Art Market News in Brief!

[01 Jul 2013]


Every fortnight, Artprice provides a short round up of art market news.

Anish Kapoor in Berlin

Anish KAPOOR is currently in Berlin, at the Martin-Gropius-Bau. Until 24 November 2013, he is exhibiting gigantic installations that interact with the surrounding space, and, inevitably, with the viewers. The exhibition is a tour de force, with the works making a spectacular play on textures and colours as well as some well-known pieces that have often featured in major contemporary art fairs. These include his mirror-sculptures: pieces that trap and deform reality, turning all points of reference on their heads. They are collected throughout the world, both for their power and for Kapoor’s glowing reputation (the artist has been a Member of the Royal Academy since 1999 and was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2003). One mirror-sculpture even fetched $2.1 million at Sotheby’s in 2011 ($2.43 million including the buyer’s premium: Turning the world upside Down #4, 1998, 10 May 2011 in New York). Unlike the British and Americans, Berliners are not used to seeing such large pieces by the artist. This is reflected in the second market, dominated by the English-speaking world with 53.6% of revenues coming from London and over 44% from the US. The few works proposed in Germany (0.7% of sale revenues; 2.6 % of transactions) are solely multiples and all-too-rare drawings, which are nevertheless still affordable at an average of between $1,000 and $8,000. An interesting starting point for acquiring one of the highest-rated contemporary names, whose annual auction results oscillate between $5 and $13.5 million (2006-2012 period).

Philip-Lorca DiCorcia in Frankfurt

The most extensive exhibition of American photographer Philip-Lorca DICORCIA ever staged in Europe can be found in Frankfurt, Germany, at the Schirn Kunsthalle, until 8 September 2013. His work has been receiving critical accolades for the past twenty years, ever since his first major solo exhibition at the New York Museum of Modern Art in 1993.

His skilfully orchestrated compositions, masterful lighting and cinematic combination of image and fiction have established a visual trademark, making DiCorcia one of the most highly-rated photographers of his generation – and yet at price levels that are a far cry from the six or seven figures commanded by Andreas Gursky, Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince. His finest bid to date is $65,000 ($80,500 including the buyer’s premium) for Eddie Anderson, 21, Houston, TX, $20: a significant picture in his work, which can also be found in the collections of the MoMA and the Met in New York, and the LACMA in Los Angeles (Phillips de Pury & Company New York, 4 April 2012; photograph from an edition of 20).
His market is primarily American, but the artist has been winning over European collectors since the early 2000s, notably thanks to his Paris show at the Almine Rech gallery in 2005. Even if the market is paltry, look out for works going through the sale room in Germany or France. As they are generally less in demand than in New York, his works are often knocked down below their estimates. In general, these are not master works, but affordable prints between $1,000 and $15,000 on average.

Outsider Art and its market

Over the past few years, visitors to the FIAC (Paris) have sporadically come across relatively unknown works by Aloise CORBAZ, Adolf WÖLFLI and Henry J. DARGER: discreet Outside Art drawings exhibited not far from exuberant pieces by Takashi MURAKAMI and Paul MCCARTHY. To give greater exposure to these Outsider artists, an alternative emerged during the 2012 FIAC offering a breath of pure inventiveness, completely devoid of cultural clichés, in Boulevard Raspail, at the Museum of Everything (500 works by self-taught and visionary artists). This year during the FIAC, the idea go one step further with the first edition of the Outsider Art Fair, from 24 to 27 October (an American fair staged by Wide Open Arts in New York).
The Outsider Art Fair offers opportunities to buy works that are seldom found in the auction market. And yet the rating of these artists is explosive, witness the recent records of Séraphine DE SENLIS (Pommier, sold for the equivalent of $263,000, 30 May 2012 Artcurial Paris) or Henry J. Darger (At angeline junction and strangled, $160,212, 28 March 2013 at Cornette de Saint Cyr): records that also show how responsive the Paris market is to these marginal creations.