Connect with us


It’s January 1st, 2021, Do You Know Where Your Art Market Is? – Forbes



On that day, it will have been eight months since The Curve started flattening in New York and Los Angeles. The stock market’s wild gyrations will likely have been replaced by the Dow’s slow march back up the hill. So, will the art market have been marching in lockstep with the stock market? From a collector’s standpoint, just what will it look like on that first day of 2021?

For an answer, I turn to Elizabeth von Habsburg, Managing Director of Winston Art Group, America’s largest independent art advisory and appraisal firm. 

“It will be a different age, with a lot more technology,” she predicts. Take the ubiquitous art fairs, for instance. “The larger fairs will be back in person, but they will start to be smaller, with an online component. The small fairs will be online permanently.” Many would be relieved by such a development, as it would obviate the need for hop scotching across the globe to attend them all in person. 

The burgeoning art fair scene, though, has been a 21st C. phenomenon; its participants are already internet savvy. By contrast, the roots of the auction world date back hundreds of years. (Sotheby’s was founded in 1744, and Christie’s just 22 years later.) A dramatic pivot to an online model would represent an existential shift in the way it does business, and, indeed von Habsburg foresees transition pains. She has already witnessed auctions in which way too many items went unsold; “the first sales were not great- as estimates adjust, though, the rate will improve.” Additionally, once the houses realize that they can move not only the auctions themselves, but much of their staff-work online, they can shed office space and employees. 

“I would imagine, yes, they will shrink their footprints, in the model of Phillips, which has done a great job,” she adds. (N.B.- As of this writing, Sotheby’s has already furloughed 200 staffmembers.)

This transition, though, will be easier for some auctioneers than others. “Sotheby’s and Christie’s have the corporate knowledge and will emerge healthy,” she anticipates. Additionally, as the purveyors of the highest-end works, they will enjoy another advantage. Von Habsburg references Sotheby’s recent online sale for $1.27 million of George Condo’s Antipodal Reunion, “probably the most expensive online sale I have seen.” 

The profit margin on such high-end sales can be staggering. The item is easily transported, takes up very little room, is easy to research, and has great collector appeal. Pity, then, the poor regional houses, which, to survive, have to take on estates with 50 pieces of mammoth traditional furniture. 

The logistics surrounding the sale of such items eats mightily into their bottom line. Adding insult to injury, “the markets for these types of items have not been terribly vibrant,” she understates.

Regardless, art fairs and auction houses at least have the advantage of being able to shotgun a broad array of material to collectors. What, then, of the typical retail gallery, which markets just a handful of artists out of its stable? “I think that one-third of the galleries in Los Angeles will close, and I would not be surprised to see 25% close in New York and other major art cities,” she predicts. (Her estimate of the impact on L.A. echoes that of an L.A. Times survey from earlier this week.) Right now, they are all struggling to find their footing on the web, bombarding collectors with news of their new online viewing rooms. “I am receiving too many individual gallery notifications; it feels like 200 per day,” (though she admits that it is not really that many). To reduce such stress on the collecting public, she foresees the galleries coalescing into online collectives, along the lines of the newly minted Gallery Association Los Angeles. 60 Contemporary galleries there have combined their offerings on a single platform,, which will open in three weeks.

Granularizing the view down even further, how will individual artists weather the rest of 2020? “These are the people who can least afford this; they will be the hardest hit,” she fears. Consequently, she encourages her own collector clients to “go see what the emerging artists have out there. Jump in!” To get through this, she predicts that isolated painters will need to form communities, not unlike GALA. 

The crisis, she believes, can have “a positive outcome. Everyone will pull together to find solutions that will benefit everyone.” If such art world titans as Hauser and Wirth and Gagosian can agree to cohabitate on GALA then maybe, just maybe….

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading


Art will suffer if online displays are the norm – Asia Times



Almost 15 years ago, a group of artists, filmmakers, curators and critics came together at the Oberhausen Film Festival in western Germany to discuss the introduction of a new technological medium: YouTube.

How would watching film and video online differ from regular venues such as cinemas or the Oberhausen festival itself, which played an important role in European art-house cinema?

Would films be meaningful in the same way – watched alone, in poor resolution, on a computer – rather than on the big screen by a community that had come together to see them?

“They’re like photocopies,” said the curator, Stuart Comer. Comer, now chief curator for media and performance at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, argued that while watching videos on YouTube was not the same as watching 35mm film on the big screen, home viewing served a different function, and there was room for both.

It’s interesting to think back to that debate now. Many of the early qualms around online viewership have since been ironed out. The quality of streaming has gotten better. Museums and artists run dedicated channels, instead of the free-for-all of early YouTube days when historical films were often altered – edited, overlaid, given new soundtracks – and passed off as original.

We now know that audiences will watch a film from start to finish. This had been another fear, that without the social contract of buying a ticket and sitting in a cinema space, spectators would dip in and out, catching glimpses rather than following a story.

In 2020, with the Covid-19 lockdown, we are lucky to have YouTube, Netflix, Vimeo and other streaming and sharing platforms, but we should also be grateful that the platforms have been around long enough to generate material made for online consumption.

