessarily produced as a work of art and should therefore not be included in a documentation of that artist’s body of work. An example was given where people who visited the studio of her late husband would take doodles or sketches out of the bin with the intention of selling them some time in the future. With many such pieces, which would be unsigned and undocumented, now infiltrating the market, the question of whether they should be included in the artist’s oeuvre becomes rather important. The reason it becomes important is because the size of an artist’s oeuvre can dictate how much demand there is for an artist’s work and also because what is included in an artist’s oeuvre can effect people’s perception of the artist’s whole oeuvre.

The oeuvre of the Australian artist used in the example I gave earlier is very small compared to other artists and is undoubtedly a contributing factor in the high value put on the artist’s work because a smaller oeuvre means that demand for an artist’s work is going to be higher because there are less works available on the market. Imagine for a second that an artist produced hundreds and hundreds of doodles and sketches that the artist did not intend to ever display or sell. Because the artist did no intend these pieces to be viewed or sold they are probably not going to be very good quality and are probably completely meaningless in the scheme of things as well as being worth very little. If hundreds of such pieces became available a whole market of lower priced, low quality and probably meaningless bits of paper would be created for that artist which would undoubtedly have an effect on people’s perceptions of the artist’s whole body of work. When it comes to the market for the artist’s work the addition of hundreds of meaningless, low value and poor quality pieces to those genuine works available on the market could change people’s perception of the value of the artist’s work as a whole.

I can understand why those in charge of artist’s estates go to such extreme lengths to protect the integrity and stability of an artist’s oeuvre because, when it comes to the work of deceased artists, the stability and integrity of the artist’s oeuvre has a strong influence on the value of an artist’s work and the way people perceive the desirability of an artist’s work. The estate of Jackson Pollock is a good example of an estate that is ruthless when it comes to protecting and preserving an artist’s oeuvre. The Pollock-Krasner foundation have produced a complete catalogue raisonne of Pollock’s work and will not allow any additions to that raisonne unless they are 100% certain that the work is genuine and that it is part of the artist’s oeuvre. Considering that Pollock is one of the most highly valued and desirable artists ever means that any alteration to the artist’s oeuvre could have major repercussions.

By not recognising pieces not meant to be viewed as works of art in the documentation of her late husband’s oeuvre the widow of the artist used in the example earlier is able to maintain the integrity and stability of her late husband’s oeuvre by ensuring that fakes are not recognised as genuine works and that works not meant to be included in the artist’s oeuvre are not not recognised as works of art. Maintaining the integrity and stability of the entire oeuvre will consequently have a positive effect on the integrity, desirability and value of each individual work. When investing in a work of art by a deceased artist it is always a good idea to do some research on the artist’s oeuvre to see whether it is managed by anyone and whether it is stable and has maintained it’s integrity over a period of time. It is also a good idea to make sure that if you are purchasing a work by an artist whose oeuvre has been documented in a catalogue raisonne that the work you are purchasing appears in that catalogue otherwise the work may be fake or may require authentication by the artist’s estate or by an authentication organisation. The moral of the story is that an artist’s oeuvre is very important to the value and desirability of an individual work of art so make sure you know what you are buying into especially if you are buying for investment purposes.

**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.

The Price and Value of Contemporary Art – artmarketblog.com

The Price and Value of Contemporary Art – artmarketblog.com

contemporary-art-auction-2The problem with the market for contemporary art is that the perceived value of the work by a contemporary artist (especially emerging artists) is often reliant on someone taking the risk of backing that artist which then adds credibility to their work thus prompting other people to buy their work as well.  With the work of contemporary artists (even more so with emerging artists), the price of their work and the value of their work are often virtually one in the same because it is likely that there will be little or no other factors with which to determine the value of their work.  The reason that I refer to the value of work by emerging contemporary artists as perceived value is because it is a value based on the opinion of who ever is purchasing the work. It is unlikely that an emerging artist’s career or their body of work would have had time to develop or progress enough for someone to make a justifiable judgment regarding the value of the work based on the characteristics that are most often used as indicators of value. These indicators include: provenance, contribution to art history, rarity, exhibition history of artist, critical analysis, significance of particular work in artist’s oeuvre, recognition by scholars and academics etc.

