Art Market News in Brief !

[01 Jun 2012]


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

Spotlight on the drawings of Artaud

Active in a broad range of artistic domains including, literature, theatre, drawing and cinema, the work of Antonin ARTAUD (1896-1948) had a considerable influence on the surrealist movement. Something of a genius and an extraordinary artist, he was a member of the surrealist movement until his departure for ideological reasons. After the tribute paid by France’s Bibliothèque Nationale in 2007, the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid has taken the splendid initiative of addressing his impact on the visual arts. Opening on 19 September until 17 December 2012, the exhibition Spectres of Artaud – Language and art in the fifties will highlight Artaud’s determination to break through the limits of language as well as his influence on succeeding generations. The exhibition will focus on the primary questions that occupied post-war artistic movements such as our relationship with our bodies and the interaction between artworks and their viewers. The exhibition will also present works by John Cage, Isidore Isou, Guy Debord, Gil Wolman, Robert Rauschenberg and the Brazilian Lygia Clark.
Rare at auctions, with only 13 sales since 1993, Artaud’s drawings are steadily gaining in value. At Sotheby’s recent sale of Florence Loeb’s collection on 5 April 2012 in Paris, five drawings by the artist generated more than $3.7m which is 10 times his total auction revenue between 1993 and 2011 ($396,000). His auction record since 2004 for Portrait d’Alain Gheerbrant ($254,000, 30 June 2004, Sotheby’s Paris) has already been beaten three times this year. His latest record was generated by an exceptional self-portrait (Autoportrait, 1946) which found a buyer at more than $2.4m, a price that seems much more in line with the exceptional talent and historical importance of this artist.

Anri Sala at the right place at the right time

After Berlin, Montreal and Osaka, Anri SALA’s work is being exhibited at the Centre Pompidou in Paris until 6 August 2012. Sala was born in Tirana, Albania in 1974 and initially studied the violin for seven years, then abandoned music for the visual arts and traveled extensively. Today, music and travel are two strong facets of his personality and his films, which he himself describes as “the results of a link that occurs between a place, sounds and characters”.
Having won, aged just 27, the Young Artist Award at the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001 for his film Uomoduomo, Sala quickly acquired the support of the Marian Goodman Gallery, Hauser & Wirth, Chantal Crousel and the Serpentine. Exhibited and much in demand all over the world, Sala does not need any reassurance from the auction market where he is in fact still a complete novice. Only a very small number of his photographs have reached the secondary market (selling for between €3,000 and €6,000) and only one was offered in 2011. There has also been one film (Gostgames, 2002, 9’15”, on DVD) which fetched £16,000 [$24,000]. Pampered by French cultural institutions (Sala’s work was also exhibited at the Paris Modern Art Museum in 2004), Anri Sala will be representing France at the 2013 Venice Biennale!

Henry Moore on a grand scale at the Gagosian

Until 18 August 2012, the Gagosian Gallery, in collaboration with the Henry Moore Foundation, will be presenting an exhibition entitled Late Large Forms that showcases Henry MOORE’s later sculptures. Exhibited for the first time indoors, the installation of his sculpture Large Two Forms required the demolition of some of the gallery’s walls, and is indeed the exhibition’s highlight.
Henry Moore is a key figure of modern British sculpture. His work is broad and eclectic with drawings, photographs, paintings, prints and ceramics reaching the secondary market alongside his sculptures. Indeed, this vast portfolio of work has generated thousands of auction lots each year. Fans of his work can still pick up a print for a few hundred dollars, such as Lullaby sleeping head (1973) that sold for $543 at Koller Geneva (18/11/2011). In fact 53% of his lots are prints, and 30% of his lots sell for below $1077.
However, his best auction results, reserved for his sculptures (92% of his auction revenue over the last 15 years) are in a completely different ballpark: Moore has over 70 auction results above the $1m threshold to his name, including Reclining Figure : Festival (1951) which fetched his record of $ 26.8m at Christie’s in London (7 February 2012)