Thursday, May 31, 2012


03 AUG 2012 - 13 AUG 2012

As the Ateneo Art Awards gears up for a milestone, the ninth year takes the theme “Sneak Peak”. This anticipatory stance as we approach a peak in the history of the awards, serves not as a statement of fact but a call for introspection. The contemporary Philippine art scene is as dynamic as ever and the world is taking notice. With the dazzle of recognition, we are called back to the core to reminisce, to hope and to work anew.


Martha Atienza - "Gilubong ang Akon Pusod sa Dagat (My Navel is Buried in the Sea)", Solo exhibition, Bantayan Island (August 2011), Gallery Orange (9-28 February 2012), Pablo X ( 14-28 April 2012)

Zean Cabangis - "Shade My Eyes and I Can See You" , Group exhibition Silverlens 5 January - 4 February 2012

Vermont Coronel - "Spirit of a Place" , Solo exhibition The Drawing Room 28 April - 22 May 2012

Kawayan de Guia - "A Lot of Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing", Solo exhibition The Drawing Room 17 September - 10 October 2011

Patricia Eustaquio - "Cloud Country", Solo exhibition Silverlens 28 September - 19 October 2011

Dina Gadia - "Regal Discomforts", Solo exhibition blanc Compound 31 August - 21 September 2011

Riel Hilario - "Perro Amoroso / It was a Paradisiacal State: The Body was Allowed to be a Body", Solo exhibition Art Informal 29 April - 5 May 2012

Goldie Poblador - "The Ghost in the Machine", Solo exhibition Liongoren Gallery 3 May - 3 June 2012

Mervy Pueblo - "Project: Stone Mediation", Solo exhibition The Black room, MCAD Whittier Studio's Gallery, Minneapolis, MN, USA 10 - 14 December 2011

Maria Taniguchi - "Untitled (Celestial Motors)", Solo exhibition Silverlens 20 Square 15 March - 20 April 2012

Mark Valenzuela - "Zugzwang", Solo exhibition Art Informal 25 August - 4 September 2011

MM Yu - "Inventory", Solo exhibition Silverlens 19 April - 19 May 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012


The dodgy numbers game
Was the 2011 joint turnover of the Chinese auction houses $154.2bn, $148.5bn, $88.1bn—or much less?

By Wang Tao. Market, Issue 235, May 2012
Published online: 17 May 2012

If you believe the statistics, as many art indexes and investment funds seem to, China is overtaking the US to become the world’s highest spending art and antiques market. But is this true?

The figures, after a closer look at the reality of the mainland Chinese auction scene, suggest that conclusion is debatable.

The dominant force in the Chinese art market is the auction. Art auctions did not exist in China before 1985; although there were auctions there in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, these were closed down as “capitalist trade” after the establishment of the communist government in 1949. In the mid-1980s, when stamp-collecting was encouraged, philatelists began to trade their collections and stamp auctions proved to be a great success.

In those early days, art auctions were spontaneous and regional, and the sales were quite limited: for example, an auction held by the Beijing Antique Store on 3 June 1988 offered 33 lots, of which only seven sold. The first large-scale, international-style, auction was organised by the Beijing city government and took place in October 1992.

In February 1993, the first art auction house, Shanghai’s Duo Yun Xuan Art Auctioneers, was established under the Shanghai Calligraphy and Painting Publishing House. The same year, China Guardian started up in Beijing; as a limited company it followed the model of Western auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s. In 1994, the Beijing Hanhai Auction Company was established: its first auction made a then record of Rmb33.4m (at the time, $3.9m).

Thursday, May 24, 2012


What Chinese collectors are really buying
Buyers are still overwhelmingly focused on domestic art, ranging from archaic bronzes to "wet paint" works by contemporary Chinese artists

By Georgina Adam. Market, Issue 235, May 2012
Published online: 17 May 2012

China is the world’s largest art market—even if the figures are disputed (see above). The numbers vary according to whose research you read, but the French site Artprice claims that in 2011, China represented 41.4% of the fine art auction market. The art economist Clare McAndrew, in her latest report (“The International Art Market in 2011”), puts China’s share, taking both auction and dealer sales into account, at 30%, and both sets of figures put China ahead of the US and Europe.

