Guy Stair Sainty has a few good stories of artists whose work has seen wild swings in valuation over long periods of time. This one about the up and downs of a single work, Lawrence Alma Tadema’s Finding of Moses, remains on of the best illustrations of how art prices measure distribution (demand among buyers,) not art historical merit. Read to the end for the final twist in the tale:Continue Reading
Sotheby’s announced its lead Contemporary art work for London in March. Gerhard Richter’s Eisberg from 1982 (estimated at £8-12 million,) Eisberg is the largest of three Iceberg paintings made by Richter. One of the three works, Eis (1981) sold at Sotheby’s London in February 2012 for £4.3 million ($6.75 million). The last of the three is owned by the Fisher family and is expected to become part of the SFMoMA collection eventually.
Here’s Sotheby’s press release:Continue Reading
The rumblings that began in the German press last week and were picked up in New York by the Observer that Auctionata was unable to meet its payroll in December and failed to raise another round of financing, have been confirmed today. The company is seeking court protection; other reports have Paddle8 buying itself back from the merger and raising new money.
Here’s the Antiques Trade Gazette but you’ll see this around the entire art web-sphere today:Continue Reading
Christy MacLear, former Executive Director of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, speaks about building the Rauschenberg Foundation at the Institute for Artists Estates Conference in Berlin last September. Rauschenberg put some thought into his own legacy before he died. From arts education to the environment, Rauschenberg wanted his Foundation to have an impact on several areas. It was left to MacLear to build a bridge between Rauschenberg’s interests and the community at large.
MacLear emphasizes the importance of understanding a foundation’s assets and creating create a “time horizon” in which goals should be accomplished. MacLear’s task was to understand the artist’s “values,” so she could, in turn, help the heirs and foundation decide what to do with the assets.
In addition, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation chose to make Rauschenberg’s copyright open to public use keeping with their belief in “art as a communicative currency.”
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The market for paintings by Le Corbusier has been on a tear these last two years with dramatic sales above £1m on successive occasions. Although the bidding frenzy seems to have cooled by the time the Heidi Weber Museum offered a work last fall in New York, there was still a buyer at the $4m+ level.
Now Christie’s is offering several works from the Heidi Weber Museum which has been closed after its 50-year land lease in Switzerland ran its course.
Colin Gleadell has the whole fascinating story in the Telegraph but here’s the market history prior to the recent run-up:Continue Reading
Aside from the useful reminder that London’s role as global art-trading center is not as long-lived—especially in contemporary art—as many might assume, Jonathan Jones has a good essay on how the spectacular success of the YBAs and Contemporary art has benefitted Britain’s position in the world:Continue Reading
The New York Times profiles Michael Govan and LACMA’s transformational expansion project. The profile has the usual take on Govan’s personality but focuses on the question of whether he can raise the money necessary to build a new museum.
Sotheby’s has discovered another fake from the same source as the Frans Hals. This is one is a painting of St. Jerome attributed to ‘Circle of Parmigianino’ and was sold in January of 2012 but now has been deemed a fake due to the presence of a modern pigment throughout the work.
Bendor Grosvenor has Sotheby’s statement:Continue Reading