Courthouse News Service reports on the suit filed in Federal court against the Calder Foundation over the foundation’s refusal to issue an inventory number for the work Eight Black Leaves which was bought by dealer Gerald Cramer 65 years ago but the foundation says is a fragment and the owner says is not. The suit is reminiscent of another Calder dispute (decision below) that arose a few years ago and was decided in the foundation’s favor:
Calder sold the sculpture to Gerald Cramer in 1948 as a “fully integrated work” and Cramer displayed it in his gallery in Geneva, according to the 40-page lawsuit, which contains another 136 pages of exhibits.
Cramer’s son, plaintiff Patrick Cramer, “a prominent art dealer in his own right,” claims he contacted Christie’s in April 2012 to sell Eight Black Leaves. He estimates it’s worth $1.2 million. […]
“This unsupported assertion was only made after the foundation learned that the estate of Gerald Cramer sought to obtain an inventory number in order to sell the work. […]
The Calder Foundation was once responsible for “cataloguing all the works produced by the artist Alexander Calder and making his works available for public inspection in order to facilitate art education and research,” according to the complaint.
Whatever the merits of the case, it shows the continuing pressure within the art market over the issue of authenticity.
The LA Times reports that LACMA supporters Jane and Marc Nathanson are paring their collection as they move more toward Pop Art. The shift is playing in Sotheby’s favor as Lisa Dennison arranged the consignment that is estimated in the $12-17m range:
Among the works the Nathansons are selling is Richard Diebenkorn’s painting “Ocean Park #20,” which the auction house estimates will go for between $9 million and $12 million. The painting is an early work from the Diebenkorn series created after the artist moved to Santa Monica.
Sotheby’s said the painting was sold at auction in 1987 for $231,000, but it was not purchased by the Nathansons.
Marc Nathanson said in a phone interview that they purchased the painting from an L.A. dealer in 1988. He declined to disclose how much they paid, except to say that it was less than the $231,000. […]
The other works the couple is selling are a Richard Serra piece titled “Four Plates Up” — a large-scale sculpture whose sales estimate is between $2.5 million to $3.5 million; and an untitled canvas by Sam Francis from 1979 that is estimated to go for between $800,000 and $1.2 million
Katya Kazakina is back at it:
Thaddaeus Ropac: A Chinese client purchased a 10-foot-tall painting by Georg Baselitz for $660,000. Robert Longo’s large photo-realist drawing depicting a Burning Man scene went to an American buyer for $380,000.
James Fuentes: ”90 percent of the works were sold, with prices ranging from $3,000 to $14,000.”
Eleven Rivington: five hand-sewn bundles of stuffed colorful clothes on plywood pedestals by Aiko Hachisuka, a Los-Angeles-based artist, were quickly snatched up, with prices ranging from $6,500 to $8,500. Belgian collector Alain Servais said he bought one of the pieces; another went to a trustee of the New Museum in New York, the gallery said.
Marianne Boesky: solo presentation of work by South Africa-based artist Serge Alain Nitegeka resembled a giant maze of overlapping plywood beams and suspended shipping containers. The barricade-like structure masked the entrance to the booth hung with five large paintings made with plywood and roof paint. Priced at $10,000 to $25,000, they quickly sold to private collectors, the gallery said.
Roberts & Tilton: striped silkscreen diptych by Israel Lund, sold for $36,000 to a longtime West Coast client “who will ultimately give it to a museum,” co-owner Bennett Roberts said in an interview.
Judd Tully’s Armory report is out:
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac: Tony Cragg, “Distant Cousin,” from 2008, in 1,250 kilograms of stainless steel, for $1 million ; Tom Sachs, “Untitled (United States),” from 2014, for $200,000. An American collector bought both works.
Jack Shainman Gallery: Kerry James Marshall’s “Ecce Homo,” from 2008, 29- by 24-inch acrylic on PVC panel painting sold for $175,000; Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s “2 PM Salamanca,” $60,000; Leslie Wayne’s color-charged, trompe l’oeil “Paint Rag #33,” from 2013, for $16,000.
Spruth Magers: Rosemarie Trockel’s glazed ceramic wall piece, “Ubung” (Practice), from 2011, €110,000; as well as, “Untitled,” from 1986, for €650,000. Louise Lawler’s “Keeping Yourself,” from 2007-08, for $40,000.
Pilar Corrias Gallery Ken Okiishi eight of his untitled, robot assisted paintings behind Plexiglas sold at prices ranging from $8,000 to $17,000.
David Zwirner: Oscar Murillo’s ambitious four-panel work, “Tension 2,” from 2014, for $200,000.
Eleven Rivington: Aiko Hachisaka, five soft sculptures sold, including “French Pants,” from 2014, sold in the $7,000 range to a French collector living in Belgium.