Even if Chinese figures are subject to caution, there is no denying the importance of China in the market today. But it is still predominantly domestic, with the Chinese mainly buying in segments of the market ranging from archaic bronzes to “wet paint” works by the brand names of Chinese contemporary art, such as Yue Minjun and Zeng Fanzhi, jade, ceramics, furniture and traditional brush painting as well as modern painting in the Western style by Chinese artists.

Chinese buyers are not just based in the mainland and Hong Kong. “There are quite significant differences between what people in Taiwan, Hong Kong, the mainland, Indonesia or Singapore will buy,” says Kate Bryan of London’s Fine Art Society, who previously worked at the Cat Street Gallery in Hong Kong. “Because Taiwan did not have a cultural revolution as in the mainland, and because its industrialists travel more widely, buyers are more informed about Western art, and more adventurous,” she says, pointing to the £1.75m sale, to a Taiwanese collector, of Damien Hirst’s The Inescapable Truth, 2005, showing a pickled dove. It was the first Hirst formaldehyde piece to be shown in China and was sold at Art HK in 2010 by White Cube. But these sales are the exception. “There is no tradition of conceptual art in China,” says the art dealer Pearl Lam, who is opening a new space in the Pedder Building in her native Hong Kong on 15 May. “Basically, the Chinese like painting,” she says.

Chinese collectors also love traditional art, both in the fine and applied fields. “Ceramics and other decorative arts made up a substantial 24% of the market by value [of the Chinese art and antiques auction market] in 2011,” reports McAndrew. As newly wealthy Chinese entered the market over the past decade, their focus was mainly on the Qing period (1644-1911), with an emphasis on the reign of the great Qianlong emperor (1735–96). This is where some of the most stunning prices have been made, such as the famille-rose double-gourd vase that sold to the Hong Kong-based collector Alice Cheng in 2010 at Sotheby’s, for $32.4m.

“For Chinese looking for investment potential, this market [the Qing] offers volume, and the fact that these pieces have age, and were difficult to make adds to their appeal,” says Patti Wong, the chairman of Sotheby’s Asia. “Until recently Chinese investors felt that contemporary Chinese painting was too ‘new’ to have as much value.”

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Move to Hong Kong? Sounds like a good idea…
The opportunities for selling contemporary art are proving irresistible to many

By Alexandra Seno. Market, Issue 235, May 2012
Published online: 17 May 2012

With the success of the Art HK fair, galleries from all over the world have been looking seriously at Hong Kong as a place to do business. Despite the high rents, dozens of dealers have started looking for spaces, partly encouraged by InvestHK, the government’s investment promotions office, which has a team dedicated to attracting galleries to the region. Already a number of international dealers have committed to Hong Kong despite a limited local market for international contemporary art. The attractions include its free port status and very low taxes, and it has a good concentration of affluent residents: it is also close enough to art collectors in Indonesia, Taiwan, Korea and mainland China.

In early March, Jay Jopling’s White Cube, under the leadership of Asia director Graham Steele (see p19), opened an impressive two-storey space in the Central business district with a show by Gilbert & George (“London Pictures”, until 5 May). Simon Lee Gallery of London and Paris’s Emmanuel Perrotin, among others, followed. Pearl Lam, who comes from a prominent Hong Kong real estate family, decided to open a branch of her eponymous gallery in her home town (she also plans to open a space in Singapore in 2013). Ahead of the latest arrivals, the Gagosian Gallery, as well as French dealers Pascal de Sarthe and Edouard Malingue, have spaces in the city as does London’s Ben Brown.

The market on the mainland for international contemporary art remains limited as affluent buyers there prefer to buy Chinese antiques and traditional paintings. The more mature collecting markets are in Korea, Taiwan and Japan with around ten “serious” buyers of international contemporary art based in China. Selling art in China is also constrained by exhibition censorship issues and taxes.

Hong Kong offers a more practical alternative. Gagosian believes, for example, that there is a market for modern, blue-chip western art in Hong Kong with its most recent show devoted to leading post-war American artists such as John Chamberlain, Robert Rauschen­berg and Cy Twombly (it shows Andreas Gursky from 15 May).

But with the unproven market for contemporary art in Hong Kong, others have decided to take it slowly. Though David Zwirner is holding off opening a space in Hong Kong, the gallery lured away Charlie Spalding from the Beijing operations of Pace. Based in Hong Kong, he is technically part of the New York sales force, heading client development in Asia.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012



Credit card investigation shows art market open to international fraud
Criminal charges brought after London and regional UK auction houses are targeted

By Riah Pryor. Market, Issue 235, May 2012
Published online: 17 May 2012

A criminal network is believed to have targeted more than 30 auction houses across the UK, using fake credit cards to steal works of art. While initial reports claimed that the suspects only approached regional auction houses, it is now clear that London-based Bonhams and Christie’s were also affected, and that there are problems with the way the market checks financial transactions.

