Russia isn’t the only formerly Communist country that’s struggling to reclaim its cultural patrimony. Czech artists are climbing in value on the art market as the International Herald Tribune explains:
Ever since the fall of communism in 1989, demand for artworks by 20th-century artists from Prague has been steadily rising, with prices climbing in the Czech Republic and elsewhere, especially in the past 5 to 10 years. Works by the most prominent Czech modern artists now sell at auction for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“The market for Czech modern art is very international today, with strong demand in France, Central Europe and the Czech Republic,” said Tessa Kostrzewa, deputy director of European paintings at Sotheby’s in London. […]
Toyen is now the top-selling modern Czech artist. Born Marie Cerminova, she assumed the name Toyen in reference to the French word “citoyen” (citizen). A Paris resident most of her life, the artist maintained lifelong ties with Breton, featuring prominently in the art collection sold after his death at the Hôtel Drouot in Paris in 2003.
“Prices for Toyen have been climbing steadily for 10 years and dramatically in the last 2 years,” said Thomas Bompard, director of Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern art department in Paris. He added that “Le Plongeur” by Toyen sold in December for more than €600,000, or about $830,000 at current exchange rates.
Toyen broke the million-dollar mark in the Czech Republic with an oil painting titled “Spici” that sold in 2009 for €751,100, according to Artprice, which tracks the market.
In June, a highlight of Sotheby’s Paris sale will be a rare 1962 oil painting by Toyen titled “Fardée pour Apparaître,” a color-imbued vision of the artist’s darkly lyrical universe, conservatively estimated at €200,000 to €300,000.
Market Surges for Works by 20th-Century Prague Artists (International Herald Tribune)