Judith Benhamou-Huet Explains the Carol Rama Boomlet on her site. If you’ve been paying attention to the mid-season and day sales, the obvious activity in Carol Rama’s market should have caught your attention. If that didn’t, the New Museum show or exhibition in Venice might have twigged you to what’s going on.
Benhamou-Huet explains that the artist who died at 97 without much commercial success was somewhat hiding in plain sight:
So how does one explain the lack of success during her lifetime? We might point to her unclassifiable work, with its stylistic changes every 10 years, or we might point to her Turin-based dealer Giancarlo Salzano who represented her between the 1970s and the 2000s and was more intellectual than commercially minded.
Nevertheless at the 2003 Venice Biennale Carol Rama was awarded a Golden Lion.
But the major turning point for her legacy was in France when in 2015 the Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris staged a remarkable retrospective of her work.
That is, until Fergus McCaffrey came along:
‘I became a keen collector before organising an exhibition containing 50 of her works last September,’ explains McCaffrey. ‘The reaction from the museum world was extraordinary. A combination of factors has seen her prices rise spectacularly. Nevertheless they remain ridiculously low compared to other male Italian artists from the same period, like Piero Manzoni,’ adds the New York dealer who is presenting some of her works at the Basel fair, priced at between $80,000 and $1 million.