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Sunday, July 11th, 2010

Saatchi to Gift Gallery and Millions in Art to England


Tracy Emin’s My Bed (1998),  one of the 200 works of art Charles Saatchi plans on gifting to the British government.

Outspoken advertising and art collecting tycoon Charles Saatchi has announced plans to gift his London gallery and some 200 works of art to the British government upon his retirement. While terms of the donation have not yet been ironed out and Saatchi has not specified a retirement date, the deal would put an estimated $37.5 million worth of art, along with Saatchi’s 70,000 sq ft exhibit space (to be renamed The Museum of Contemporary Art, London) in the nation’s hands.  Statements from the gallery clarified that no charges would fall on the nation’s taxpayers, nor would Mr. Saatchi himself receive any tax benefits from the gift.

While the works to be donated may serve as hefty building blocks for a new museum, ultimately its success as a major public art institution will rest on what government agencies are given the task, who is brought in to curate and direct, how new works will be acquired by the collection, and in doing so, what will be purged.

More at the NYTimes and Guardian

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Interview, Legal, London, Market Talk, Museums | Comment now »

 

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

New Record set for Walton Ford


Walton Ford’s Lisbon Rhinoceros, 2008 set a record for the artist at auction last month. (Image via Phillips de Pury)

As Marion Maneker has suggested, recent events indicate Walton Ford is fast on the rise, with his works crossing into blue-chip status. Last month Ford shook the auction market when Loss of the Lisbon Rhinoceros (estimated at $550-750,000) sold for $1,022,500 at Phillips Halsey Minor Collection auction, setting a new record for his work. The next day, Fords’ 2006 work La Fontaine, (also from Minor’s collection) took top-lot at Phillips Part II Contemporary Art sale when it sold for $746,500, far out-performing its original $250-350,000 estimate. Early this year, Wal-mart heriess’ Alice Walton’s Crystal Bridges Museum announced it had acquired Fords’ 11ft x 8.5 ft triptych, The Island, which first appeared as the centerpiece of his Oct. 09′ show at Paul Kasmin.


Walton Ford – La Fontaine, 2006. (Image via Phillips de Pury)


Walton Ford – The Island, 2009. (Image: Jeff Newman/TheArtCollectors)

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Artist Talk, Market Talk, Uncategorized | Comment now »

 

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Amidst Controversy, Brandeis Weighs Renting Rose Collection


A sign erected by protesters on the night of a public hearing at the Rose Art Museum in February of last year. (Sarah Ewick via Bostonist)

Nearly a year and a half after Brandeis came under attack for voting to shore up university funds by closing down and selling off the Rose’s collection, the future of the museum still remains in question. After flip-flopping under pressure on its initial decision, Brandeis’ board is now considering renting out works from the Rose to generate income for the university.

In a press release dated May 28 and first reported by the Boston Globe, Brandeis announced that it was taking steps to “explore a range of alternatives to the sale of art from the Rose Art Museum in an effort to generate value from a portion of the collection while still maintaining ownership of the artwork.” More specifically, University President, Jehuda Reinharz, revealed that Brandeis was already “in discussions with Sotheby’s to solicit advice on non-sale partnerships, lending agreements and other creative solutions in the fundraising arena.”

To be clear, “lending” is less than upfront terminology to describe the potential plan. Simply put, Brandeis may be close to renting out portions of the 7,000+ piece Rose collection for profit.

Though the recent announcement makes sure to clarify that “Brandeis is committed to using a portion of any proceeds it realizes from art in the Rose Art Museum to directly benefit both the museum and the university’s Department of Fine Arts,” this really seems like lip service. It is abundantly clear that the universities’ motivation remains unchanged  - to offset the economic troubles of Brandeis (not the Rose) by leveraging its control over the Rose’s collection as a cash-asset. No one who has been following these developments since last January has any doubt where the majority of any such revenue would end up – with the financially burdened university, and not with the Rose.

Furhtermore, while the university emphasizes that it would “Ideally…continue to own the art but find an innovative way to get value from it,” and that they have “not sold any art since that vote, and will not do so while it examines non-sale alternatives,” no guarantees have been given. In fact, Brandies has already cut a deal with Christies to put works on the auction block, if it ultimately decides to permanently shutter the Rose and deassess the collection.