Scotland Yard’s Art & Antiques Unit launched an investigation in October 2010 but the case was handed to Wiltshire Police after it emerged that the force was already looking into a number of similar offences. Simohamed Rahmoun, 30, Barbara Ursula Goossens, 60, Farouk Dougui, 39 and Jabey Alan Bathurst, 23, were arrested last year and charged with conspiracy to defraud a number of auction houses this January. Rahmoun, Dougui and Bathurst were also charged with defrauding car-part suppliers. A trial is expected later this year. At the time of going to press we were unable to contact the defendants’ lawyers and it is unknown whether they deny the charges.

“[The problem is that people] were buying goods over the phone and picking them up before the transaction had cleared,” says the director of one of the defrauded auction houses, who wishes to remain anonymous. “We trusted that banks would be doing checks at their end. Aside from the usual identity checks we can’t tell whether the card that people use over the phone is theirs.”

The amount of money lost has not yet been established. Since the arrests, police have issued further warnings about accepting credit cards from telephone bidders. Many auctioneers are now asking for clearer guidance on how to make cashless transactions less risky.

Monday, May 21, 2012


The reluctant comic-book hero
A major survey of R. Crumb’s countercultural cartoons opened in Paris last month, but he remains mystified by the attention

By Sarah Douglas. Features, Issue 235, May 2012
Published online: 16 May 2012

Robert Crumb, often known simply as R. Crumb, began to draw at the age of two. By the age of ten, Crumb, born in Philadelphia in 1943, was an avid fan of comic strips, and by 16, he was sketching the adventures of the family cat, Fred, who eventually became Fritz, one of his best known comic-book characters. After school in Delaware, he found work in Cleveland, Ohio, illustrating for the American Greetings card company, but his comics flourished after he moved to San Francisco in 1967. There, characters such as the mystic Mr Natural were born, and Crumb became a key figure in the counterculture and a fixture in Zap Comix, fashioning racy images that raised the eyebrows of conservatives and feminists alike, but gradually acquired a loyal fanbase across the world. In 1991, he moved to the south of France, where he lives to this day. Since the early 2000s, Crumb has become increasingly visible in fine art circles. He has shown with Paul Morris and, recently, David Zwirner in New York, and had his first museum retrospective at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne in 2004. His latest survey show, “R. Crumb: from the Underground to Genesis”, opened last month at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (until 19 August).

The Art Newspaper: How significant is your Paris retrospective?

People tell me this Museum of Modern Art in Paris is a really big deal, and that it’s very prestigious to have a show there. I guess I should be impressed. I don’t know.

With shows like this, are you involved or hands off?

I try to get as little involved as possible. Having big retrospective shows in museums is not my big thing.

Does that relate to the ambivalence you’ve expressed before about fine art?

The contemporary fine art world has never particularly interested me. They started to embrace me and have big fancy gallery shows and museum shows. I’m one of the few cartoonists who mainly work for print who is now finding their way into the fine art world, and it’s the choice of the fine art world; it’s not my choice. I haven’t consciously promoted myself in that world.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


British naval heritage at risk of being sold off
Artefacts from HMS Victory could be auctioned to pay for its excavation by US company

By Belinda Seppings. Conservation, Issue 235, May 2012
Published online: 16 May 2012

Archaeologists are up in arms over the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD’s) decision to transfer the management of an 18th-century British warship to a newly formed charitable body, the Maritime Heritage Foundation, which has entered into an agreement with the US ocean salvage company, Odyssey Marine Exploration, to raise the wreck. They fear that the public/private partnership will lead to the deaccession and sale of artefacts from HMS Victory (1744) to raise money to pay the salvor.

“It’s inconceivable that the government can be so misguided and ignore the Unesco convention,” says Robert Yorke, the chairman of the Joint Nautical Archaeology Policy Committee. The 2001 convention states that underwater cultural heritage should not be commercially exploited. “Britain has become a laughing stock,” Yorke says. Joe Flatman, a senior lecturer at the University College London’s Institute of Archaeology, thinks no archaeologist should sell recovered artefacts. “The minute you sell materials you aren’t doing archaeology,” he says.

