jeudi 16 octobre 2008

American Pop Art From Art Price oct.2008

American Pop Art – the bubble is leaking air… [Sep 08]

The general price index for American Pop Art – the epicentre of art market speculation since the beginning of the decade – is showing signs of waning. Although Andy Warhol is the third most expensive post-war artist, along with Francis Bacon and Mark Rothko, auction sales of his works since the start of 2008 have been less successful… Could this be a first sign of market saturation?

Much publicised, the images created or reproduced by the Pop Artists instantly rendered their works "emblematic". Some used highly recognisable symbols and icons from the contemporary America of their era, while others created works of art from standard consumer products carrying appeal for a very wide audience. Screenprints of the cult images were reproduced in large numbers and widely circulated. In theory, Pop Art should be available to a very broad public; however, the prices paid for its stars over recent years, particularly for the unique pieces, make the movement's art inaccessible for most buyers. Having seen its price index acquire a massive 75% in 2007, the momentum appears to be waning this year: between January and September 2008 the movement's index has lost 31%.

Over the last ten years, the individual price indices of Robert RAUSCHENBERG, Andy WARHOL, Roy LICHTENSTEIN, Claes Thure OLDENBURG and Tom WESSELMANN have gained between +320% and +540%!
The impressive figures generated by Warhol's pieces are far in excess of the price records generated by the other artists from the Pop Art movement. In May 2007, Warhol's Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I) set his all-time record when it fetched 64 million dollars (more than 47 million euros) at Christie’s in New York. Already in 2006, 43 public sales of Warhol's works generated sums above the 1 million dollars threshold, 8 more than the star of the market Pablo Picasso… In 2007, no less than 68 Warhol pieces from the 1960s and 80s fetched sums above the million-dollar line pushing his price index up 89% in just one year! Such inflation encourages speculation. For example in November 2007 the actor Hugh Grant sold a Warhol Liz (portrait of Elizabeth Taylor created in 1963) for $21m at Christie's having paid only $3.25m just 6 years earlier and after a Liz from the same series fetched only $11.25m at Sotheby’s in 2005. Another example: Are you different? a small painting executed in 1985-1986 and acquired for the equivalent of €26,000 on 10 February 2005 in London fetched nearly 119,000 euros in June 2007.
After this exceptional year, Andy Warhol's price index appears to be relaxing: –5% between January and September 2008, with growing signs of weakness in the market. For example, a version of Campbell's Tomato Soup (red and black) fetched €682,000 in May 2007. Nine months later, an exactly identical piece sold for €66,000 less.

Jasper JOHNS is second on the Pop Art price record podium (but still $48.5m behind Warhol's record…) with $15.5m for his Figure 4, a sale that also took place on 16 May 2007. During the same month a new record was also set for Rauschenberg when his mixed technique Photograph from 1959 fetched $9.5m (roughly €7m) at Sotheby’s NY. Two days after his death on 12 May 2008 his Overdrive (1963) set a new record at Sotheby’s. Aside from the genuinely exceptional pieces, buyers have shown a certain restraint with respect to Rauschenberg's lesser quality works. For example, Blue Smile, Waterworks Series, a large mixed technique has already been bought in twice this year at Tajan; once with a low estimate of €80,000 and the second time with a threshold of €60,000.
Even if the market is showing some signs of contraction since the beginning of the year, it is becoming increasingly difficult to acquire the major works of the key figures in the Pop Art movement. One solution for less wealthy buyers is to focus on the multiples; but the market for the multiples is also showing signs of deflation.

In principle, prints, lithographs and other good quality multiples can be acquired at affordable prices. Apart from Andy Warhol's famous silk screen prints that usually fetch 5 or even 6-figure numbers, the multiples created by Claes Oldenburg, Tom Wesselman, Jasper Johns, Jim Dine and James Rosenquist are often accessible for less than 5,000 euros. However, care should be taken because the price index for these works is also beginning to deflate. Over the first 9 months of 2008 the values of these products have contracted 20%. Examples of this price deflation are becoming increasingly widespread. Beautiful Bedroom Kate, a Tom Wesselmann screenprint produced in a series of 90 copies, fetched €16,000 - twice its estimated price - at Sotheby’s London in September 2007. The version sold last June in Germany generated went under the hammer for only €9,000. A similar story can be traced with Roy Lichtenstein's multiples most of which have posted depreciation during 2008. His illustrious Brushstroke Still Life with Lamp - a screenprint with magna on aluminum panel inset in a wood frame and produced in 24 copies - sold for €342,000 in June 2007, then €502,000 in February 2008, and more recently fetched only €315,000 in July.