Lee Rosenbaum (who has been diligently shedding light on the story since its beginning) makes some insightful new suggestions over on CultureGrrl – that preference should be given to Boston-area museums or educational institutions, that under no circumstances should Rose works be lent for private use by collectors or corporations, and that the core collection of important works from the collection should remain on campus, with the right to borrow back works from renters for educational or exhibition purposes.

For those who haven’t been following, the battle over the Rose began in January of last year, after Brandeis’ trustees announced it would close the museum and sell off its $350 million collection to insulate an increasingly threatened university endowment (see our previous reports here and here) which was hit hard by the global recession and Madoff scheme. With the support of every major museum association, The Rose’s board fired back on the grounds that the museum was not a university asset and such action would be in violation of the intentions of the museum’s founders, donors and established ethical codes. Controversy escalated further in July when museum overseers filed a lawsuit (read the full transcript here) to halt Brandeis from moving forward with its plans. While Brandeis has held off selling any art or closing the museum, they did fire the majority of the Rose’s staff, including the museum’s director, who has been outspoken against the university’s actions.

The proposed rental plan is certainly less egregious than the initial move to close the museum and toss its important public collection to the highest bidder. Moving forward, if Brandeis were willing to adhere to some ethical guidelines, like those proposed by Rosenbaum, at least it would allow for the Rose to remain a vital and active public institution, and carry out its original mission, as envisioned by its founders and early benefactors when it opened its doors in 1961.

 

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Results in for Phillips de Pury Contemporary Evening Sale, NY


Lot 19. Steven Parrino – cab Noggin, 1988. Acrylic on canvas, 72″ x 72″ Sold: $458,500

Numbers are in for Phillips de Pury’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale. Held last night (3/4), amidst the buzz of Armory week, results were lukewarm. More than a third of the 34 total lots went unsold, with total sales reaching $2,192,850 (with all buyer’s fees). Here’s the rundown:

Phillips de Pury Contemporary Art Evening Sale, Thurs., March 4
All results include buyer’s premiums: 25% on the first $50,000, 20% on the portion of the price from $50,000 to $1,000,000, and 12% on any portion of the price     which exceeds $1,000,000.

Total Sale: $2,192,850
Lots Offered: 34, Sold: 22 (64.7%) Unsold/Withdrawn: 12 (35.3%)
Lots Exceeding High Estimate: 4 (11.76%),   Within Estimate: 18 (52.9%)
Results for 5 Highest Estimated Lots: Above Low Estimate: 3, Above High Estimate: 1, Unsold: 1


Kelley Walker – Black Star Press, 2005. Silkscreened chocolate on digital print on canvas laid on board, 36″ x 28″ each. Sold: $254,500

Highest Grossing Lots (with buyer’s premium)
1. Lot 11: $458,500 – Steven Parrino ($400,000-$600,000)
2. Lot 5: $254,500 – Kelley Walker (Estimate: $150,000-$200,000)
3. Lot 19: $206,500 – Tom Wesselmann (Estimate: $200,000-$300,000)
4. Lot 7: $176,500 – Doug Aitken (Estimate: $150,000-$200,000)
5. Lot 4: $146,500 – George Condo (Estimate: $80,000-$100,000)


Doug Aitken – i am in you, 2000. Video installation of five projections of three dvds. Sold: $176,500

View Complete Sale Results here

Phillips will hold its next NY sale tomorrow, March 6. With a focus on emerging artists and editions, NOW: Art of the 21st Century offers collectors opportunities at much more modest entry points.

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Auction, Market Talk, Uncategorized | Comment now »

 

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Rubell Collection to Expand to D.C.

The recently sold Randall School building was purchased from the by the Rubells in partnership with the Telesis real estate firm from the Corcoran School and Museum. The joint venture will see the site developed into a new Rubell museum, a hotel, and private residencies. (Image via)

Famed Miami based collectors Don and Mira Rubell have just announced plans to open up a new museum in Wasington D.C. to showcase their ever expanding collection of contemporary art. The location will serve as a satellite to their Miami museum, and was purchased for $6.5 million from Corcoran College and Gallery of Art in partnership with real estate investment firm, Telesis. Part of the building will also be developed into a hotel and private residences.

