Kelly Crow sets up a neat opposition in her Wall Street Journal preview between celebrity art–not the product of art stars but the kind of art celebrities buy–and the art that appeals to the brainier curatorially oriented collector, or just plain curators. Forget it. Let’s just let her explain:
Instead, the auctioneers have sought out more-subtle works by lesser-known artists who are popular with curators in hopes that museums or seasoned collectors will bid. Conceptual sculptor Robert Gober, whose works are collected by institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is featured prominently in major contemporary auctions of two houses. Phillips is offering an untitled Gober sculpture of an oversized box of Farina wheat cereal with a low estimate of $2.5 million.
This potential shift in taste — from celebrity art to cerebral art — will be tested when Sotheby’s offers up German fashion designer Wolfgang Joop’s group of 10 works by Tamara de Lempicka, a Polish artist whose slinky portraits of Art Deco-era women have been collected by Madonna and Barbra Streisand.
Art Market Searches for Bottom (Wall Street Journal)