Aside from the observed value depreciation, buyer reticence has also been expressed by a sharp increase in the bought-in rate which has risen from 16% in 2007 to 37% for the first-half of 2008. And yet there has also been a 26% contraction in the number of lots presented for sale… a fact that should have provided support for this market where demand is focused on a limited supply. In short, these signs of market weakness on a segment that is normally very buoyant are fairly worrying for the other segments of the market that are traditionally the most speculative such as 'current' and 'emerging' art.

samedi 11 octobre 2008

Le Clezio Prix Nobel Congratulations

J.M.G. Le Clézio (1940-)

One of the most translated modern French authors, whose first novel appeared when he was only 23 years old. Due to his early experimentalist approach to novel, Le Clézio has been counted among the avant-garde writers, but actually his work is difficult to pin down. Le Clézio's themes are cross-cultural. He moves freely, without restriction, from one continent to another, fusing ideas and images from different kinds of literature and culture. Le Clézio was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2008.

"La guerre a commencé. Personne ne sait plus où, ni comment, mais c'est ainsi. Elle est derrière la tête et elle souffle. La guerre des crimes et des insultes, la furie des regards, l'explosion de la pensée des cerveaux. Elle est là, ouverte sur le monde, elle le couvre de son réseau de fils électriques, Chaque seconde, elle progresse, elle arrache quelque chose et le réduit en cendres." (from La Guerre, 1970)

Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio was born in Nice in 1940. Le Clézio's father, born in Mauritius, was a doctor, who moved from England to British Guyana, and then to Nigeria. Before the family was reunited, he lived years in Africa.

Le Clézio was raised in France. His early childhood Le Clézio spent in Roquebillière, a small village near Nice. At the age of eight Le Clézio started to write poetry and read comics. In 1947 he traveled to Nigeria with his mother and brother, spending there a happy year without school. Later the author depicted his childhood in the semi-autobiographical novel Onitsha (1991), in which a young boy sails with his mother to Africa, where his English father is chasing his own dreams.

Le Clézio was educated at schools in Nice, where his mother settled during the war. In 1957 Le Clézio passed his baccalauréat in literature and philosophy. He then studied at the Bristol University, at the University of London, and Institut d'Études Littéraires in Nice. In 1964 he received his M.A. from the University of Aix-en-Provence. Le Clézio obtained his doctoral degree from the University of Perpignan.

Le Clézio married in 1960 Rosalie Piquemal, half-French, half-Polish; they had one daughter. After divorce Le Clézio remarried. From this marriage he has also one daughter.

As a writer Le Clézio made his breakthrough with his first novel, Le procès-verbal (1963), which was awarded the Théophraste Renaudot Prize. The work introduced one of his central themes, the flight from commonly accepted ways of thought into extreme states of mind. Adam Pollo, the protagonist, is a sensitive youg man, who wanders around the town, much like a stray dog, and after making an agitated speech to an apathetic crowd eventually ends up in a mental hospital for a period. The mood of the novel has been compared to that of Camus's Stranger and Sartre's Naisea.

Le Clézio's writing is simultaneously clear and intensive, impressionistic and controlled, nostalgic and contemporary. In an interview Le Clézio once said, that his favorite novelist are Stevenson and Joyce – noteworthy both exiled writers. Often his protagonists are loners, who try to find ways to cope with the modern life and technology, or come into conflict with urban surroundings.

Le procès-verbal was soon translated into several languages, among others into Finnish. In spite of his international fame, Le Clézio chose to stay away from fashionable literary circles, saying in an article in 1965: "Not yet sure if writing is a good way of expression." He taught at a Buddhist University in Thailand in 1966-67, at the University of Mexico, and at the Boston University, University of Texas, Austin, and the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. From 1973 Le Clézio and his Moroccan wife Jemia divided their time between France, the U.S. and the island of Mauritius; Le Clézio has called Mauritius his "little fatherland". Le Clézio has also traveled in Nigeria and Japan and published translations of Mayan sacred texts. The last years Le Clézio has lived mainly in New Mexico.

