Art Market News in Brief!



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

Inauguration of the new Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam this weekend

After eight years of work, the Stedelijk Amsterdam reopens its doors this Sunday, 23 September. Although it remained active throughout the duration of the works thanks to a temporary residence in an abandoned building, exhibitions at the Nieuwe Kerk on Dam Square and events at the underground Trouw club, the Museum’s followers were getting impatient.
Now it has at last returned home, with a new wing of 10,000m² designed by Mels Crouwell that will make possible the exhibition of a greater proportion of the museum’s permanent collection that had become far too big for the original space. The collection contains works by major twentieth century artists whose rare masterpieces fetch millions of dollars at auctions such as Chaïm SOUTINE, whose auction record exceeded $15m in 2007 (L’homme au foulard rouge, Sotheby’s, London), Ernst Ludwig KIRCHNER, whose canvas Berliner Strassenszene/Bäume fetched $34m at Christie’s in New York in 2006, and Kasimir Sevrinovitch MALEVICH, whose Suprematisch Composition was acquired for more than $53m at Sotheby’s in New York in 2008.
The first temporary exhibition, Beyond imagination, highlights Dutch and foreign Contemporary artists active in the Netherlands. It will include works by Carl ANDRE who has generated five million-plus auction results since 2008, and Rodney GRAHAM, whose highly sought-after images of inverted trees have twice exceeded the $150,000 line at auctions in New York over the past two years (at Sotheby’s and Christie’s). All in all… a program that was worth the long wait!

Jacob Jordaens and Antiquity at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

As of 12 October, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels will be hosting an exhibition of works by Jacob JORDAENS (1593-1678) who was influenced by Peter Paul RUBENS and is considered one of the major seventeenth century Flemish painters. The exhibition, with approximately 80 works from major museums and private collections, will seek to demonstrate Jordaens’ brilliance as a painter and his importance for the art market of his era. More than just a disciple of Rubens, Jordaens also left us a legacy of works inspired by mythological literature.
On 5 July 2007, The Revel of Bacchus and Silenus, a superb oil on panel depicting an orgy, fetched more than $3m at Christie’s London. His paintings, which constitute nearly 60% of his auction lots, often depicted figures from antiquity: Bacchus, Mercury, Neptune and Greek philosophers like Heraclitus and Diogenes are featured on sales catalogues: in 2011, an oil on canvas entitled Mercury, Argus and Io sold for more than $200,000.

Cai Guo Qiang receives the Praemium Imperiale prize

Every year since 1989 the Japan Art Association awards a prize to five artists from around the world for their contribution to the arts. On 12 September 2012, the Chinese artist CAI Guoqiang received the “paintings” prize and will receive €150,000, a diploma and a medal. However, the artist did not need this award to establish his international reputation and his success at auctions.
Nearly three hundred works by Cai Guo Qiang, aged just 55, have changed hands at auctions, including eight above the million dollar line. Highly popular in his home country, six of these were auctioned in China. On 25 November 2007, Christie’s Hong Kong sold a lot of 14 gunpowder drawings for more than $8m (Untitled, 2002). Since 2000, Hong Kong and China alone account for 48% of his auction transactions and 78% of the artist’s auction revenue. However, Western collectors are also fond of his work: more than a quarter of his auction results have been hammered in the U.S. and the UK (14% of his global auction revenue).
On 7 October 2012, Sotheby’s Hong Kong will be offering two paintings by the artist including a monumental gunpowder work estimated between $500,000 and $650,000 (Two Lions, 2005, 230 x 465 cm).

Dennis Hopper exhibition at the Martin Gropius Bau gallery: 1960s photos

Dennis HOPPER, who died in 2010, was better known as an actor and film director than as a photographer. It is this lesser known aspect of the artist that is showcased at the Martin Gropius Bau gallery in Berlin since Thursday 20 September. Thanks to his phenomenal success in Hollywood during the 1960s, Hopper was able to capture some of the iconic celebrities of his time. From Andy WARHOL, for whom he worked as an actor, to James Dean, with whom he acted, he photographed the entire artistic microcosm of that legendary decade.
Dennis Hopper’s photos remain affordable: original silver prints can be acquired for between $2,000 and $6,000 at auctions. Only prints of his Double Standard – his most famous photograph – are more expensive. They are estimated at a minimum of $20,000 and indeed one of them generated his record auction just two weeks before his death: a large format (76.2 x 113 cm) Double Standard was acquired for $38,000 (Phillips de Pury & Company, New York). The other five Hopper photos offered at the same auction sold for between $5,000 and $16,000 above their high estimates: his self-portrait fetched $25,000 against a high estimate of $9,000!