Flash News : Bruce Nauman – Ilya and Emilia Kabakov – Martial Raysse



Every fortnight, Artprice provides a short round up of art market news: Bruce Nauman – Ilya and Emilia Kabakov – Martial Raysse

The Friedrich Kiesler Prize goes to Bruce Nauman: space and light

The Friedrich Kiesler Prize for art and architecture – an award already garnered by Frank Gehry, Toyo Ito and Olafur Eliasson, among others – has been won this year by Bruce NAUMAN est le lauréat 2014 du Friedrich Kiesler Prize pour l’architecture et l’art, récompense déjà acquise par Frank Gehry, Toyo Ito et Olafur Eliasson. The members of the jury decided on Nauman because of the resonances between his artistic commitment and that of Kiesler: the works of both artists evoke space and the body as a theatre of experience and are deeply imbued with mental and physical energy. Bruce Nauman is an all-rounder, for whom the human body, its movements and its relationship with space raise fundamental questions. Nauman’s work cannot be easily pigeon-holed, but draws rather on conceptual influences, body art, punk and minimalism to create works of considerable variety: installations, performances, videos, sculptures in wax or metal, and works in neon lighting. Some of his latest light works – those that transform space most effectively – took his price index over a significant threshold in the early Nineties. Already in 1992, his large neon installation One hundred live and die (1984) had caused a stir, fetching $1.75 million: nearly a million above its high estimate, and a historic hammer price for this type of work (Sotheby’s New York, 17 November 1992). Although the American artist’s multimedia works only represent a small part of his market (less than 3% of his revenue, compared with the 80% posted by sales of his sculptures), he stands out as a pioneer in this field, and beats other major contemporary artists known for their neon works hands down, including Dan Flavin, Joseph Kosuth, François Morellet, Claude Levêque and Tracey Emin.

Monumenta 2014: Ilya and Emilia Kabakov

A year later than originally planned, the major installation by Russian artists Ilya & Emilia KABAKOV was unveiled in the great hall of the Grand Palais in Paris on 10 May, where it will remain until 22 June 2014. Here the Kabakov husband and wife team opened the sixth edition of Monumenta with large white constructions forming a Strange City, a Utopian town in which the viewers are invited to lose themselves. This is the largest work ever produced by the two artists, and took them five years to complete.

Ilya KABAKOV has worked with Emilia, who started out as a pianist, since 1989. Born in 1933 and 1945 respectively, the two artists have often evoked daily life in Russia and their recognition on the international stage won them an official exhibition, staged by the Russian government in 2004 at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. They made their name with installations (155 Kabakov installations are listed between 1983 and 2000), which are generally large. They would be hard to place in a collector’s home, and are thus rare in the secondary market. For example, the last Kabakov installation that went up for auction, La cuisine communautaire (1991), consisted of six small kitchenettes taking up around 15 m2. The work found a buyer nonetheless, and sold well above its estimate for the equivalent of $1.2 million (knocked down for £600,000, i.e. £692,000, including fees, on 13 October 2007 at Phillips de Pury & Company in London). The painted works, easier to exhibit and store, are worth more than the installations, with the record for a painting standing at $5.1 million since 2008 (« Beetle » (1982); Phillips de Pury & Company sale in London on 28 February 2008).

Martial Raysse at Beaubourg

From 14 May to 22 September 2014, the Centre Pompidou is hosting the first Paris retrospective of Martial RAYSSE, the most expensive living French artist after Pierre Soulages. The exhibition contains 200 works from fifty years of creative activity, starting with the first Pop works, and includes some new pieces now being exhibited to the public for the first time. Martial Raysse is one of the few French artists who, like Yves Klein and Pierre Soulages, have exported successfully to the US, which accounts for his dynamic rating. His price index has risen 54% in 10 years and his best works fetch over $1 million. He has incidentally crossed this threshold six times since 2008, often in Paris but also in New York and London. Raysse garnered his record hammer price in London in 2011, with a work in typical Pop colours entitled « L’année dernière à Capri (titre exotique) (Last Year in Capri (Exotic Title)) » from 1962. The work, estimated at £1–1.5 million and finally knocked down for £3.6 million – $5.7 million – at Christie’s (16 February 2011), was bought by an American dealer.