50% of Works on Art Market Are Not Fake: Over-Zealous Statement Walked Back


Earlier this week Agency France Presse reported a story that was picked up by several rash art outlets and repeated without much thinking. The original story speculated that half of all art works on the market were fake based upon the fact that the lab, based in the Geneva Freeport sees a preponderance of works that don’t live up to their owner’s hopes.

Now, any sensible reader would have quickly spotted the selection bias in the 70-90 percent claim. Clearly under some pressure, the lab jumped at The Daily Beast’s giving them the opportunity to clarify:

Yann Walther, executive director of the Fine Arts Institute in Geneva, told The Daily Beast that the headline-grabbing claims should be treated with caution. “People who come to us often already have a question about the authenticity of the work,” he said. “So this does not mean that on the market, 70 to 90 percent of work is fake.”

Are Over Half the Works on the Art Market Really Fakes?  (The Daily Beast)

A $20m Cattelan? Take Your Pick from Adam Lindemann’s Joint Show with S|2


Sotheby’s and Venus Over Manhattan are going to test the Cattelan market now the artist has retired. Adam Lindemann was a major contributor to the Guggenheim’s retrospective. Now he’s putting on a dual show of Cattelan’s work:

From 30 October to 26 November 2014 Sotheby’s S|2 and Venus Over Manhattan will present Cosa Nostra, the first major exhibition of Maurizio Cattelan’s work since Maurizio Cattelan: All, the 2011/12 Guggenheim retrospective, and the artist’s subsequent retirement. Curated by collector and gallerist Adam Lindemann, this selling exhibition will showcase a range of works from Cattelan’s career, including many of the artist’s most recognizable iconography that has made him one of the most idiosyncratic and unique of his generation. A direct response to All, Cosa Nostra will utilize a distinct and dramatic exhibition design in each presenting venue, highlighting the artist’s works as powerful, individual objects. At Venus Over Manhattan, the works will exist in isolation; at S|2, the viewer will be immersed in their images. Drawn from important private collections, the works range in value from $30,000 to $20 million.

Rales Museum to Sell Duplicate Sherman Film Stills as Single Lot

Sherman, Untitled Film Still #71Carol Vogel has a tantalizing but fragmented report in the New York Times about a sale at Christie’s that comes by way of Ydessa Hendeles, a Toronto dealer who assembled a substantial group of Cindy Sherman’s film stills that will now be auctioned at Christie’s as a single lot. Selling the works together is a bit of a risk as the Cole Weston trust discovered just two weeks ago. But the owner, Mitchell Rales, can afford to take the risk.

What’s not clear from Vogel’s story is the nature of the transaction that is bringing the lot to market:

“When we bought the collection, we knew there were duplicates,” Mr. Rales said in a telephone interview. “We are deep into Cindy’s work and will continue to collect it.” He added that he felt strongly that this collection of “Untitled Film Stills” should stay together, because “Ydessa did a fabulous job putting it together, and it would be almost impossible to replicate it today.”Proceeds from Christie’s sale of Ms. Sherman’s “Film Stills” are going toward future acquisitions at Glenstone, which is undergoing a major expansion, adding a second museum building on the property.

From the way Rales describes it, the 21 lots represent the duplicates from the film stills. Does that mean Glenstone, Rales’s private museum in Maryland, now has a complete set of the 69 images? How many did Hendeles originally put together? Finally, there’s this addendum:

In addition to the “Untitled Film Stills,” the Christie’s acquisition, made last year, includes some of the finest examples by artists like Louise Bourgeois, Maurizio Cattelan, Hanne Darboven, Katharina Fritsch, Jenny Holzer, Bruce Nauman and Jeff Wall.

Cindy Sherman’s ‘Untitled Film Stills’ Go to Auction – NYTimes.com.

Christie’s Frieze Contemporary Evening = £40.34m

Phillips Cont Frieze Day Sale = £5.1m

Phillips Frieze Evening = £14.8m ($23.6m)

Phillips Frieze 14 Eve Sale
Last night’s sale at Phillips was pretty much business as usual for the auction house even within the new setting of their grand HQ building.

Auctioneer Alexander Gilkes moved the merchandise at prices below the estimate range, signaling his intent with the stilted, “I can honor your bid.” That move kept the sell-through rate to 80% and brought in a decent £14,862,500 / $23,631,375

Top Ten Lots:

  1. Christopher Wool Untitled, 1990 £2,098,500 / $3,336,615
  2. Tauba Auerbach Untitled (Fold), 2010 £1,142,500 / $1,816,575
  3. Jeff Koons Jim Beam – Observation Car, 1986 £962,500 / $1,530,375
  4. Anselm Kiefer Für Paul Celan, 2004 £818,500 / $1,301,415
  5. Martin Kippenberger Untitled, 1991 £782,500 / $1,244,175
  6. Banksy Submerged Phone Booth, 2006 £722,500 / $1,148,775
  7. Keith Haring Untitled,1988 £602,500 / $957,975
  8. Damien Hirst 5-Fluorotryptamine, 2007 £578,500 / $919,815
  9. Barry Flanagan Left Handed Drummer, 1997 £506,500 / $805,335
  10. Anish Kapoor Untitled, 2000 £506,500 / $805,335  

Auction Records:
Tauba Auerbach Untitled (Fold), 2010 £1,142,500 / $1,816,575
Danh Vo We The People (Detail), 2011 £206,500 / $328,335
KAWS Accomplice, 2010 £266,500 / $423,735

Detroit’s Art Saved as Bankruptcy Deal Emerges

The Detroit Institute of Arts

The last holdout in the Detroit bankruptcy has asked for the trial to be suspended so they can put the finishing touches on a deal. The deal finalizes the process that used the city-owned art as a bargaining chip:

“We are proceeding with a firm and active faith that we will have a deal to present to the court or announce to the court on Thursday,” said Mr. Cullen, a partner in the firm of Jones Day.

A lawyer for Financial Guaranty, Alfredo R. Pérez, also asked Judge Rhodes to suspend the trial for two more days “to see if we can have a consensual deal by that time.”

Details on the terms of any settlement were not available. Financial Guaranty had been pushing for Detroit to borrow money against its art collection, but the city plans to finance its exit from bankruptcy with a loan of up to $275 million from Barclays Capital, secured by city tax revenue.

Deal Is Said to Be Close in Detroit’s Bankruptcy  (NYTimes.com)