HMS Victory—not to be confused with Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar, HMS Victory (1759)—sank during a storm in 1744 under the command of John Balchin, an ancestor of Lord Lingfield, the chair of the foundation. The wreck was discovered in the English Channel in 2008 by Odyssey more than 100km from the Channel Islands.

The MoD and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport launched a public consultation in 2010 to discuss the wreck. In January, the MoD announced it would hand over management of the site to the foundation.

While the foundation’s aims are in line with the management and preservation of the wreck, the lack of public information available about the organisation has raised concerns. As we went to press the foundation’s website was just a landing page and our attempts to contact Lord Lingfield by phone, email and through the foundation’s public relations firm, failed. “We don’t know what it is,” Flatman says. “If they’d said, ‘we’re a new foundation, here are our objectives and these are our advisers’, I’d have no problem.”

Saturday, May 19, 2012


French supermarket boss wants to put contemporary art in a countryside landscape
Michel-Edouard Leclerc plans gallery for former convent and shop complex

By Gareth Harris. Web only
Published online: 15 May 2012

A major French patron says that he hopes to transform the French public’s perception of contemporary art by opening a new gallery in a former 17th-century convent in Brittany this summer. “Outside of Paris, contemporary art spaces cater for the happy few,” says Michel-Edouard Leclerc, director of the French supermarket group E. Leclerc whose parents, Hélène and Edouard, bought the convent, called the Capucins de Landernau, in 1964.

They renovated the building and constructed a supermarket alongside, which is now closed. The former retail premises, linked to the convent through a courtyard, forms part of the planned gallery complex, housing a 1,300 sq. m exhibition hall. The convent's chapel will also be converted for exhibitions. The venue is due to open in June.

The project is financed by a “donations fund”, established according to a government law passed in 2008, whereby 650 patrons or companies give between €100 and €4,000. “The fund [entitled the ‘Hélène et Edouard Leclerc Fund for Culture’] is not managed by the Leclerc group, it’s not a business marketing tool. But it is a private family-led initiative,” says Leclerc who declined to comment on the amount donated by his family.

The fund will not acquire works of art but call upon its investors to help mount two exhibitions annually. “With each show, I will appeal to the patrons,” says Leclerc, who hopes to organise exhibitions devoted to Daniel Buren, Pierre Soulages, Anselm Kiefer and Jacques Monory, among others. “I can call upon a network of collectors in Switzerland and Italy who are ready to lend works,” he says.

Leclerc says he hopes to attract 40,000 to 50,000 people annually to the space where he also intends to show works by emerging artists. “I’d like the new venue to be a ‘production centre’ with links to the community and international arena. We want to be mediators as there is very little dialogue between contemporary art and the wider public,” he adds.

Friday, May 18, 2012



Interview with Martin Bethenod, director of Palazzo Grassi, Venice
As the private gallery of the French billionaire collector hosts its first solo show by a living artists, we speak to the director about its future plans

By Cristina Ruiz. Web only
Published online: 14 May 2012

The Palazzo Grassi in Venice, home to the contemporary art collection of the French billionaire François Pinault, has launched a new exhibition programme. The venue is to host a series of solo shows devoted to living artists; first up is the Swiss artist Urs Fischer (until 15 July) who has taken over the building’s grand atrium and first floor with works which span his entire career.

The exhibition, curated by Caroline Bourgeois, includes loans from collectors such as Peter Brant in the US, John Kaldor in Australia and Maja Hoffmann in Switzerland. Four Urs Fischer works belonging to Pinault are included in the show and others are on display on the second floor along with other works from his collection.

The announcement of the new exhibitions follows criticism in Venice that the two venues run by Pinault (following his 2006 purchase of Palazzo Grassi, the luxury goods magnate beat off competition from the Guggenheim Foundation to secure the city’s old Customs House, Punta della Dogana, which was renovated by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando and opened to the public in 2009) were catering only to the international art crowd which descends on the city for the Venice Biennale every two years and that the shows, largely drawn from the Pinault collection, changed infrequently.

We spoke to the Palazzo Grassi director Martin Bethenod about the current and future role of the private gallery.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Fire breaks out at Oslo's Astrup Fearnley Museum
The blaze on the new building's top floor was quickly put out Monday afternoon and no art or staff was in danger

By Clemens Bomsdorf. Web only
Published online: 14 May 2012

Only months before its scheduled opening, a fire broke out at the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art’s new building in Oslo, designed by Renzo Piano.