Through Le Clézio's novels the sun and the sea, light and water, are recurrent images. From 1969 to 1973 Le Clézio lived among the Embera Indians in Panama. Haï (1971), written during this period, is a lyrical account of the author's experience which, as he has confessed, changed his whole life. On the whole, the natural environment, animate and inanimate, forms a kind of philosophical, unifying ground for Le Clézio's themes.

Le Clézio's constant travels are reflected in the settings of his books. Through his own experience he has described the clash of cultures, and the unequal side of globalization, the domination of Western rationalism. In Désert (1980), which received the Grand Prix Paul Morand, a young nomad woman, Lalla, from the Sahara becomes a famous photo model, but she returns to the desert to give birth to her child. A parallel story tells of the crushing of the Tuaregs in the beginning of the 20th century by the French colonizers.

For further reading: Conversations avec J.-M. G. Le Clézio by P. Lhoste (1971); World Authors 1950-1970, ed. by John Wakeman (1975); J.-M. G. Le Clézio by Jennifer Waelti-Walters (1977); Contemporary World Writers, ed. by Tracy Chevalier (1993); Le Clézio ou la quête du désert by Simone Domange (1993); Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century, vol. 3, ed. by Steven R. Serafin (1999) - For further information: Intersected Pasts and Problematic Futures by Karen D. Levy

Selecter works:

  • Le Procès-Verbal, 1963 - The Interrogation (tr. Daphne Woodward, 1964) - Raportti Aatamista (suom. Olli-Matti Ronimus)
  • Le Jour où Beaumont fit connaissance avec sa douleur, 1964
  • La Fièvre, 1965 - Fever (tr. Daphne Woodward, 1966) - Kuume (suom. Leila Adler)
  • Le Déluge, 1966 - The Flood (tr. Peter Green, 1968)
  • L'Extase matérielle, 1966
  • Terra amata, 1968 - Terra Amata (tr. Barbara Bray, 1969)
  • Le Livre des fuites, 1969 - The Book of Flights (tr. Simon Watson Taylor, 1972)
  • La Guerre, 1970 - War (tr. 1973)
  • Haï, 1971
  • Les Géants, 1973 - The Giants (tr. Simon Watson Taylor, 1975)
  • Mydriase, 1973
  • Voyages de l'autre côté, 1975
  • translator: Les Prophéties du chilam Balam, 1976
  • Voyage aux pays des arbres, 1978
  • L'Inconnu sur la terre, 1978
  • Vers les Icebergs, 1978
  • Mondo et autres histoires, 1978 - film: Mondo (1996), dir. by Tony Gatlif, starring Ovidiu Balan, Philippe Petit, Pierrette Fesch, Jerry Smith
  • Désert, 1980 - Autiomaa (suom. Marjatta Ecaré)
  • Trois Villes saintes, 1980
  • Lullaby, 1980
  • La Ronde et autres faits divers, 1982 - The Round & Other Cold Hard Facts = La ronde et autres faits divers (translated by C. Dickson)
  • Celui qui'n avait jamais vu la mer; La Montagne du dieu vivant, 1984
  • translator: Relation de Michocan, 1984
  • Le Chercheur d'or, 1985 - The Prospector (tr. by Carol Marks)
  • Villa aurore; Orlamonde, 1985
  • Balaabilou, 1985
  • Voyage à Rodrigues, 1986
  • Les Années Cannes, 1987
  • Le Rêve mexicain, ou, La Pensée interrompue, 1988 - Mexican Dream (tr. by Teresa Lavender Fagan)
  • Printemps et autres saisons: nouvelles, 1989
  • Sirandanes; Un Petit Lexique de la langue créole et des oiseaux, 1990
  • Onitsha, 1991 - Onitsha (tr. by Alison Anderson) - Kaupunki nimeltä Onitsha (suom. Annikki Suni)
  • Pawana, 1992
  • Étoile errante, 1992 - Wandering Star (tr. by C. Dickson) - Harhaileva tähti (suom. Annikki Suni)
  • Diego et Frida, 1993
  • La Quarantaine, 1995
  • In the Eye of the Sun: Mexican Fiestas, 1996 (with Geoff Winningham)
  • Poisson d'or, 1997
  • La fête chantée, 1997
  • Enfances, 1997 (with Christophe Kuhn)
  • Hasard suivi de Angoli Mala, 1999
  • Fantômes dans la rue, 2000
  • Coeur brûlé et autres romances, 2000
  • Révolutions, 2003
  • Mondo et autres histoires, 2005
  • Ourania, 2006
  • Raga: approche du continent invisible, 2006
  • Ballaciner, 2007
  • Ritournelle de la faim, 2008