In a nutshell, the contemporary art market is driven by people’s perception of value which is, in turn, based on other people’s perception of value which is basically what people refer to as the domino effect. One person gets the ball rolling and others keep it going. This trend is evident with the likes of Charles Saatchi who can make or break an artist because of the influence that he has on people’s perception of an artist’s work. Saatchi’s influence is so great that people mimic his actions regardless of their own point of view and regardless of what Saatchi’s motives for purchasing that artist’s work may have been. By the very act of purchasing an artwork Charles Saatchi or anyone with a similar level of influence can, by purchasing a work of art, give value to that work of art and the artist that painted it. Because there is no real set of factors that dictate what determines the value of a work of contemporary art by an artist whose career is still in the developing stages we often have rely on the opinion of experts such as art critics, gallery owners, museums, collectors, dealers etc. to provide an opinion of the value of the work of a contemporary artist. An opinion which, in the case of gallery owners and dealers, is quite likely going to be at least somewhat biased and subjective.

During boom times the prices being paid for works by many of the contemporary artists rise at a far faster rate than they should and for reasons that are not related to the actual value of the artist and their work. It is usually the speculators and flippers who push the prices for the contemporary works of art sky high as they try and make a quick buck. However, when the potential for making a quick buck disappears and the art market takes a hit, these flippers and speculators are the first to exit the art market. Because the value associated with a work of contemporary art is a type of value that is dependent upon people’s actions and is not an inherent value that is automatically associated with that work of art, if people stop buying the work work of such an artist then there are no, or very few other factors that give value to the work of art. With the one major source of perceived value no longer in play people then start looking at the traditional defining factors of value such as the ones I mentioned earlier (provenance, contribution to art history, rarity, exhibition history of artist, critical analysis, significance of particular work in artist’s oeuvre, recognition by scholars and academics etc.). Because the traditional defining factors of value become much more identifiable and qualifiable the longer the artist has been working and the longer the artist’s work has been in existence, the work of the old masters becomes far more attractive.

People turn to the old masters and works by more established “blue chip” artists during times of art market uncertainty because the value of works by such artists is much easier to identify and because the value of such works is actually associated with the characteristics of the artist’s career and their body of work and not just based on perception. Because the value of works by “blue chip” artists such as the old masters is much easier to determine, works by these artists are far less prone to the rapid rise and over-inflation of prices like contemporary works are and, as such, represent a far more stable and less risky investment. For this reason it is quite likely that there will be a renewed interest in works by the modern and old masters and a reduced level of interest in works by contemporary artists and an even lower level of interest in works by emerging contemporary artists.

**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.

Trailblazers at Boutwell Draper Gallery – artmarketblog.com

Trailblazers at Boutwell Draper Gallery – artmarketblog.com

jesse-hogan

Work by Jesse Hogan

From the 19th of November to the 13 of December, Sydney’s Boutwell Draper gallery are holding an exciting exhibition called Trailblazers which includes work by artists from Australia, Europe and the United States who are considered to be at the cutting edge of contemporary artistic practice.
According to the exhibition catalogue “Content is what unifies the artists in Trailblazers, a show of
international contemporary artists at Boutwell Draper Gallery.The contributing artists, though in various stages of their art practices, produce the kind of content that has plucked them from their respective beginnings in new urban, underground, street and outsider art and landed them in professional art circles around the world. These are the talents that have marched forward and defined new paths for the future generations”
The artists included in the show are:
Kelsey Brookes, Copyright, Ben Frost, Matt Furie, Jesse Hogan, Hush, Ian Johnson, Anthony Lister
Buff Monster, Numskull, 1337, Alex Pardee, Shannon Dmote Peel, Cleon Peterson
Mark Whalen Kill Pixie, Plusminus, Pure Evil, J.Shea, Regan HaHa Tamanui, Andy Uprock
Trent Whitehead, Kid Zoom
Established in 2001, Boutwell Draper Gallery is committed to the promotion of both emerging and established contemporary artists. The artists shown in the gallery work in a broad range of media, from painting and photography to sculpture, installation, video and digital arts. For more information go to http://www.boutwelldrapergallery.com.au or see the catalogue here:trailblazers

**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.

Contemporary Korean Art [Oct 08] – artmarketblog.com

Contemporary Korean Art – artmarketblog.com

Copyright@Artprice.com

On the one hand, Korean art is being driven by changes within the country that started 20 years ago with the Olympic Games in Seoul and the first fully democratic elections, and on the other hand, by the remarkable success of contemporary Chinese and Indian artists.
While Asian auction houses, such as Borobudur Singapore and Seoul Auction Center, are driving the market there, the global majors, Christie’s and Sotheby’s, recently integrated Korean art into their Contemporary Asian Art sales. Korea also has its own art fair, the KIAF, whose seventh edition ended in September.