Monday afternoon, a fire went up on the top floor, but firefighters had it under control by around 4pm. The museum reported via Twitter that no art or museum personnel had yet been moved into the building.

The new museum is still under construction and is due to house the privately-owned collection of modern and contemporary art, including works by Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Matthew Barney, Olafur Eliasson and Jeff Koons. The opening was scheduled for September this year.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


No longer appropriate?
“Appropriating” other artists’ work without consent is still common, but savvier practitioners know that permission is far less painful. Breaching copyright is a serious business

By Laura Gilbert. Opinion, Issue 235, May 2012
Published online: 09 May 2012

Artists who “appropriate” the work of others are increasingly coming into conflict as a slew of recent cases involving artists including Shepard Fairey, Ryan McGinley and Thierry Guetta (“Mr Brainwash”) demonstrates. Now, in the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which 20 years ago ruled that Jeff Koons was “sailing under the flag of piracy”, Richard Prince is appealing a lower court decision from March 2011 that he too is flying the pirate banner.

If his case fails, the award to the photographer Patrick Cariou, whose works Prince reused in his “Canal Zone” series, is potentially “in the millions”, Cariou’s attorney Daniel Brooks says. Papers submitted by Prince’s legal team cite as justification work by artists Jeff Koons, Sherrie Levine, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol.

Yet there is growing evidence—albeit rarely reported—that, although these artists may have started out as willing or unwitting outlaws, they decided that possibly infringing other artists’ copyright was legally unwise and potentially expensive, and they stopped.

Jeff Koons has not used a copyrighted work without permission for a long time, says his attorney, John Koegel. His client “has learned more about copyright” since defending himself in five infringement suits. “Where permissions are perceived to be needed, they are sought,” Koegel says.

In 1992, the Second Circuit, the highest US court to hear the case, ruled against Koons for using photographer Art Rogers’s postcard of a husband and wife holding a litter of puppies as the source material for the sculpture String of Puppies, 1988. Koons had sent the postcard to his fabricators in Italy with written instructions that the “work must be just like [the] photo”.


Galleries’ survival threatened by railway expansion plans
Uncertainty surrounds future of Santa Monica arts centre

By Carren Jao. News, Issue 235, May 2012
Published online: 27 April 2012

The expansion of the new Exposition Light Rail (Expo) connecting downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica means major changes to the Bergamot Station Arts Center, a 7.4-acre complex that houses 35 galleries in several metal-clad industrial buildings. An 18-year-old art space is being threatened with destruction and gallery owners worry they could be pushed out by rising rents when the new railway stop opens in 2015.

Track 16, a 12,000 sq. ft art space, is due to be torn down to make way for a platform as early as August. “We’re being put out of business basically,” says the owner Tom Patchett, who co-funded the development of the Bergamot Station complex in 1994. He feels that the city has done little to ensure the gallery’s continued operation. “We’re being kicked out because they need this property, but we’re not being relocated within a similar community. If we go elsewhere, we can’t do what we’re doing now.”

The additional rail stop is projected to bring in about 3,500 people to Bergamot Station every day. The Santa Monica city council has given preliminary approval to a plan that would add, among other things, an 88-room hotel and a “signature” building to house the Santa Monica Museum of Art (SMMoA). The $54m plan adds about 167,000 sq. ft for existing and new building. The city hopes to increase the $600,000 it receives from existing leases on the property and is searching for a developer.

The plan has been met either with cautious optimism or outright opposition from gallery owners, who have taken part in seven community meetings over the past year. “This plan is only a suggestion. We have no idea what we’re going to be getting,” says Carol Kleinman, the co-owner of TAG Gallery, who worries that galleries will be replaced by higher-paying commercial tenants.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012




Fire breaks out at Oslo's Astrup Fearnley Museum
The blaze on the new building's top floor was quickly put out Monday afternoon and no art or staff was in danger

By Clemens Bomsdorf. Web only
Published online: 14 May 2012

Only months before its scheduled opening, a fire broke out at the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art’s new building in Oslo, designed by Renzo Piano.

Monday afternoon, a fire went up on the top floor, but firefighters had it under control by around 4pm. The museum reported via Twitter that no art or museum personnel had yet been moved into the building.