This isn’t the Rubell’s first foray into the D.C. area. In 2002, the couple bought the Capitol Skyline Hotel. The seven story building was designed by their friend, architect Morris Lapidus, known for the Fontainebleau Hotel and other Miami Beach properties. Around the same time, they began focusing on D.C. artists. “The reason we even bothered to find a business [in D.C.] is that the art is amazing,” noted Mera Rubell in a December interview with Art in America. “A hotel is a natural place to create a kind of home. I want artists there—it’s exciting for my existence here whenever I’m here.”


(Image: Jenny Yang via Art in America)

The Corcoran is slated to host an exhibition organized by and culled from the Rubell’s collection. 30 Americans focuses on African American artists in the Rubell’s personal collection and was first on view at their private Miami museum in December of 2008.  Last week, Tyler Green’s Modern Art Notes raised concern over the arrangement. Clarifying that works in the exhibit are owned by the Rubell family and not by their foundation, he notes:

“The last line of the Washington Post story on the deal is a classic case of burying the lede: “Officials said the exhibition is not related to the sale.” Really? When an art-museum-and-school is preparing to exhibit a family’s private collection at the same time it is cutting a real estate deal with the owners of that collection (and curator(s) of the show), the arrangement deserves significantly more journalistic examination than a toss-off at the end of a story.”

Spokespersons for the Corcoran affirm the exhibit and property sale are not related. Yet, if the recent hoopla over the New Museum’s upcoming exhibit of museum trustee Dakis Joannou’s personal collection is waranted, perhaps the Rubell’s dealings with the Corcoran are also worth further examination.

 

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Details of Controversial Koons-Curated Joannou Exhibit Emerge


Jeff Koons’ One Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (1985) was the first major art acquisition by collector Dakis Joannou, and the only piece of the artist’s work to be shown in the collector’s forthcoming New Museum survey, Skin Fruit: Selections from the Dakis Joannou Collection (Image: the Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens)

The New Museum of New York has just released the details of an already debated exhibition of works from the treasure chest of billionaire collector Dakis Joannou.  Though parts of the collection have previously been on view at Joannou’s own DESTE Foundation in Anthens, as well as in Paris and Vienna, the upcoming New York exhibit has skeptics voicing concerns of nepotism. Critics say the show is an obvious conflict of interest, arguing that Joannou, who is one of the museum’s trustees, could easily see the notoriety and value of his collection catapult.

Titled Skin Fruit, the show, which runs March 3 – June 6, will include 100+ works by 50 international artists, selected from the Joannou Collection by guest curator, Jeff Koons (whose work will also appear in the exhibit). Koons’ very first solo showing with a museum was held at the New Museum in 1980, when his Hoover vacuum cleaner installation was displayed in the windows of their former 5th Ave. location.  The artist has also been heavily supported by Joannou, who owns 40 of Koons works, along with his 2008 yacht commission.

For more thorough investigative journalism regarding the debate over the exhibit, check out the always enlightening Culturegrrl here

The 50 selected artists are as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

 

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Phillips de Pury London Contemporary Art Sale Results


Selling for $993,112 (before premium), Donald Judd’s Untitled (87-29 Studer), 1987 was the highest selling lot at Phillips de Pury’s Contemporary Art Day and Evening Sales in London this past weekend (Image © Phillips de Pury)

With this past weekend’s sales at Phillips de Pury, London, the last of the big three winter contemporary art auctions has winded to a close. Both day and evening sales failing to reach their low end estimates, with 37 (23%) out of 163 lots offered remaining unsold/withdrawn. The total sale across both auctions raised $10,096,428 (before buyer’s premiums), $738,427 (6.8%) below the combined low end estimate of $10,834,855.

