contemporary art

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Art Auctions Are Just Money Laundering

Michael Wolff sees something sinister behind ever-rising prices for fine art

(Newser) - High art's auction seasons have become celebrated events, and "most of the hyperventilating commentary has been about the exhilaration" of the soaring prices works are fetching—just last week Christie's set a new record . What hardly anyone's talking about is just how sketchy all this is,... More »

NY Art Museum to Open Exhibit of ... Smells

Chandler Burr explains the world of 'olfactory art'

(Newser) - You won't be able to go and see the special exhibit the New York Museum of Art and Design is opening on November 13—but you will be able to go and smell it. The show, The Art of Scent: 1889-2012 is a first-of-its-kind exhibition of what Chandler Burr... More »

NYU Loses Years of Cancer Research in Storm

Mice drowned, reagents lost when hospital flooded

(Newser) - New York University researchers lost thousands of lab mice and years of scientific research when Hurricane Sandy hit New York University Hospital. The mice—which had been genetically modified for cancer research and took years to produce—drowned when the hospital flooded, the New York Daily News reports. Many special... More »

Modern Art Auction Shatters Records

Rothko painting stars with $86.9M final price

(Newser) - The modern art market is boiling hot right now. For evidence, take a gander at the results from last night's Christie's auction, which saw a Mark Rothko painting sell for nearly $87 million, shattering the gallery's $35 million to $40 million estimate. The sale is a record... More »

Lichtenstein Painting Fetches $43M

It's a record for the late pop artist

(Newser) - If you've got millions to spare, may as well put it on the wall rather than in the markets: A 1961 Roy Lichtenstein painting (I Can See the Whole Room! ... and There's Nobody in It!) sold for $43.2 million at Christie's, reports Bloomberg . It's... More »

Jeff Koons Says He Owns Balloon Dogs

Artist files copyright complaint against bookend maker

(Newser) - Jeff Koons, the pop artist famous for making shiny, 10-foot-tall statues in the shape of balloon-animal dogs, is now taking legal action against a company that makes book-ends in a similar shape, and a gallery gift shop that sells them. Which is pretty ironic, the New York Times points out,... More »

Modest Success at Christie's Cheers Art World

Hockney breaks record as auction house sells $93.7M

(Newser) - Christie's contemporary auction in New York last night went better than expected, selling $93.7 million worth of postwar art—double the result of its rival Sotheby's the night before. The top lot was a 12-foot panorama by British painter David Hockney, which sold for $7.9 million, a record... More »

Art Prices Tumble 35%

(Newser) - Art prices went into freefall in the first quarter, as cash-strapped collectors unloaded their masterpieces, the Financial Times reports. Prices dropped 35%, after falling just 4.8% for all of 2008. Postwar and contemporary artists, favorites of the Wall Street elite, have been hit especially hard, with even the best... More »

Troubled LA Museum Wins $30M Bailout

MoCA warms to Eli Broad amid reports that director has resigned

(Newser) - LA's troubled Museum of Contemporary Art is moving toward a bailout deal with Eli Broad, reports the Los Angeles Times. The billionaire real estate investor and art collector offered MoCA a $30 million donation contingent on improved performance, which board members favored over a merger with the Los Angeles County... More »

Auction Houses Counting on Russians

Buyers prop up industry staggering from economic crunch

(Newser) - With dwindling sales and empty showrooms, art auction houses are increasingly relying on what they have dubbed RR: rich Russians. Houses are hoping the record price drawn by a Kasimir Malevich painting earlier this month is proof that the Russian market will escape the downturn that's affecting other sectors. Of... More »

Huge LeWitt Exhibition Is Beautiful Lunacy

Mass. retrospective traces artist's work in Minimalism and Conceptualism

(Newser) - Sol LeWitt died last year, but his artwork is still being created—executed by handlers according to written instructions. This weekend marked the opening of a massive exhibition of LeWitt’s wall drawings at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, an exhibition Sebastian Smee, in the Boston Globe, calls “... More »

Major Works Fail to Sell at Christie's

Dismal auction season continues as Bacon fails to find buyer

(Newser) - The art world bust continued last night at the Christie's contemporary auction in New York, where almost a third of the 75 works on the block went unsold. Not a single collector bid for the highlight of the sale, a self-portrait by Francis Bacon estimated to sell for around $40... More »

Contemporary Art Goes Bust at Dismal Auction

Lot after lot goes unsold at New York auction

(Newser) - Collectors from Steve Martin to Valentino packed the Sotheby's saleroom in New York last night, but its contemporary art auction barely pulled in $125 million—far below the low estimate of $202 million. For those who could afford it, works were going at bargain-basement prices. "It was a half-price... More »

Hirst Heads to $120M Payday

Art's bad boy prepares to move in a new direction

(Newser) - Damien Hirst is preparing for the biggest sale of his life—and for one of the richest artists alive, that’s saying something. Sotheby’s is about to auction 223 pieces straight out of his studio, for an anticipated take of $120 million. It marks an unprecedented end run around... More »

Not a Great Time to Be an Artist

Top financier predicts sharp downturn in market

(Newser) - The exploding art market may be about to deflate: New York’s flurry of contemporary art fairs last week had surprisingly good sales in light of the economic times, reports Portfolio, but the president of one of the nation’s most active lenders against art predicts a sharp downturn from... More »

Contemporary Art Scores for Auction Houses

Sales swelled 36% in 2007; some fear houses too invested in the new

(Newser) - Contemporary art has been very good to Sotheby’s, fueling a 46% boost in sales for the world’s second-largest auctioneer this year over last, Bloomberg says. A crop of new collectors from the US, Russia and Asia brought new records for artists like Francis Bacon and Jeff Koons, for... More »

Museum Bids to Turn eBay to Art

Vermont museum gives celebs $1000 to blow online, then curates finds

(Newser) - Ebay as high culture? The Shelburne Museum in Vermont is showcasing the online auction winnings of celebs such as Jerry Seinfeld, Bianca Jagger, and John Lurie, in an exhibition titled "Got eBay? Celebrity Collections Created Online." Museum director Stephen Jost gave a group of big names $1000 each... More »

Artist Gets Museum Show, Whether He Likes It or Not

(Newser) - A New England museum will display an artist's work against his will, the New York Times reports. Swiss provocateur Christoph Büchel, who recreates environments for visitors to wander through, shut down his show at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art after a squabble over budget constraints. But the museum... More »

$72M Sale Shatters Warhol Record

Auction madness continues as contemporary-art market sizzles

(Newser) - An Andy Warhol painting sold for $71.7 million last night at Christie's, more than quadrupling the previous record price for a work by the pop artist. The price for "Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I)," part of Warhol's "Death and Disaster" series, more than doubled... More »

Rothko Fetches $73 Million

Record price for seminal modern work marks trend in art purchases

(Newser) - Sotheby’s sold a Mark Rothko painting last night for $72.84 million, a record price for a piece of art created after World War II and a signal of a new boom in the market. Seller David Rockefeller bought the 7-foot-tall "White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender),"... More »

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