jeudi 7 août 2008

UCLA/Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam , Aug.21,08 on collaboration with Houshang Seyhoun

Iranian Art Boom (Art Price Source)

 Art Market Insight [Aug 2008] Art investment
Iranian art boom - 2006-2008: "progress report" [Aug 08]

In two years, Dubai has clearly affirmed itself on the global art market with the first edition of Art Dubai in 2007 - inviting some 30 galleries from around the globe - and with the establishment of both Christie’s (2006) and Bonhams (2008) in the city. Since their arrival, the two action houses have been selling works by modern and contemporary artists from Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon and Iran and they have succeeded in fostering growing demand as well as significant price inflation. The Dubai prices represented his record.

Carried by the financial strength of the United Arab Emirates and the increasingly global reach of its national investors, Iranian artists are becoming increasingly popular among regional collectors.
For example, on the 31 October 2007 the Dubai office of Christie’s sold works by Shirin NESHAT above the 100,000 dollars line for the first time. Shirin Neshat is the most well-known contemporary Iranian artist on the international scene and his works have been selling at auctions since 2000 in London and New York.

The best-known Iranian sculptor, Parviz TANAVOLI, aged 71, was in fact absent from the auction world until 2007. However, the success in Dubai in 2006 of the younger Iranian artist, Farhad Moshiri, appears to have had a considerable and belated knock-on effect on Tanavoli's market prices. His first works to appear at auction generated between 65,000 and 85,000 dollars (February 2007). In October of the same year the hammer fell at 280,000 dollars (Christie’s Dubai) and in April 2008, he became the most expensive living Iranian artist when a unique piece he created in 1975 entitled The Wall (Oh Persepolis) fetched no less than 2.5 million dollars. The stele cast in bronze and standing nearly 2 metres high had been estimated by Christie’s at 400 to 600 thousand dollars.

Like Shirin Neshat's work, the creations of Farhad MOSHIRI (aged 45 and born in the Iranian city of Shiraz) reflect both Iranian and Western culture. He studied art in California before returning to Teheran in 1991 where he has lived ever since. His works have been exhibited around the world including Rome, London, Berlin, New-York and Geneva. In 2003, his installation at the sixth Sharjah biennial entitled Golden Love super Deluxe attracted much comment: a collector's showcase containing mixed objects – bullets, mobile phones, cherubs and Walt Disney figurines – all coated with a fine layer of gold… an ironical transformation of diverse objects from the spheres of war, technology and popular culture into "precious items". Three years after the Biennial, Christie’s in Dubai presented Moshiri's first canvas to appear at auction: a satellite view of Iran. The work sold for 40,000 dollars, four times the high-end estimate, and giving the artist a powerful start to his future auction momentum: collectors clearly have deep pockets for Moshiri. A year after that result, a satellite view of the world made of 95,000 Swarovski crystals demolished its original estimate of 60 to 80 thousand dollars when it sold for 500 thousand dollars! This rocketing success has continued in 2008 with a brilliant work using the same crystals and entitled, Eshgh (Love), which fetched 900,000 dollars last March at Bonhams Dubai.
The vitality of the Middle-Eastern market is giving a number of young Iranian artists a healthy price index on the secondary art market. The work of two Iranian women, Shirin ALIABADI and Shadi GHADIRIAN (born in 1973 and 1974 respectively), considers the contradictions that women face in Iran with humour. The Shadi Ghadirian's photos use the obsolete aesthetic of 19th century photography to show veiled women with contemporary objects. Her most famous piece, Stereo, sold for £9,000 (over $18,000) in 2007 (Sotheby's, London). In October 2007, Christie’s Dubai generated a bid of 50,000 dollars for a painting by Afshin PIRHASHEMI (born 1974) entitled Those four Days. This was only his second auction appearance. Just a month earlier in Paris, Artcurial sold his painting Memory for 6,000 euros… In April 2008, one had to bid up to 110,000.00 dollars for his triptych untitled Lonely created in 2005 (Christie’s Dubai).