Surrounded by other Asian art fairs of the likes of Art Taipei, SH Contemporary, Art Beijing, Art Singapore, Shanghai Art Fair, CIGE in China, Art Beijing and Art Fair Tokyo, Korea has taken advantage of the economic and artistic dynamism of the entire Asia zone.
In the West, Korean artists who have emerged in the auction world and who are promoted in major exhibitions are very often naturalised Americans, like Kim SOO-JA and Do-Ho SUH who have followed the path opened by NAM JUNE PAIK, a South Korean born in Seoul in 1932 and who died in Miami on 29 January 2006. Nam June Paik was a veritable precursor in the domain of art video and a world recognised artist. The year after his death, the market for his work literally exploded generating a total auction revenue of 2.24 million euros – a sum representing his cumulative auction revenue over the 10 previous years! The Christie’s sales in Hong-Kong in May and November 2007substantially contributed to this result, particularly with the video installation entitled Wright Brothers which set a new record for the artist when sold for double its initial estimate at HKD 4.2 million (USD 540,120). In a gloomy economic period, the two installations presented at Sotheby’s London on the 20th October 2008, and at Christie’s on the next day, remained unsold.

In 2007, while Christie’s was generating million-dollar sales from its Asian Art sales in Hong-Kong with works by Xiaogang ZHANG (Portrait in Yellow, 25 Nov. 2007) and Minjun YUE (Portrait of the Artist and his Friend, 27 May 2007), Korean artists also largely exceeded their estimates at the same sales. Among them, KIM DUCK YONG, CHOI YEONG GEOL, YOON BYUNG ROCK, KIM EUN JIN and several artists in their thirties like AHN SUNG HA, JEONG BO YOUNG, MIN JUNG YEON or PARK JAE-YOUNG. The hyper-realist painting by Jae-Young PARK for example, estimated at HKD 80,000, fetched HKD 100,000 more its estimate (selling for the equivalent of USD 23,000) on 27 May 2007.

Today, young Korean artists born in the 1960s generate results on a par with their Asian peers. Take for example Dong-Yoo KIM, born in 1965, whose work Mao vs Monroe fetched a new record at Sotheby’s London in February 2008. The work, representing the face of Mao Zedong based on an accumulation of hundreds of mini-portraits of Marilyn Monroe, like the pixels of the image, is an extremely buoyant theme in the speculative climate of Chinese art. It fetched no less than GBP290,000, (USD 576,520) … far beyond the record of his elder Kwang-Young CHUN (born in 1944) whose auction high was HKD 2.5 millions (USD 321,500, 25 Nov. 2007, at Christie’s). Both appeared for the first time at public auction the same year (2006). They share – like many other Korean artists – a penchant for the extremely minute, for accumulation and for illusionism. With CHUN KWANG YOUNG, this penchant is expressed in a series entitled Aggregation, inaugurated in 1994. Each work is a surreal landscape composed of an accumulation of hundreds of minuscule triangles made out of Korean mulberry paper… the same paper that his herb doctor used to envelop his herbs and remedies. These works were acquired by buyers from Korea, Japan, China and the United States. On 17 September 2008, at the Sotheby’s’ Contemporary Asian Art sale in New-York, an impressive Aggregation (131.8 x 163.2 cm) doubled its estimate when it fetched USD 85,000. Two years earlier, when Sotheby’s offered a work of similar quality by CHUN KWANG YOUNG for the first time, it was priced at USD 40,000.