The new museum is still under construction and is due to house the privately-owned collection of modern and contemporary art, including works by Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Matthew Barney, Olafur Eliasson and Jeff Koons. The opening was scheduled for September this year.

It remains unclear how extensive the damage is and what caused it.

UPDATE, 15 MAY: A museum spokesman says that the fire was restricted to an office floor, which is not part of the museum, although it is above an exhibition area. “Due to the strong winds we were afraid that the museum also might catch fire, but that was avoided. We were also fortunate that the material used for fighting the fire did not affect the museum area as we had feared,” he says, adding that the museum is due to open as planned at the end of September.


Garage Centre to move to Moscow's Gorky Park
The architect Rem Koolhaas unveils his modest designs for the contemporary art space, founded by Dasha Zhukova

By Ermanno Rivetti. Web only
Published online: 27 April 2012

Dasha Zhukova, the patron of the not-for-profit Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture in Moscow, has announced plans to move the institution to the city's Gorky Park at a press conference held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. The new gallery is due to open by 2013. The architect Rem Koolhaas, who will design the new Garage Gorky Park, unveiled the plans in detail at the event. Zhukova declined to discuss the project's budget or its funders.

Zhukova said that the institution will function like a kunsthalle and said that it was a particular dream of hers to put on a Richard Serra exhibition. She also said she wants to use the new space to promote emerging Russian and international artists. This is a change in her original plan for the institution. In 2010, she told The New York Times: “The next step that I'm really interested in is building a museum of contemporary art in Moscow with a permanent collection.” Now she says there are no plans for a permanent collection. Meanwhile, her partner, the billionaire collector Roman Abramovic, owns work by Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Alberto Giacometti.

The Garage, which was once housed in the historic Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage, designed by the Soviet constructivist architect Konstantin Melnikov, opened in 2008. Exhibitions included a retrospective of the Russian expatriate artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov in 2008, and of Mark Rothko in 2010. It attracted more than one million visitors in four years. However, the lease has expired and Zhukova and her team wanted to move to a more central location in Moscow. Koolhaas's OMA architecture studio will now renovate a prefabricated concrete building that has been abandoned since the 1990s in Gorky Park.

Monday, May 14, 2012

20@20 VISION


Tax-relief cap will curtail major gifts
British government’s proposal to close tax loopholes upsets museums and their biggest donors

By Martin Bailey. Museums, Issue 235, May 2012
Published online: 26 April 2012

Major projects planned by the UK’s leading arts organisations and museums are threatened by tax changes that the British government is proposing in an attempt to close loopholes enjoyed by the super-rich. In his March budget, the chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne announced a tax-relief cap on annual donations to charity above £50,000 or a quarter of an individual’s income, whichever is greater. Critics argue that this will discourage very large charitable gifts, and pressure to force a U-turn was mounting as we went to press.

The cap could have a particularly serious impact on large museum building projects, which are highly reliant on £1m-plus donations from private individuals and trusts. These include the extension to Tate Modern (a £215m project, which still needs £54m), the British Museum extension (£135m, needing £15m), the development of the Design Museum in Kensington (£80m, needing £18m), upgrading Tate Britain (£45m, needing £10m), the Victoria and Albert Museum’s (V&A) project in Dundee (£45m, needing £30m) and the V&A extension in Exhibition Road (£40m, needing £25m).

Donations at risk

Growing pressure from the charities, including those raising money for health, education and the elderly, may force the British government to rethink the proposals. In the cultural sector, Arts Council England warns that donors are already considering pulling out of important projects. A council spokeswoman says that major donors have contacted some of the arts organisations it helps fund to say that if this cap is introduced, “they will not be able to support them at previous levels”. As a result, “at least £80m of regular donations to several of our largest organisations could be at risk”.

Sunday, May 13, 2012



Titanic spat over Picasso (now in 3D)
Artists Rights Society claims compensation from director James Cameron over use of Picasso painting

By Charlotte Burns. News, Issue 235, May 2012
Published online: 25 April 2012

The Artists Rights Society has sent the film director James Cameron a letter claiming compensation because the movie “Titanic 3D” includes a reproduction of Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907 (right).