jeudi 19 juin 2008

13-Sculpture, Market-Art price. Source

Contemporary sculpture in excellent shape [Jun 08]

In the contemporary art field, sculpture, and particularly the offshoot known as 'installations', is currently enjoying a high level of market interest. At the top end, collectors are now paying tens of millions of dollars for monumental works by the likes of Koons, Hirst and Murakami. Artprice takes a look at this high profile segment of the market occupied by young artists, all born after 1945.
In less than a year, the number of 7-figure (sometimes 8 ...) auction sales involving three dimensional works has substantially increased. In 2007, 14 works sold for over a million dollars; in the first six months of 2008, we are already at 18...

Today, the type of sculpture that sells for millions is a far cry from the classical conception of 20th century art expressed by the "moderns" like Constantin Brancusi, Artistide Maillol or Alberto Giacometti. In times gone by, the verb to sculpt meant hewing, carving, chipping away or scratching, in other words, removing mass to reveal an image. Today's well-known artists conceive their works and then, to build them, they mobilize an entire workshop in which a wide variety of techniques, materials and dimensions are exploited. Certain works are also conceived as genuine scientific and technical challenges. The monumental - if not 'architectural' - compositions in steel by Richard SERRA are the perfect expression of the expansion of this artistic medium which is today flirting with a new conception of space and which often requires considerable technical skill to accomplish.

In this industrial age, the multiple, reproduced in large numbers, also has an important position in the market as it allows art enthusiasts to acquire some symbolic pieces for just a few thousand euros. In fact, while Jeff KOONS, Damien HIRST and Takashi MURAKAMI are adept at selling works for millions of euros, they have also created reproductions that reach the market at affordable prices fortheir fans! In effect, they satisfy the consumer art market with regular three-dimensional mass productions. However, even these "mass" produced works are increasingly sought after. The Ballon Dog in metalicised porcelain, produced by Jeff Koons in a series of 2,300, changed hands in 2002 for between 1,200 and 1,800 euros. Today one would expect to pay between 3,000 and 5,000 euros. His Puppies, small white porcelain vases, 45cm high, produced in 3,000 examples, sell in the same price range.

Today, Jeff Koons is the most expensive of the young bloods with a record $21 million for his Hanging Heart (Magenta/Gold) on 14 November 2007 at Sotheby’s. When it sold, this 3-metre red heart was so fresh off the Koons production line that its owner, Adam Lindemann, had it sent to auction directly from the warehouse without ever having exposed the work. In the 1980s, Jeff Koons made art out of common consumer objects like vacuum cleaners, basket balls and various other decorative objects. However, unlike Duchamp, who with his "ready-mades" was not seeking aesthetic pleasure from the exhibiting trivial objects, Koons glorifies mass consumer products within a Pop mindset. By opting to work with the vocabulary of popular culture, Koons hoped to reach a mass audience. His choice has paid handsome dividends! The first collectors of Jeff Koons' work must be very pleased with their acquisitions. For example, the highest bidder for Two ball 50/50 tank that sold on 7 May 1992 at Sotheby´s NY acquired the installation for 65,000 dollars. This work, from the Equilibrium series, contains two basket balls half submerged in an aquarium and was conceived with the assistance of Dr. Richard Feynman, a Nobel prize laureate for Physics. In 2000, the work sold for 220,000 dollars at Phillips NY, and in 2005 a larger scale version with three basket balls fetched nearly double that price (420,000 dollars, Christie’s NY).