Another very successful Korean artist is Do-ho suh. Born in 1962 in Korea, he lives in New-York where his first sculpture submitted to auction by Christie’s in 2007 fetched USD 50,000, twice its estimated value… Entitled Some-One, it is made up of hundreds of soldiers’ I-D plates. The work of Do-ho suh already caused a sensation 6 years earlier at the 49th Venice biennial in 2001 where it represented South Korea.

As the Art market is starting to feel the first effects of the financial crisis, and considering that 30% of the lots remained unsold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong at the beginning of October, in Asia the Artprice AMCI, is getting down and down (reaching -10 on the 27th October). As a consequence The Korean artists rise may slow down within the next few months.

**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.

Mattress Factory Art Auction – artmarketblog.com

Mattress Factory Art Auction – artmarketblog.com

The leveling-off of prices at the middle and lower end of the market have resulted in the potential for plenty of bargains. One such source for potential fine art bargains is the upcoming auction being held by the Mattress Factory, a Pittsburgh USA based museum of contemporary art with a primary focus on the exhibition of installation works. Of particular interest is the museum’s residency program which, since it begun in 1977, has supported over 300 artists including the likes of James Turrell, Kiki Smith, Damien Hirst, Greer Lankton, Rolf Julius and Raqs Media Collective. According to the museum’s website “Each year artists come to Pittsburgh, live at the museum, and create new work. During their time here, the museum supports them completely while they experiment, take risks, and explore the creative process.”

To help support the museum’s mission an art auction is held every five years of works donated by artists who have exhibited their work at the museum such as Margo Sawyer, Sarah Oppenheimer and Anita Dube. At 8.00PM on October the 18th the museum’s 30th Anniversary art auction auction will go live worldwide via a partnership with eBay Live Auctions. Contemporary art-lovers around the globe will be able to compete with bidders on the auction room floor for one-of-a-kind works by some of the world’s most notable artists. All proceeds generated from the auction will help fund Mattress Factory exhibitions, programs and operations.

To view the works on offer and to register to bid go here:
http://www.liveauctioneers.com/catalog/16666

For more information on the Mattress Factory check out:
http://www.mattress.org/index.cfm?event=About

image: “Roden Crater: Complete Site Plan”, 2008, 30″ x 40″, Inkjet on paper, Artist proof. The subject of the print is an aerial photograph of Roden Crater taken by James Turrell in 1983, before any construction was done. Superimposed on top of the photographic image is the complete site plan for the Roden Crater Project. All of the above and below grade tunnels as well as all the spaces.

**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

Rationalising Art Market Movements – artmarketblog.com

Rationalising Art Market Movements – artmarketblog.com

If you were to ask the art market where it was heading it would most likely say “I don’t know” and tell you to ask again at the beginning of next year. I don’t think that there is any doubt that an art market correction is well overdue and is desperately needed to sort the rational and justifiable from the irrational and unjustifiable. What this doesn’t mean is that the whole art market will head south but rather that the market is going through a stage of contextualisation and evaluation. The reason that the correction is so important is that prices for art have increased far too quickly which technically speaking would be referred to as over-inflated prices which basically means that works of art are currently overpriced. When value for money becomes an even more important factor, such as it has now due to the global financial crisis, then people tend to take much more notice of price versus value than when money was less of an issue.

The three things that will characterise the art market while the correction takes place are rarity, quality and desirability. By rarity I mean rarity in terms of scale, quality, subject, provenance, period and not so much the total number of works produced by an artist. For instance, Picasso produced many works but the work ‘Garcon a la pipe’ is considered to be rare because it is an early work, is one of only a few large works from the artist’s Rose period and was the only one to remain in private hands when it sold for a record $104 million in 2004. According to an article from the International Herald Tribune written by Souren Melikian in 2004 about ‘Garcon a la pipe’: “The huge figure reflects the double iconic value that the portrait derived from its mastery and from the aura of its owners, the very patrician Whitneys. The portrait is perhaps the artist’s ultimate achievement. Constantly hailed as the giant of modern art, Picasso was probably at his greatest when working under the spell of Old Masters. The rigorous composition, the color balance and the profound psychological probe of the young sitter place the likeness in a category that begins with Italian Renaissance portraitists and continues right through the 19th century with Corot and Degas.” (Record $104 million paid for Picasso painting)

To be continued…

image: Garçon à la Pipe (1905) by Pablo Picasso

**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