A copyright infringement was filed—and resolved—after the release of the original film in 1997. “A settlement was reached to the satisfaction of both parties pretty quickly,” says Theodore Feder, the chief executive and founder of the society. However, the new 3D version of the film breaches that agreement, he says. “Artists’ rights have to be negotiated and cleared, and this is a new use of the work.” The Picasso estate did not give its permission to use the painting, which belongs to the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

In “Titanic”, the heroine of the doomed love story, Rose DeWitt Bukater, is shown removing the painting from her luggage once on board the liner, establishing her wealth and avant-garde artistic taste. In the original version of the film, the painting is also seen sinking (along with her lover) to the bottom of the ocean. This scene is not included in the 3D version.

Cameron’s production company could not be reached for comment as we went to press.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Quai Branly sheds further light on Chauvet cave art
Ethnographic museum to lend works relating to prehistoric murals

By Gareth Harris. Web only
Published online: 25 April 2012

The Musée du Quai Branly, Paris’s museum of art and ethnography, has initiated a new cultural partnership with the Chauvet cave complex in the Pont d’Arc valley in Ardèche, southern France. The first exhibition under the new agreement is due to take place next May at the 17th-century Vogüé chateau in Ardèche.

Drawn from the Quai Branly’s permanent collection, the show will include religious and hunting objects. “This show is due to be the first [in the partnership] and will reflect the themes seen in the murals painted in the caves,” says a museum spokeswoman.

Meanwhile, the Quai Branly has beefed up its contemporary art programme with a major show on recent art’s relationship with shamanism opening this month (“Master of Chaos”, see our What’s On section) as well as an important exhibition of Australian Aboriginal work of the 1970s, set to open in October.

As part of a cultural cooperation agreement with the National Museum of China in Beijing, a show focusing on Chinese dining traditions is due to open in June.

Friday, May 11, 2012



Kunsthal Charlottenborg forced to share building with academy
Institution was unsustainable amid “crazy financial situation”, says British director

By Clemens Bomsdorf. Web only
Published online: 25 April 2012

Denmark’s biggest and most international exhibition space for contemporary art, the Kunsthal Charlottenborg, will have to halve its programme after a merger with the local Royal Academy of Arts. “We will have to start with less costly exhibitions and a less ambitious programme,” says Mikkel Bogh, the director of the academy.

The Danish minister for culture Uffe Elbæk says of the decision to merge the two institutions: “The art academy’s schools for visual arts get a very nice window on the world.” Charlottenborg will have fewer opportunities to stage its own programme—the academy’s graduation show, for example, will coincide with Charlottenborg’s traditional spring exhibition. It means that the building will be available for Charlottenborg’s exhibitions about half as much as previously.

The Charlottenborg’s director, Mark Sladen, who now reports to Bogh, proposed the merger. He sees it as the best option for “Charlottenborg’s future as a dynamic and sustainable cultural institution” given its “crazy financial situation” and politicians’ unwillingness to increase funding. Last year, Charlottenborg’s budget left only €60,000 for exhibitions—additional money had to come from external sources. But Sladen, who left London’s ICA amid severe budget problems less than two years ago, had difficulties as an outsider getting the wealthy Danish foundations to support him.

Thursday, May 10, 2012





Bringing back Art Cologne
The new director has made the fair “come back to life” but he still needs to work on attracting international dealers

By Anna Sansom. Web only
Published online: 24 April 2012

The general consensus of the 46th edition of Art Cologne (18-22 April) is that its director Daniel Hug is steering the fair in the right direction by improving its quality, but it needs to become more international. Hug, who took over in 2008, secured the participation of big-hitters, such as David Zwirner from New York, Thaddaeus Ropac from Paris/Salzburg and Ben Brown from London/Hong Kong, for this edition. However, several exhibitors regretted that the fair clashed with Art Brussels and hope that it will attract more international galleries and collectors next year.

“I’m a hometown boy and grew up in Cologne,” Zwirner said, a first-time exhibitor whose father Rudolf Zwirner co-founded the fair, originally called Kölner Kunstmarkt, in 1967. “Under Daniel Hug’s directorship the fair has come back to life. Although it’s quieter than Art Basel, Frieze in London or Fiac in Paris, it’s much stronger than expected. The German art market is technically Europe’s biggest with the density of museums in the Rhineland and high-quality collectors,” he added. Zwirner’s sales included a Baselitz painting for $3m and an Isa Genzken column from 2001, covered in photographs, for €250,000. “My only critique would be that it conflicts with Art Brussels.”

