ART+ AUCTION’S POWER LIST
Art+Auction has published its Power list for 2009. Among the power dealers are Arne Glimcher, Marianne Boesky, Tim Blum & Jeff Poe, Massimo de Carlo, Iwan & Manuela Wirth and Victoria Miro. Those noted under the category of “Perennial Power’ include Charles Saatchi, Larry Gagosian, Jeffrey Deitch, Bernard Arnault, and the Rubells. Top of the curators list are Klaus Biesenbach, Daniel Birnbaum, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Ali Subotnick. The ‘Power’ artists include Marina Abramovic, Damien Hirst, Ron Arad, Mark Bradford, Anish Kapoor, Jeff Koons and Bruce Nauman. And the least predictable categories, Alternative Power and Young Power, are Joe Amrhein, The Bruce High Quality Foundation, Elizabeth Dee, Anne Pasternak, Swoon, Tirdad Zolghadr, João Ribas and Sean Horton.
RICHARD SERRA WORK GRANTED PROTECTED STATUS
Local government officials in Ontario have decided unexpectedly to grant protected status to one of Richard Serra’s most important early outdoor sculptures, “Shift,” a series of low concrete forms running through farmland now owned by a development company. The New York Times reports that the city council of King Township, north of Toronto, voted 6-1 to designate the work, completed in 1972, and some of the land around it as a protected cultural landscape under the Ontario Heritage Act, over the objections of the land’s owner, Hickory Hills Investments. The township’s mayor, Margaret Black, said that while she respected property rights, she felt the importance of the sculpture “overrides that,” The Toronto Globe and Mail reported, adding that the council had never before granted protected status to any property without the property owner’s consent. The development company, which has plans to build housing on land near the sculpture, had offered to promise in writing that it would not “harm, alter or destroy” the work, but council members decided that more comprehensive protection was needed.
WORKS CONFISCATED AT ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH
New York-based dealer Asher B. Edelman visited the opening of Art Basel Miami Beach with 12 U.S. Marshals and police officers, helping the officials pick out paintings to seize at Galerie Gmurzynska’s booth as a result of a default judgment stemming from a law suit he filed this summer. Among the paintings acquired in the seizure, according to artinfo, are works by Yves Klein, Joan Miro, Edgar Degas, and Fernand Leger. Earlier this year, Edelman and insurance company XL Specialty Insurance Corp. filed suit against Zurich-based Gmurzynska, alleging that the gallery damaged a Robert Ryman painting, Courier I (1985), that Edelman had consigned to the gallery for sale at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2007. The court ruled that the plaintiffs were owed $765,000, which Gmurzynska had not yet paid. The seized works will be auctioned to pay the default.
ROYAL ACADEMY ENTERS THE CLIMATE CHANGE DEBATE
The Royal Academy of Arts in London has opened a new exhibition which reflects the impact of the climate change debate on the practice of a broad range of contemporary artists. ‘Earth: Art of a changing world’ presents new and recent work from more than 30 leading international artists, including commissions and new works from emerging artists. Many of the artists featured are working directly to transform the global scale of climate change into a human narrative. Others have shown it to have a place, or to resonate, within their work. Works by artists including Ackroyd & Harvey, Spencer Finch, Antony Gormley, Mona Hatoum, Marcos Lutyens & Alessandro Marianantoni, Semiconductor and United Visual Artists engage with the earth, air, sky, nature and carbon elements to encourage a deeper consideration of our cultural relationship to earth’s stability. Artists such as Antti Laitinen, Edward Burtynsky, Gary Hume and David Nash invoke a dialogue around the perceived security of our existence.
ANTHONY D’OFFAY’S ARTISTS’ ROOMS GO ON TOUR
21 British museums and galleries from Llandudno to Fort William will be able to show masterpieces of contemporary art in 2010 thanks to “ARTIST ROOMS”, Anthony d’Offay’s gift to the nation made in 2008. The “ARTIST ROOMS 2010 Tour” has been made possible by The Art Fund and is supported by the Scottish Government. Held jointly by National Galleries of Scotland and Tate, “ARTIST ROOMS” is the largest public gift of art to museums in UK history. The collection has now been enhanced by artists and collectors who have made significant donations to the scheme including works by Ed Ruscha, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Agnes Martin, Robert Therrien and Jannis Kounellis. The “ARTIST ROOMS” tour in 2009 reached around 8 million people nationally, over 700,000 people outside of London and Edinburgh in towns and cities as far afield as Stromness in Orkney, Cardiff in Wales, Middlesbrough in Teesside and Bexhill in East Sussex. A total of 372 works went on tour. The “ARTIST ROOMS 2010 Tour” will see works from this outstanding contemporary collection reach a further 16 towns and cities across the UK including Stornoway, Perth, Nottingham, Thurso, Llandudno, Eastbourne and Belfast.
STRONG SALES AT SOUTHEAST ASIAN CONTEMPORARY AUCTIONS
The Autumn 2009 auction of Southeast Asian Modern and Contemporary Art saw upbeat results with total sales of HK$33.5 million (US$4.3million) and strong selling rates of 95% sold by value, 78% sold by lot. Impressive prices across the board were driven by Asian private collectors, with 64% of the lots selling above their high estimate. These results – a 64% increase over the Spring 2009 season total – mark a resounding vote of confidence for the category’s modern masters and the rebound of the Southeast Asian contemporary art market. Christie’s International’s five-day auction in Hong Kong raised an above-estimate HK$1.65 billion ($213 million). As Bloomberg reports, one of the highlights of the sales was Zeng Fanzhi’s 1994 oil painting, “Untitled (Hospital Series),” whch was expected to fetch as much as HK$12 million, and in fact sold for HK$19 million.