Cheaper in Chelsea
Bloomberg looks at what New York’s Chelsea art dealers are doing to cut costs. They’re not reducing the price of their artist’s work. But they are offering discounts and payment options to sweeten the deal. On the operationst side, they’re consolidating storage, only fabricating very expensive pieces once they are commissioned and cutting back on Fed Ex, plane fares and, of course, art fairs:
“If you are not making sales to support your habits — to throw parties, do advertising, produce artworks — you have to change your habits,” said Cassie Rosenthal, partner in Goff & Rosenthal gallery. She said her four-year-old gallery will be more selective about art fairs it participates in. In the next 18 months, it is attending Art Dubai and Art Forum Berlin, down from four fairs last year. Just renting a small booth in a fair could cost $15,000 to $25,000, said Rosenthal’s partner, Robert Goff. “If it’s in another country, you have to deal with shipping, airfare, food and lodging,” he said. “By the time you are done with it, it’s $40,000.”
The LAMoCA Soap Opera
The Los Angles Times’s Christopher Knight, who writes the Culture Monster blog, has this update on LA MoCA’s response to Eli Broad’s offer:
I’ve had conversations with numerous people close to the situation in recent days. Two things are apparent about where MOCA’s board stands right now. First, as a body they are paralyzed. Partly it’s because factions are pointing the ship in several different directions at once. There isn’t yet a unanimity — or even a strong plurality — concerning the institutional goal. The paralysis, it appears, is allowing a drift toward the path of least resistance: an absorption of MOCA into the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Second, many are suspicious of Broad’s challenge. Even those who see it as the best path to resolution are cautious. They fear an ulterior motive or hidden agenda, even though there is no indication of one. Fears are always irrational. In fact, the absence of a hidden motive may be letting imaginations run free, which is keeping full consideration of the challenge off the table.
The Associated Press covers the Matsart auction in Jerusalem. Prices had already been lowered 20-30% from the previous year. But the numbers came down even further. Nonetheless, a Pisarro achieved the highest price for a work of art sold in Israel:
Hopeful buyers carried extra chairs to the room and lined the walls and aisles, spilling out into the lobby of Jerusalem’s old, ornate King David Hotel. The painting that broke the record for highest price fetched in Israel was by French Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro. According to Antebi, the value of the piece during good economic times would have been more than a $1 million, but because the seller needed cash, the asking price was lowered to $700,000. The painting, of a woman and a donkey, was auctioned more than two hours into the event and got only $580,000.
Lloyd Weber’s Loaner
Since we raised the subject of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s taste in art recently, we thought this story about Sir Andrew’s problems with his art foundation. The Telegraph looks into Weber’s £6.6 million John William Waterhouse painting which is owned by the composer’s foundation which received tax consideration to buy the painting. That consideration is called Gift Aid in the UK:
Gift aid rules state that “if any donor … benefits significantly from their donation, then their donations will not qualify for gift aid”. The composer has each time paid rent on the loan of the Waterhouse to ensure that he is not benefiting from the picture. His foundation argues that it lends the picture to Lord Lloyd-Webber when it is not on loan to a gallery because it would be too costly to store the painting on its own. The painting was hung in the composer’s private property for seven out of the past 29 months, including last year for 109 days when the composer paid £3,847 in rent – £35 a day – to his foundation. This rate is set by auction houses Christies and Sotheby’s. The dispute centres on HM Revenue and Customs’ claim that the peer is not paying enough rent to his foundation.
One Last Bash at the Turner Prize
A little late to the party, The Independent follows Martin Gayford in asking whether the Turner Prize makes sense anymore:
Critics have panned it as the “worst on record” and likened the exhibition at London’s Tate Britain to an “afternoon spent in a Heathrow departure lounge”. The standard of work showcased is so bad that some claim the future of the Turner Prize itself, regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious contemporary art awards, is in question. The veteran art critic Brian Sewell has demanded a place on the judging jury to shake up the prize, while others have called for it to be scrapped altogether.
Who Needs Art Basel?
The Miami Herald has more stories from imminent Art Basel. Here’s North Miami getting in on the action:
As swarms of well-to-do art collectors descend upon Miami Beach for Art Basel, one Aventura fine art gallery — and several in North Miami — are hoping they will venture north. Gallery Art — a cavernous 8,000-square-foot space tucked away in the Promenade Shops, next to Circuit City — will play host to an Art Basel Miami Beach spin-off reception Monday, where more than 80 ”Basel-worthy” pieces will be on display.This is the second year that the Aventura art gallery will piggyback on the success of Art Basel Miami Beach, which features work from more than 220 top galleries and 2,000 artists.