“We came back after ten years because Daniel Hug has done a very good job,” said Arne Ehmann, the director of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Salzburg. He added that, although collectors “were mainly regional, from Düsseldorf and Cologne, we’re hoping it will become more international and busier”. The gallery’s top sale was a Warhol acrylic and silkscreen on canvas from 1985, Head (After Picasso), Number 5, for $1.1m.

“It was quite good, the quality was better than the years before, it has an international focus and it has galleries from the whole of Germany,” said Philipp Dieterich from the Am Anfang war der Apfel foundation in Heidelberg. “We didn’t buy any works for the foundation but for the private collection of the owner [Dr Rainer Wild].”

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Posthumous show for war photographer
Works by the photojournalist Tim Hetherington, who was killed in Libya last year, are on view in New York

By Riah Pryor. Web only
Published online: 24 April 2012

Works by the photojournalist Tim Hetherington, who was killed in Libya last year, are on show at the Yossi Milo Gallery in New York (until 19 May), which now represents his estate.

“Tim had been interested in showing some of his work in a gallery, but when he died we were all too shocked to even think about doing an exhibition,” Yossi Milo says. “Later, though, I showed his family our emails and they were excited. His estate has been a real discovery. He was working constantly and there are hundreds of self-portraits which no one knew he was producing.”

Hetherington died alongside fellow journalist Chris Hondros during an attack by Gaddafi’s forces in Misurata on 20 April. The exhibition focuses on his work from Liberia and Afghanistan.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012



‘The Scream’ Is Auctioned for a Record $119.9 Million
Published: May 2, 2012

It took 12 nail-biting minutes and five eager bidders for Edvard Munch’s famed 1895 pastel of “The Scream” to sell for $119.9 million, becoming the world’s most expensive work of art ever to sell at auction.

Bidders could be heard speaking Chinese and English (and, some said, Norwegian), but the mystery winner bid over the phone, through Charles Moffett, Sotheby’s executive vice president and vice chairman of its worldwide Impressionist, modern and contemporary art department. Gasps could be heard as the bidding climbed higher and higher, until there was a pause at $99 million, prompting Tobias Meyer, the evening’s auctioneer, to smile and say, “I have all the time in the world.” When $100 million was bid, the audience began to applaud.

The price eclipsed the previous record, made two years ago at Christie’s in New York when Picasso’s “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust” brought $106.5 million.

Munch made four versions of “The Scream.” Three are now in Norwegian museums; the one that sold on Wednesday, a pastel on board from 1895, was the only one still in private hands. It was sold by Petter Olsen, a Norwegian businessman and shipping heir whose father was a friend, neighbor and patron of the artist.

The image has been reproduced endlessly in popular culture in recent decades, becoming a universal symbol of angst and existential dread and nearly as famous as the Mona Lisa.

Outside of Sotheby’s, there was excitement of a different kind, as demonstrators protesting the company’s longtime lockout of art handlers waved placards with the image of “The Scream” along with the motto, “Sotheby’s: Bad for Art.” Many in the group — a mix of union members and Occupy Wall Street protesters — even screamed themselves when the Munch went on the block. (Munch’s work was an apt focus for the group, said one protester, Yates McKee: “It exemplifies the ways in which objects of artistic creativity become the exclusive province of the 1 percent.”)

Monday, May 7, 2012


In celebration, in praise of artist Anita Magsaysay-Ho; 97
By: Sonia Ner
Philippine Daily Inquirer
3:22 am | Sunday, May 6th, 2012

To know Anita is to love her.

Aside from her immense talent, artist Anita Magsaysay-Ho was a gentle, unassuming, generous and kind lady. She was not only a great artist but also a great person. Those who had the privilege of knowing her deeply mourn her passing on Saturday. She was 97.

As editor of the book, “In Praise of Women” by Alfredo Roces, I had to interview Magsaysay-Ho many times over. For most Mondays from February to June 2005, I spent a good part of the day with her in her seaside condominium unit. Still blessed with good health and excellent memory then, she gifted me and my colleague Din Din Araneta with spontaneous and unstructured commentaries on a good number of her paintings.

As our sessions with her progressed, we got to  know  more of  her.  When  asked for comments on people who faked her works and signed her name, she said, “Maybe they need the money.”

When asked what we should tell people who paid top  prices for  what were passed off as authentic  Anitas, she simply said, “Please  tell them they are good art pieces,  but they are not by me.”








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