Read on for our full analysis – Click Lot Numbers for Images and Details Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Auction, London, Market Talk, Uncategorized | Comment now »

 

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Christie’s London Post-War and Contemporary Art Auctions

A Christie's employee inspects Yves Klein's Relief éponge (RE 47 II). Selling for $8,329,329 (before buyer's premium), the gold coated sponge relief was the highest grossing lot a the auction house's Post-War and Contemporary Auctions late last week (Image © AP Photo/Sang Tan, via Boston Globe).

Overall, Christie’s fared well during their latest round of Post-War and Contemporary Art Auctions. With a combined sale of $69,346,950, both evening and day auctions sold within their projected estimates. 158 (63%) of the  249 lots offered sold within or above their estimated range. 49 lots (19.7%) sold below low estimates, and 42 (16.9%) were unsold/withdrawn. While these results fare better than last year’s combined result of $14,486,820 – $12,980,727 (47%) below the low estimate of $27,467,547, the 2009 sales consisted of only 123 total lots.

Read on for our full analysis – Click Lot Numbers for Images and Details Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Auction, London, Market Talk, Uncategorized | Comment now »

 

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Sotheby’s Evening Sale Results

Selling for 3,500,000, this 1983 oil by Willem De Kooning was the highest grossing lot at Sotheby's Feb 10. London Contemporary Art Evening Sale

With Sotheby’s February 10 Evening Sale winding to a close in London, the first results are in for this winter’s round of contemporary art auctions. Here’s the rundown:

Top 5 Grossing Lots (winning bids before buyer’s premium):
1. Willem De Kooning  Lot 71: Untitled XIV, 1983 –  £3,500,000
2. Yves Klein Lot 22: F 88, 1961 – £2,900,000
3. Lucio Fontana Lot 38: Concetto Spaziale, New York 26, 1962 – £2,700,000
4. Peter Doig Lot 51: Saint Anton (Flat Light), 1995-6 – £2,500,000
5. Piero Manzoni Lot 58: Anchrome, 1958 – £2,500,000

Highest Grossing Artists (totals before buyer’s premium):
1. Lucio Fontana – £10,140,000 (7 Lots)
2. Yves Klein  - £5,000,000 (3 Lots)
3. Lucian Freud – £4.070,000 (4 Lots)
4. Willem De Kooning – £3,500,000 (1 Lot)
5. Peter Doig – £3,350,000 (2 Lots)

Check One World Art for additional analysis.

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Auction, Market Talk | Comment now »

 

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Keep the Fire Burning: SFMOCA to House Fisher Collection for Next Century


Gerhard Richter, Two Candles, 1982. (Image © Doris and Donald Fisher Collection/Gerhard Richter, courtesy SFMOMA via Chez Namastenancy)

This past September SFMOMA announced it had reached an initial agreement to house the collection of GAP founders, Doris and Donald Fisher (Mr. Fisher past away days after the announcement). While early reports speculated a 25 year arangement, exact terms were not revealed until late last week.

Eclipsing initial estimates, SFMOMA will become the official home of the Fisher collection for the next  100 years. The museum also announced that an additional $250 million in endowment funds have been raised (largely a result of donations from the Fisher family, trustees and museum chairman, Charles Schwab), and that a new wing would be built to house the 1,100+ piece collection which currently resides in GAP corporate headquarters.


Donald Fisher at Gap headquarters (Image: Mike Kane/The San Francisco Chronicle)

The century long partnership will kick off June 25, when the museum opens Calder to Warhol: Introducing the Fisher Collection. The exhibit, part of SFMOMA’s ongoing 75th anniversary celebration, is slated to feature some 160 pieces from the Fisher’s astounding contemporary art collection, including works by Ellsworth Kelly, Gerhard Richter, Roy Lichtenstein, Richard Serra, Dan Flavin, Philip Guston, Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Frank Stella, Cy Twombly, Willem de Kooning, Richard Diebenkorn, and Brice Marden to name a few.


David Hockney – Interior With Sun and Dog. (Image © David Hockney/Doris And Donald Fisher Collection, via SFGate)


Brice Marden – The Sisters, 1991-93. (Image © Brice Marden/Artists Rights Society/Doris & Donald Fisher Collection, via MuseumViews)

More at the Wall Street Journal, SF Gate and LA Times