Art Market News in Brief!



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

Inauguration of Marseille-Provence 2013: selected extracts

As European Capital of Culture for 2013, Marseille will be the setting for a whole host of cultural projects throughout the year. Officially launched on 12 and 13 January, the event opened with the inauguration of two new venues, including the Friche Belle de Mai.
This centre was unveiled with an exhibition entitled Ici, ailleurs (“here and there”), bringing together thirty-nine contemporary artists for critical reflection on the themes of globalisation and identity. Selected for their cultural diversity and ability to react to the project’s leitmotiv, the artists mainly belong to the generation born in the Sixties and Seventies. Many have forged international reputations and have regular success in the auction rooms. Annette Messager, Youssef Nabil, Kader Attia, Ange Leccia, Mona Hatoum, Mounir Fatmi and Jannis Kounellis are all taking part, and most of them have created completely new works for the occasion. Mona HATOUM‘s installation Cellule explores the idea of confinement, something that has always obsessed the artist, as it has a direct connection with her personal story of exile and uprooting. The evocative power of the object sculptures she has been producing since the Nineties is echoed in the high prices her work achieves at auction, for example her record hammer price of $390,000 in 2011 for Silent, a glass cot (Christie’s New York, 8 November). The Palestinian-born artist has established herself as a major presence in Marseille and the surrounding region, and also has a solo exhibition at the Chapelle des Pénitents in Aubagne.
Another key event at the start of this European year, L’art à l’endroit runs until 17 February and features several high-profile contemporary art stars in and around the public areas of Aix-en-Provence. Artists include Yayoi Kusama, Ugo Rondinone, Huang Yong Ping, Franz West, Xavier Veilhan and Mark Handford. We might just mention that the star of the auction room, the inimitable Yayoi KUSAMA, has held a record since 2008 of $5.1 m (No.2, Christie’s New York, 12 November): the highest price ever achieved for a work by a living female artist. Meanwhile, the Chinese-born artist HUANG Yongping, who moved to France in 1989, recently garnered his second-best result thanks to the sale last November of Da xian : the doomsdayWith solo exhibitions, themes, artistic commissions, residences and a wide range of events, Marseille-Provence 2013 promises a wealth of highly original projects.

Tacita Dean at Marian Goodman

From 1 February to 9 March 2013, the Marian Goodman Gallery (New York) will be presenting Fatigues, an installation by Tacita DEAN. This time the artist, who has already exhibited at Marian Goodman (Paris) in 2007 with Human Treasures, is proposing an installation of six snowy panoramic drawings in white chalk on blackboard. Visitors will discover the mountainous landscapes of Afghanistan, filmed by the British artist during a recent trip. The installation was commissioned and co-produced by Documenta 13 in Kassel (Germany), where it was on display from 6 June to 16 September 2012.
Tacita Dean was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1998. She has received a number of awards since then, including the Hugo Boss Prize, and she has twice participated in the Venice Biennial (2003 and 2005). She has recently exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum (2007) and the Tate Modern Turbine Hall (2011). Her increased visibility has naturally had a knock-on effect in the auction room.
Although only around twenty of her works have gone under the hammer since 1995, nearly half of which were withdrawn, her popularity still continues to increase. She achieved her record in 2011 with the sale of Wake for $180,000 (Christie’s London, 12/10/12). This white chalk drawing on blackboard immortalises a tumultuous sea, echoing the Afghan mountains in Fatigues that is on show at Marian Goodman.

58th Brussels Antiques & Fine Arts Fair

There are only a few days left to explore BRAFA ’13! Until 27 January, 128 galleries from 12 countries are exhibiting thousands of works, and over 46,000 visitors are expected. From primitive art and Old Masters to contemporary works and comic strips, some twenty different specialist areas are on display over 14,000 sq.m at Tour & Taxis.
Harold t’Kint de Roodenbeke has presided over this event since his appointment in June 2012. This Brussels dealer, who specialises in 20th century art, aims to make the BRAFA “the ultimate exhibition of eclecticism” during his term, while keeping a close eye on market developments. He is particularly delighted with the arrival of three galleries specialising in comic strips, for which Brussels is one of the main centres. This decision reflects the rapid rise of this market, confirmed by the ever-increasing numbers of specialist sales. 2012 was an excellent year for this discipline, as witness the cover of HERGÉ‘s Tintin en Amérique, which went for a spanking $1.4 m (Artcurial, Paris) on 2 June – the highest ever hammer price in this category.