Damien Hirst, the figurehead of Young British Artists, is the second most expensive contemporary artist with a record auction sale of £8.6 million (more than $17 million) in June 2007 for his Lullaby Spring, a large metallic pillbox containing 6,136 individually painted pills. Rumour has it that the White Cube Gallery in London privately sold Hirst's For The Love Of God, a platinum skull encrusted with 8,601diamonds, for $100 million. If so, that is by far the highest price paid for a work by a living artist. For Damien Hirst, winner of the 1995 Turner Prize, 2007 was a good year as his price index gained 270% over 12 months… However, the increase did not begin in 2007. In 1992, his installation entitled God, was bought in for £4,000 in London. Six years later, it fetched £170,000. Today, the smallest souvenir from the Pharmacy restaurant identifiable as having been created or conceived by Hirst sells as an icon on the market. Even a simple assembly of bottles of wine, with menus and cards from the famous restaurant sold for 420 euros in March 2007.

The third most expensive contemporary artist comes from the Land of the Rising Sun. Last May, Takashi Murakami saw one of his spectacular manga sculptures go under the hammer at $13.5 million in New York. The work, My lonesome cowboy, a sculpture representing the triumphant ejaculation of a manga-styled satyr was estimated at $3 to 4 million. At the same time, Murakami fans can buy small plastic or plush figurines at prices ranging from under 100 euros to several hundreds of euros, depending on the model and the number produced. For example, Superfalt museum a set of 10 small figurines in PVC sold for €350 last May at Pandolfini Casa d'Aste (Florence).

Just behind the top three discussed above, there is the highly controversial Maurizio CATTELAN, with a record auction price of $2.7 million in 2004 for La Nona Ora. This provocative installation, representing the Pope crushed by a meteorite, had shocked visitors to the Royal Academy of Arts London and the Venice Biennial several years earlier. Another artist above the million dollar line is Robert GOBER. On 15 May last, one of his installations with a leg (+ trouser and shoe) poking through a wall, sold for $3.2 million. The Indian artist Anish KAPOOR is now in sixth position in the ranking of 'most expensive contemporary sculptors' after a large sculpture in alabaster (1.5 metres) sold for $2.5 million in December 2007. But unlike the top three (Koons, Hirst and Murakami), niether Cattelan, nor Gober nor Kapoor have developed an alternative market destined for a wider public. Indeed, in volume terms, their annual auction turnover only represents about 10 pieces each.




La sculpture contemporaine au firmament [juin 08]

Dans le domaine de l’art actuel, la sculpture, notamment sous sa forme d’installation, est un médium particulièrement apprécié. Les collectionneurs s’arrachent désormais à coup de dizaines de millions de dollars les pièces monumentales de Koons, Hirst et Murakami. Artprice fait le point sur le marché très médiatique de ces jeunes artistes, tous nés après 1945.
En moins d’un an, les enchères millionnaires pour des œuvres actuelles à trois dimensions se sont multipliées. En 2007, 14 pièces ont atteint le million de $. Sur les 6 premiers mois de l’année 2008, pas moins de 18 œuvres ont atteint ce seuil…

Aujourd’hui, la sculpture valorisée à coup de millions est fort éloignée de sa conception classique exprimée au XXème siècle par les modernes tels que Constantin Brancusi, Artistide Maillol ou Alberto Giacometti. Avant, sculpter désignait le fait de tailler ou de creuser, autrement dit d’enlever de la masse volumique pour mettre une image au jour. Aujourd’hui, les artistes de renoms conçoivent les œuvres et pour les réaliser travaillent à la tête de véritables fabriques dans lesquelles le champ des techniques, des matériaux et des dimensions varient à l’infini. Certaines œuvres sont aussi conçues comme de véritables épreuves scientifiques et techniques. Les compositions monumentales, voir architecturales, en acier de Richard SERRA sont la parfaite expression de la démesure de l’œuvre d’art qui flirte avec une nouvelle conception de l’espace et dont la mise en œuvre elle-même s’avère être une prouesse technique.