Report: Armory Show Contemporary Sees Bursts of Sales at VIP Opening (Blouin Artinfo)
Katya Kazakina gathered some some comments and some sales reports at the ADAA opening last night:
“There are fewer dealers who are bringing Impressionist and modern art to the fair,” said David Nash, co-owner of Mitchell-Inness and Nash gallery in New York, which has participated in the show since 2003. “Clearly the market is very excited by contemporary art at the moment.”
“The first hour was extraordinary,” [Stefania Bortolami] said. “Some of the people who were here today have never been to my gallery. And now they might come by because we had a nice chat and they liked the work. That’s invaluable.”
Sean Kelly: eight glittering paintings shaped as Russian and Greek Orthodox icons by Kehinde Wiley. Priced at $75,000 each, more than half of the booth sold in the first two hours, Kelly said.
Matthew Marks: A $2 million painting by Ellsworth Kelly
Pace: five light holograms by James Turrell, priced at $100,000 apiece
David Zwirner: a group of six “black” oil-on-paper drawings by Ad Reinhardt. Exhibited in the U.S. for the first time, the group sold for $3 million to a European collection, the gallery said.
Stefania Bortolami: three new $50,000 abstract paintings by Richard Aldrich and one $300,000 striped canvas from 1973 by Daniel Buren.
James Cohan: Spencer Finch works on paper, $18,000 apiece, sold out at the opening.
Cheim & Read: two Louise Bourgeois bronzes that each sold for around $500,000
Trophy Art and Curated Booths at ADAA’s Art Show (Gallerist)
Fair fatigue! The Wall Street Journal declares the era of the universal art fair over and story concludes that no one ought to go to all of the art fairs around the world because … its not necessary!
Dallas collector Howard Rachofsky and his wife, Cindy, used to plan vacations around attending far-flung fairs, but lately they have winnowed to a few favorites like Art Basel Miami Beach and Frieze Art Fair in New York—and they don’t feel guilty if they don’t go at all. “Fairs are like supermarkets today,” Mr. Rachofsky said. “You’re wandering around miles of aisles looking for new flavors, but I already know what I like. Fairs are not critical to growing our collection anymore.”
Michael Hort, who runs a paper-printing company in New York, said he and his wife, Susan, were worried a few years ago when a medical issue caused the couple to delay their trip to the Basel Miami fair by a couple of days—arriving long after hundreds of VIPs might have picked over the offerings. It turns out, “we hadn’t missed a thing. A long time ago when there were fewer fairs, getting in first was important. We no longer need to be first,” Mr. Hort said.
Indeed, the underlying, unstated conclusion of the story is that as the art market grows beyond the bounds of relatively small coterie of deeply committed over collectors, it is bringing in a larger population of buyers. That’s a good thing. Next up on the agenda, however, is dealing with the under-supply of appealing art and tendency for work to gravitate toward similar themes:
New Jersey-based art adviser Clayton Press agrees, saying the fair onslaught reveals how “homogenous and repetitive” the current art scene can be when it’s continually being trotted out under a tent. Fairs bill themselves as a way to track the latest art trends, but Mr. Press said this marketing tactic can backfire if the same pieces keep cropping up at fair after fair—a “ship it until it sells” approach that can turn off savvy shoppers.
“There should be an international moratorium on art made with mirrors, Mylar, aerosol paint, and virtually any ‘found objects’ no matter how esoteric or dear,” he added, citing typical art-fair offerings.
This CNBC report on the collectibles market is a little hard to parse. Robert Frank says that according to a Knight Frank and WealthInsight report, cars had the greatest rise in value last year followed by coins. But when you ask the Ultra High Net Worth crowd—167,000 of them around the world, according to the report—what they plan to buy next, Frank says in the video that it 44% of them are looking to buy art.
But in the text of the post, the wording is a bit vague:
And art is still popular with the wealthy, since many see it as more than a financial investment. The survey showed that among people worth $30 million, art is “growing in popularity” among 44 percent of them—making it the most popular class of collectibles.
Saatchi Art announced yesterday that Rebecca Wilson has taken on the role of Chief Curator:
Saatchi Art, the world’s leading online art gallery, announced the appointment of Rebecca Wilson as the company’s chief curator and director of artist development. Ms. Wilson will set the curatorial direction and oversee the art advisory program for the company as Saatchi Art seeks to accelerate its growth as a marketplace connecting art buyers and artists from around the world.
Ms. Wilson brings a keen eye for talent and a wealth of experience to her new post in Los Angeles. Most recently, she has served as a director at the Saatchi Gallery in London, where, during her seven-year tenure, she established New Sensations, an annual prize for UK art students that Wallpaper has called “a career-propelling accolade,” and was instrumental in the launch of the gallery’s online presence.