In most cases, we are now not watching “photocopies” of films transferred to the small screen, but works made for the small screen in the first instance.

It is unclear whether the traditional art world – the one of paintings, installations and sculpture – is now in a transition similar to that of the film industry a decade ago.

Museums are digitizing whole rooms of paintings; commercial galleries and art fairs are hastily constructing online selling platforms; and Google Arts & Culture, a digitization project reaching back to 2011, is being recommended by schools as a lockdown activity.

Will these be seen as photocopies, a temporary fix until the era of social distancing subsides? Or will art organizations, some of which have been buoyed by a stratospheric rise in online audience figures, continue these platforms once lockdowns end?

The answer won’t be driven by fidelity to the experience of seeing work “in the flesh,” but by economics. Museums and galleries will face significant budget shortfalls when they begin to open up, whether because of a curtailment in public funding, reductions in private donations or months of loss of revenue.

Exhibition commitments will come stacked upon one another as postponed shows are folded in among future programing, while works meant to be lent out to one place might be needed elsewhere or back home (or might just be too expensive to ship).

Online exhibitions will most likely persist for some time to fulfill these logistical needs – and they might well continue afterwards as an inexpensive strand of quantifiable audience engagement.

But we shouldn’t be lured into thinking that online engagement is a consequence-free decision. Like most instances of outsourcing to technology, online exhibitions mean job losses: the technicians, the restorers, the authenticators, the shippers, the insurers, the guides and the guards who enable the public showing of precious objects.

These roles support others: the technician might be an emerging artist, the guide a student, while conservators and guards might support families at home. Artworks might be digitizable for those who simply want at look at them, but not for the people who make their living in the trade. The art world hinges on the buying, selling, preserving and showing of material goods.

The economic impact goes beyond the art world. For years the trump card of the arts, when it was making its case for public support, has been its economic multiplier effect. For every £1 spent on the arts by Arts Council England, the government recoups £5 in taxes, the Arts Council found in 2015.

The “Bilbao effect,” pertaining to the economic transformation wrought on the northern Spanish city of Bilbao after Guggenheim Bilbao was established there, has dominated numerous city development strategies in the decades since – including, arguably, that of Abu Dhabi. And the argument continues to be made by international consultants, who show how visitors head to F&B outlets, gift shops and hotels after viewing museum exhibitions –benefits likewise not likely to be recouped digitally.

What the crowd in Oberhausen was concerned about all those years ago was YouTube’s effect on its community of filmmakers, curators and critics. As museums and galleries move to online exhibitions, they need to understand that they are risking much more than the loss of authenticity of experience.

This article was provided by Syndication Bureau, which holds copyright.

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world’s first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now. 

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading


Art school in Penticton forced to vacate historic home during pandemic –



A 60-year-old arts school in B.C.’s Okanagan is scrambling to find a new home after the Penticton school district opted not to renew the lease.

The Okanagan School of the Arts says it’s being booted from the historic Shatford Centre in Penticton, B.C., where it’s rented space for community groups and hosted art, music and theatre classes for the past 10 years.

The school has leased the building from Okanagan Skaha School District 67 for the past decade. 

The district has asked the school to clear out by June 30 when the lease ends. Kim Palmer, the school’s executive director, says it faces the “enormous task” of emptying the building within weeks.

The school, she said, is filled with valuable and specialized equipment, including pianos, commercial kitchen appliances and art supplies. 

“At the moment, we don’t know where it will go,” she said. 

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of the school in March, eliminating its rental and programming revenue.

The school leased the century-old building for a dollar a year but was responsible for maintenance, utilities and insurance. When discussing the June lease renewal, the arts school asked the district to cover $80,000 in operating costs and keep the site running for the community.

Palmer said, in response, the district told her the lease would not be renewed and to vacate the building by the end of the month. 

She said the province’s  emergency order protecting small-business tenants from eviction during the pandemic does not apply to the school, given its yearly $1 lease.

Priority is spending on students, district says

School District 67 chair James Palanio said the district can’t afford to keep the school afloat.

The arts school has spent about $2 million on maintenance over the past 10 years but more is needed and the district can’t afford it, he said.

“We just can’t spend anywhere other than on the kids,” Palanio said on CBC’s Daybreak South.

Palanio said the district is not evicting the arts school. He said it failed to provide insurance information in January when the lease renewal came up. The school only submitted its proposal in late May, he said.

“We have our own deadlines to meet as well,” he said. 

The district has no plans to sell the building, Palanio said, and will be eyeing future plans for the site in late fall.

Palmer said the arts school is also looking at other locations.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading


Inuit artist's works featured in Warsaw's Museum of Modern Art – Nunatsiaq News



This untitled drawing by Kinngait artist Qavavau Manumie is one of eight works by him included in an exhibition that opens today at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. The exhibit, “The Penumbral Age: Art in the Time of Planetary Change,” runs until Sept. 13. You can view the exhibition online. (Photo courtesy of the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative)

By Nunatsiaq News

Share This Story

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading