1. FIAC Arrives in Paris
This past weekend saw the 42nd edition of the FIAC art fair at Paris’ Grand Palais. Director Jennifer Flay allowed only 170 participators from 22 countries to participate this year, tightening the selection by 21 entries from last year’s edition.
As a result, fair-goers — many of whom were enjoyed an extended trip fromlast week’s Frieze London — saw a more selective, curated display of works. And visitors reacted well to the more selective display of works, with participating galleries reporting strong sales throughout the fair. Hauser & Wirth gained attention for its presentation in honor of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attacks while Gavin Brown’s Enterprise alluded to its own exclusivity with an automatic curtain that separated it from the rest of the fair and 303 Gallery adorned its booth with an edition Jeppe Hein wallpaper. (You can read more about the fair’s best booths here.)
2. Wirths Top List of Most Powerful People in Contemporary Art
Iwan and Manuela Wirth have officially been recognized as the most powerful people in contemporary art in 2015. The Swiss couple, co-founders of international gallery Hauser& Wirth, topped ArtReview’s Power 100 list. The Wirths, who were ranked at 3rd last year, have ascended the list due to their innovations in “the model of selling and promoting art.”
Mark Rappolt, the editor in chief of ArtReview magazine, elaborated that Hauser & Wirth has managed to combine the “institutional operations” of the art world and the “lifestyle of collecting” to build a global brand that is both intelligent and sensitive to clients’ wishes. The Hauser & Wirth brand also shows no signs of slowing its international influence, with the recent opening of a gallery in Somerset and an impending museum in Los Angeles. Dealers David Zwirner and Larry Gagosian (the only other deal to ever rank number 1 on the list, which he did in 2004 and 2010) joined the Wirths in the top 10 as well alongside artist Ai Weiwei and Marina Abromovic.
3. UK Museums Go On High Alert For Theft
In the first warning of its kind, the Arts Council England has warned British museums of a “sever and imminent” threat — that of theft. TheUK’s National Crime Agency has learned of a threat to smaller pieces across British artistic institutions.
The Crime Agency is, “aware of a group who has made reconnaissance visits to a number of museums and other venues across the UK. It is thought that smaller, more portable items will be targeted rather than items such as large paintings.” While the Agency would not comment as to how intelligence came to light, some suspect it came from an embedded or underground source. The need for increased security comes at a difficult time for British museums, who were struggling to balance their budgets already.
4. #LegosForWeiwei Takes Off Amid Lego’s Atempt to “Censor” the Artist
This week, Ai Weiwei took to Instagram to discuss LEGO’s recent denial to send him a bulk order of plastic bricks for an upcoming exhibition in Australia. While Lego stated that it “cannot approve the use of Legos for political works,” Weiwei called the denial an act of “censorship and discrimination.”
Following the Chinese artist’s post, some became suspicious that Lego was attempting to defend its corporate interests in China (including a forthcoming Legoland in Shanghai) and a hashtag calling for lego donations for Weiwei had taken off. Weiwei is working on the logistics of how to accept lego donations from his supporters, but with the UK’s Chinese ambassador dismissing his work earlier this week and his new three-year visa from Germany, Weiwei definitely has enough to deal with.
5. Not Everyone Loves Renoir
Not even the most recognized masters of painting are safe from criticism it seems. After picketing the Museum of Find Arts Boston, the “Renoir Sucks at Painting” group recently demonstrated outside New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Holding signs that read “ReNOir” and “God hates Renoir,” the protestors demonstrated against the museum’s inclusion of works by Renoir, who they deem untalented and over-hyped. The protest’s leader, Max Geller, founded the movement with a “Renoir Sucks at Painting” Instagram account and a national petition to remove the Renoir paintings from the National Gallery. “I hate Renoir because he is the most overrated artist east, west, north and south of the river Seine,” explained Geller. “Renoir just sucks at painting.” Despite the group’s strong setiments, the Met has not responded with any plans to remove their renown Renoir paintings.
Find peace in mind knowing when you shop at GallArt.com that the artwork you purchase is genuine and always comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.
What Is a Certificate of Authenticity?
A Certificate of Authenticity is a bit like an artwork’s birth certificate, passport and quality guarantee all rolled into one.
Essentially, a COA is a document, created by the artist or someone who is an expert on the artist, which accompanies an artwork and contains all the information a collector could need to verify if the piece of art is genuine.
A Certificate of Authenticity (COA) provides a lot of concrete detail about a piece, but by existing for a particular piece, it says even more. An artwork that has a COA is one that is made by a professional practicing artist, not an amateur. It is a piece that has collectible value. The Certificate adds a tangible credibility to the work. It can help the work hold its value.
The COA is held to be an indirect promise of quality. Art pieces that have a COA have usually been made by an artist who cares about their work, its longevity and their collectors. The piece is likely to have been created from the best materials available, be designed to last and been created by an expert. Back to the concrete details, the Certificate will provide all the information on the medium(s) of the piece needed for conservation that might otherwise be lost forever.
Certificates protect the artist and the buyer by helping to prove that an artwork is original. Cheap copies sold without an artist’s knowledge or consent is unfortunately common. Without a COA attached, this situation makes it next to impossible for the buyer to be confident of the value of the piece or for the artist to maintain their credibility and their livelihood.
As an art collector, you really must only buy Fine Art pieces that are backed by a Certificate of Authenticity. This helps ensure that what you have bought at a premium is genuine and not counterfeit.
Claude Monet‘s Waterloo Bridge, London (1903) is the latest famous canvas recovered from Cornelius Gurlitt’s hidden stash of priceless artwork, AFA News reports. The long-lost masterpiece is part of a series the artist did on the subject between 1900 and 1908.
The latest find comes from the reclusive 81-year-old’s third residence in the town of Bad Aussee, in Austria’s Styria region. The 180 artworks include a bronze Pierre-Auguste Renoir sculpture and drawings by Paul Gauguin, Paul Cézanne, and Pablo Picasso. German authorities seized 1,280 works from Gurlitt’s Munich apartment in February 2012, and recovered an additional 60 pieces from a second property in Salzburg, Austria.
At at 2007 Christie’s auction, a similar 1904 Monet from the Waterloo Bridge series sold for £17.9 million ($35.5 million). An early estimate from the Independent pegs the value of the version just recovered in Austria at £8 million ($13.3 million).
Investigations by the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives division of the US Army, whose wartime activities protecting European cultural sites and recovering art looted by the Nazis were the subject of the recent George Clooney film, cleared Hildebrand of any wrong doing. Intriguingly, the Gurlitts’ Bad Aussee home, which appears to have been used as a major storage facility by the family as recently as 2012, is quite close to the Altaussee salt mine where the Monuments Men recovered 6,000 stolen artworks hidden by the Nazis.
Although Gurlitt initially maintained his legitimate ownership of the entire collection (see the artnet News report on his official website), he has since promised to return artwork that can be proven to be Nazi war loot. Several pieces have already been the subject of lawsuits from the descendents of the original owners, including a 1901 Max Liebermann canvas. Germany’s Städtische Museum Mainz has also laid claim to 56 of the works held by Gurlitt.
Via (artnet news)
“The Potomack Company, based in Alexandria, Va., is scheduled to auction off the small pastel-colored painting it believes is Renoir’s “Paysage Bords de Seine” on Sept. 29, and has valued it between $75,000 and $100,000. Anne Norton Craner, Potomack’s fine arts specialist and a former research associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, said she researched the 5.5-by-9-inch river scene and is convinced that Renoir painted it.”
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