Previously, Ms. Wilson spent fourteen years in book and art magazine publishing, working as editor of ArtReview, and before that as deputy editor of Modern Painters.
We spoke with Ms. Wilson on the phone. Here are some her comments:
Q: You’ve moved to Los Angeles and left your position as a director at Saatchi Gallery to take up the role of leading the curating at Saatchi Art, why?
Q: How do you build an audience for an artists work online?
Q: With emerging artists the traditional gallery world feels it is very important to control who owns the work. Do you try exert the same sort of control over an artists market?
Q: We see in a number of different fields that artists are taking more direct control over managing their own careers.
Fortune magazine ran a brief report on ARCO using the Spanish fair’s fortunes as a measure of the local economy:
Spain’s art world was whiplashed by the country’s bubbly rise and quick collapse. The Spanish art market grew 200% between 2002 and 2007, from 160 million to 480 million euros, only to crash to 271 million euros in 2009, according to a study led by Clare McAndrew, founder of research firm Arts Economics, for Barcelona’s Arte y Mecenazgo foundation. The market has recovered only slightly since, hurt in part by the government’s increase of its VAT (sales tax) on art works from 18% to 21% in 2012 (up from 16% in 2010). […]
In 2003 and 2004, ARCO’s visitor numbers hit a high of 200,000 people annually, but this number fell to 127,500 in 2012 and an estimated 100,000 this year. And big Spanish institutional buyers — especially ones dependent on government support — have cut their spending. Take the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, which trimmed its ARCO budget from 927,762 euros in 2010 to 700,000 euros in 2012, 318,999 euros in 2013, and 204,625 euros this year. […]
Idoia Fernández of Galería Nieves Fernández, for one, was saddened by the disappearance of the middle-class buyers who used to buy art at the fair on weekends.
“The market of younger professionals who would buy art instead of a 800 euro TV has disappeared,” said Fernández, who had sold three pieces valued between 2,000 and 14,000 euros when we talked the first day. “We’d extended the market to them in Spain, but it’s disappeared. Which is a shame. We had made buying art much more normal.”
Reading Spain’s economy through art sales (Term Sheet)
“Since Carlos has run the fair, it’s made an enormous step forward. It has become so international. Not just European collectors, but ones from Latin America and the U.S.,” said Thomas Krinzinger of Austria’s Galerie Krinzinger, who noted that he’d already sold two pieces for between 30,000 and 50,000 euros.
Marcia Gail Levine, special projects director at New York’s Marlborough Gallery, said that the gallery had already sold four pieces by Juan Genovés for around 100,000 euros and two by Manolo Valdés for some 200,000 euros to Spanish and American collectors.
Reading Spain’s economy through art sales (Term Sheet/Fortune)
“Otra Frontera,” a 2013 conceptual wall sculpture made out of a sieve by the Argentinian artist Nicolás Robbio, was among Vermelho’s early sales, to a Colombian collector for $4,000
Galería Elvira González: 1984 Robert Mapplethorpe photograph “Pheasant” to a Spanish foundation for €13,000; 2008 Miquel Barcelo canvas, “Dogon – 2,” reminiscent of a cave painting, for about €430,000
Global Reach for Smaller Fairs (NY Times)
Helga de Alvear: Angela de la Cruz, which sold for €60,000 (US$82,200)
Thomas Schulte: Juan Uslé. Titled Two in Blue Note (2013), the painting sold for €65,000 (US$89,000).
Kewenig: an Elger Esser photograph titled La Grande Be (2009) for €40,000 (US$55,000).
Javier Lopezsold: KAWS, NYT (2909) (2014), for US$16,8000.
Mehdi Chouakri: Mathieu Mercier’s Drum and Bass 182 (2002-2013) for €18,000 (US$24,750).
Galeria Filomena Soares: Rodrigo Oliveira, Fachada Suprema (Luxalon) (2014) for €16,000 (US$22,000).
ADN Platform: 54 Carlos Airesworks on US dollar bills from his Disaster Series, each priced at the impulse-buy price of €1,000 (US$1,370). By Friday, the gallery had already sold 13 of the works
AtAMA gallery: Elina Brotherus’, L’Etang (2012) went for €8,500 (US$11,600).
Gallery Forum Box: Mia Hamari’s sculpture for €2,980 (US$4,080).
Galerie Anhava: Antti Laitinen,“Forest Square I” and “Forest Square II,” 2013, sold almost immediately for €5,000 ($6,800) each.
Showroom Helsinki: Jiri Geller, “We Come At Night (Glossy),” 2014. Priced at €105,000 ($144,000), this new work already sold prior to the fair.
ARCOmadrid Puts a Spotlight on Finnish Art (Blouin ArtInfo)