Art in Print

Art Sales: the contemporary art market feels the squeeze


The contemporary art market still appears to be contracting judging from the Frieze week auctions which go on view in London this weekend. At the equivalent auctions last October, 884 lots were crammed into the week with a minimum estimate of £185 million. This year there are 746 lots (down 15.6 per cent) with a minimum estimate of £131.5 million (down 29.2 per cent). The statistics follow the trend this year after London’s contemporary art auction results fell by 36 per cent in February, and by 49 per cent in June.

A sense of foreboding has been stirred by reports from the season’s first contemporary art sales in New York where some artists prices were said to have fallen by 90 percent in a “slumping market”, according to the magazine, Art News. But that story was very selective, picking out less than a handful of artists whose prices had been previously artificially hyped. The decline, in other words, is one of supply rather than of demand or values. In Sotheby’s Frieze week sales, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Hannibal, which cost $79,500 in 1993, is now estimated at £3.5 million ($4.6 million). The problem for the auctioneers is that some sellers are nervous about the market and holding back, which reduces sale totals. The immediate effects of this has been both a reduction in staffing levels, and in the provision of financial guarantees which auctioneers arrange to encourage sellers.

Via: The Telegraph


Turner Prize 2016, Tate Britain, London — ‘It feels like a real exhibition


For the first time in years, the Turner Prize display feels like a real exhibition, with themes, conversations and an overarching vision, rather than a rabble of random competing egos. Elegantly choreographed at Tate Britain, the subject is sculpture, and the works are figurative, raucously physical and frequently funny.

The four shortlisted candidates will compete for the £25,000 top prize which includes Anthea Hamilton’s 18ft door in the shape of bulging polyurethane foam buttocks. Helen Marten’s Gothic dolls’ house, adorned with snakeskin, bones and stuffed insects, doubles as a faux waste system. Josephine Pryde has invited graffiti artists to deface a miniature passenger train. Michael Dean creates anthropomorphised hieroglyphs in calligraphic concrete, steel and corrugated metal. The exhibition will be running until January 2nd, 2017.

Via: Financial Times

Newcastle is top for art and design


When recruiting undergraduates, the head of fine art at Newcastle University sees elite arts schools as among his chief rivals, rather than other Russell Group universities. What Newcastle offers is a school devoted solely to fine art in the heart of a vibrant city campus. About 600 candidates apply for 65 places each year on its fine art degree, which is over four years, as was traditional in art schools, rather than three, and includes art history as part of the course.

Of these, a third are invited for an interview, and while candidates are expected to meet the minimum A-level entry requirements, offers are based on their portfolios. 92.5 per cent of final-year undergraduates rated the quality of teaching highly, helping to push Newcastle to the top of the art and design subject table for the first time.

Via: The Times


Bass Museum Announces Ten-Year Acquisitions Initiative, Starting with Work by Ugo Rondinone and Sylvie Fleury


Miami Beach’s Bass Museum has announced an acquisitions initiative that will add “a major work of contemporary art” to its permanent collection every year in the fall over the next decade. The first set of acquired works are an Ugo Rondinone sculpture and a Sylvie Fleury neon installation. Fleury’s work will debut in 2017. (The date of the unveiling of the Rondinone is not yet confirmed).

The news comes a few weeks after the Bass announced that its post-renovations reopening had been pushed back to spring 2017, depriving Art Basel Miami Beach attendees from seeing the museum during its originally scheduled opening this December. The museum closed for renovations in May 2015.

When the Bass does reopen, visitors will be able to enjoy Rondinone’s majestic 41-foot totemic day-glo sculpture Miami Mountain—which is similar to the celebrated works that he installed outside Las Vegas this year—alongside a site-specific neon work created for the museum by Fleury, Eternity Now.

Via: Art News