Dans cette ère industrielle, le multiple à grand tirage tient aussi une place de choix pour permettre aux amateurs de s’offrir quelques pièces symboliques pour quelques milliers d’euros. En effet, si Jeff KOONS, Damien HIRST et Takashi MURAKAMI savent se vendre plusieurs millions d’euros, ils proposent aussi sur le marché nombre de productions accessibles à leurs fans ! Ils répondent aux consommateurs d’œuvres d’art actuel par de réguliers tirages à trois dimensions. Mais ces productions à grands tirages s’arrachent de plus en plus. Les Ballon Dog en porcelaine métallisée édités par Jeff Koons à 2300 exemplaires, se négociaient entre 1 200 et 1 800 euros en 2002 tandis qu’il faut débourser entre 3 000 et 5 000 euros aujourd’hui. Ses Puppies, de petits vases en porcelaine blanche de 45 cm de haut produits à 3 000 exemplaires, s’échangent dans la même fourchette de prix.

Aujourd’hui, Jeff Koons est le plus coté de tous avec une enchère de 21 millions de $ pour Hanging Heart (Magenta/Gold) le 14 novembre 2007 chez Sotheby’s. Ce coeur rouge de 3 mètres de haut, était tellement «frais» que son propriétaire, Adam Lindemann, l’a sorti tout droit d’un entrepôt sans l’avoir jamais exposé. Dans les années 80, Jeff Koons détourne des objets de consommation courante comme des aspirateurs, des ballons de basket ou divers bibelots. Contrairement à Duchamp qui, avec ses ready made, ne cherchait pas de délectation esthétique en exposant des objets triviaux, Koons glorifie les produits de consommation dans une esthétique Pop. L’artiste américain ambitionnait de toucher le plus grand nombre en optant pour la culture populaire… Pari réussi ! Les premiers collectionneurs de Jeff Koons peuvent se féliciter de leurs acquisitions. Par exemple, le meilleur enchérisseur pour Two ball 50/50 tank dispersée le 7 mai 1992 chez Sotheby´s NY emporta l’installation pour 65 000 dollars. Cette œuvre de la série Equilibrium contient deux ballons de basket à moitié immergés dans un aquarium et fut conçue grâce à l'aide du Dr. Richard Feynman, Prix Nobel de Physique. En 2000, elle partit pour 220 000 dollars chez Phillips NY, tandis qu´une version plus grande avec trois ballons doubla presque cette mise en 2005 (420 000 dollars, Christie’s NY).

Damien Hirst, le fer de lance des Young British Artists, est le second artiste contemporain le plus coté avec une enchère de 8,6 millions de £ (plus de 17 millions de $) en juin 2007 pour Lullaby Spring, une importante armoire à pharmacie métallique contenant 6.136 pilules peintes individuellement. De gré à gré, le 30 août 2007, la White Cube aurait par ailleurs vendu pour 100 millions de $ For The Love Of God , un crâne en platine recouvert de 8601 diamants.Jamais une oeuvre vendue du vivant de son auteur n’avait été négociée aussi cher jusqu’à présent. L’année 2007 fut faste pour l’artiste détenteur du Turner Prize 1995 car sa cote a augmenté de près de 270% sur douze mois… Mais l’envolée des prix n’est pas récente. En 1992, son installation intitulée God, était ravalée à 4 000 £ à Londres. Six ans après, elle était emportée à 170 000 £. Désormais, le moindre souvenir issu du contenu du restaurant Pharmacy et « brandé » Hirst s’arrache comme une icône du marché. Ainsi un simple assemblage de bouteilles de vin, menus, cartes de visite provenant du célèbre restaurant partait pour 420 euros en mars 2007.

Le troisième météore du marché nous vient du pays du soleil levant. En mai dernier Takashi Murakami a vu l’une de ses spectaculaires sculpture manga s’envoler à 13,5 millions de $ à New York. My lonesome cowboy, sculpture représentant l'éjaculation triomphante d'un satyre version manga, était estimée 3 – 4 millions de $. Pour autant, les amateurs trouvent aussi sur le marché nombre de petites figurines en plastique ou en peluche dont les prix s’échelonnent de quelques dizaines d’euros à quelques centaines d’euros selon les modèles et les tirages. Par exemple, Superfalt museum un ensemble complet de 10 petits personnages en PVC est parti pour 350 € en mai chez Pandolfini Casa d'Aste (Florence).

Dans le sillage des trois leaders suit le très contesté Maurizio CATTELAN, avec une enchère à 2,7 millions de $ en 2004 pour La Nona Ora : la provoquante installation, représentant le pape écrasé par une météorite, avait choqué les visiteurs de la Royal Academy of Arts de Londres et de la Biennale de Venise quelques années plus tôt. Quant à Robert GOBER, le 15 mai dernier, une de ses installations représentant une jambe (avec pantalon et chaussure) disposée comme sortant d’un mur s’est envolée à 3,2 millions de $. L’indien Anish KAPOOR s’est élevé à la sixième position des sculpteurs actuels les plus cotés grâce à une importante sculpture en albâtre de plusd’1,5 mètre partie pour 2,5 millions de $ en décembre 2007. Mais contrairement aux icônes du marché (Koons, Hirst et Murakami), ces trois artistes n’ont pas développé de marché alternatif destiné au plus grand nombre. Annuellement, pour chacun d’eux, les collectionneurs ne voient passer aux enchères qu’une dizaine de pièces.

dimanche 8 juin 2008

12-Christie's - Dubai - Iranian Artists

Source Bloomberg
Iranian Artists Star in Christie's $10 Million Dubai Auction

By Matthew Brown

April 29 (Bloomberg) -- Works by Iranian artists, including Parviz Tanavoli and Charles Hossein Zenderoudi, will star in a Christie's International art auction that is expected to raise at least $10 million in Dubai tomorrow.

The two Iranian artists' creations are the most likely to fetch more than $1 million apiece at the sale, said Jussi Pylkkanen, the auction house's European president, in an interview. The sale catalog put a high estimate of $600,000 on both Tanavoli's sculpture ``The Wall (Oh Persepolis)'' and Zenderoudi's painting ``VAV + HWE.''

``The Iranian section dominates at the moment,'' Pylkkanen said. ``I suspect we might make as much as $20 million if it really flies. That's partly a reflection of the quality of the pictures on sale, but also just the growth in the market.''

This will be Christie's fourth art auction in Dubai. Auction houses have been expanding into the emerging markets of China, Russia and the Middle East in recent years, tapping growing personal wealth in some of the world's fastest-growing economies. Crude oil, the region's main source of revenue, rose to a record $119.93 yesterday.

Dubai became the de facto hub of the Middle Eastern art market after Christie's, which vies with Sotheby's as the world's largest art seller, began selling art and jewelry in the sheikdom two years ago. Bonhams held its first auction in the region in Dubai in March.

Moshiri's `Love'

Iran's Farhad Moshiri became the first artist from the Middle East to sell an artwork at auction for more than $1 million when his ``Love'' sold for $1.05 million at Bonham's sale.

Ahmed Mustapha's ``Qu'ranic Polyptych of Nine Panels'' sold for $657,000 at a Christie's Dubai auction onOct. 31, breaking the record for an Arab work of art at auction. Mustapha's ``Meditation on Three Themes from Sura Ya'Sin'' will go on the block at tomorrow's auction with a high estimate of $400,000.

Christie's will continue to hold two Dubai auctions a year, and is looking to stage exhibitions in other Gulf cities in Abu Dhabi, Doha and Saudi Arabia, Pylkkanen said.

``I'd like to see a Turkish section next season,'' he said. ``We may hold a contemporary Indian art sale next year.''

Christie's is also offering $20 million of jewelry and watches in Dubai today. A natural-pearl necklace presented to Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum by the founder of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan may sell for as much as $120,000, the sale catalog says.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Brown in Dubai at

Last Updated: April 28, 2008 20:06 EDT
Tanavoli's Persepolis sculpture breaks record at Dubai art sale

Press TV -- Iranian sculptor Parviz Tanavoli sets a new auction record as a Middle Eastern artists at Christie's international art sale in Dubai.

Tanavoli's sculpture 'The Wall (Oh Persepolis)' reportedly fetched some $2.84 million at Christie's fourth auction of modern and contemporary art in Dubai on Wednesday.

'The Wall (Oh Persepolis)' is a bronze sculpture nearly 2 meters tall covered in hieroglyphics.

London-based Christie's announced that it had sold over $20 million of mainly Iranian and Arab artwork in the auction, highlighting works by prominent Iranian artists such as Charles Hossein Zenderoudi and Mohammed Ehsai.

Dubai is becoming one of the most popular hotspots for art enhusiasts.