Top Art Stories: discoveries, returns and (maybe) a new law for the art world

Top Art Stories for April 8th, 2014.

Art world can never be boring! Christie’s is announcing today that it’s offering another triptych by Francis Bacon and Larry Gagosian is bringing back Richard Prince’s infamous law changing exhibition. Read on for more fresh and cutting-edge news that caught our attention.

Francis Bacon’s triptych to be auctioned at Christies next month

B_baconLast year’s record-breaking sale of the 1969 “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” was phenomenal and quite spontaneous, and exceeded the high estimate by 65%. A previous record for a Bacon triptych was set at $86.3 million in 2008 when “Triptych, 1976” just slightly exceeded its estimate of $70 million. Now that we are all well familiar with the degree of the demand and hype, in general associated with the combination of words “Bacon” and “Triptych”, the outcome of the upcoming sale could be quite predictable…  If only not the fact that John Edwards, Bacon’s companion, was far more occasional subject for the artist who made more than 20 portraits of him. Source: New York Times

Richard Prince is Back at Gagosian with ‘Canal Zone’

C_canal zoneNow that Cariou v. Prince is settled and Richard Prince (sort of) declared victory in a battle for appropriation of other artist’s work, it would be reasonable for him to move on, work on a new project or even (now safely and guilt-free) appropriate someone else’s art. But Larry Gagosian is showing ‘Canal Zone’, the exhibition of works that led to the lawsuit in 2008, again, with the majority of works not for sale. Are Prince and Gagosian celebrating the victory? Perhaps. Although, we think it would be even more extravagant and ambitious to show Cariou’s and Prince’s work side by side and prove “a different character” of their works to the public. In any case, ‘Canal Zone’ opens on May 6th at Gagosian gallery on Upper East Side and will be on view through June 14thSource: New York Times 

Art will be everywhere this summer

E_art everywhereWouldn’t it be a perfect world if billboards were advertising works of art instead of fast food or online casinos? That’s exactly what is about to happen this summer. An initiative to celebrate American art from coast to coast as part of one of the largest outdoor exhibitions begins on Monday, April 7th. The project is called Art Everywhere and is a joint venture of five museums and the billboard industry. Jasper John’s “Flag” and Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks” are among 100 selections that the public can view and vote for 10 favorite pieces at The final selection of 50 works will be displayed across the U.S. for the entire month of August 2014. Source: New York Times

While resale royalties bill awaits a decision from Congress..

R_resale royaltiesA bill that would bring artists resale royalties in the U.S. was introduced in February and still awaits a decision from Congress. And while an earlier version of the bill was rejected in 2011, the resale royalty law is not a fictional concept, but is a law enforced in some countries. It has its pros and cons: artists in need could use the money to support themselves and maybe even produce more art; on the other side, the opponents believe that some of the market participants might be driven away by bureaucracy. But as it turns out from the UK experience of droit de suit, where it came in force in 2006, it functions not exactly as projected: the living contemporary artists receiving the royalties are most likely to be doing well already since their work is selling at auction, and the demand can hardly be driven away by an additional fee since the supply is always limited (and is theoretically out of control) especially at the higher end of the art market. Source: GalleristNY

Monet’s Waterloo Bridge found in Gurlitt’s collection

N_NaziThe collection of art stolen by Nazis and collected by the art dealer Hildebrandt Gurlitt is being slowly recovered since 2012 with more and more masterpieces discovered throughout the family’s residencies. The latest find is an important painting by Claude Monet of London’s Waterloo Bridge which the artist painted repeatedly between 1900 and 1908. A similar Monet from this series sold for $35.5 million in 2007. Other recent discoveries from the infamous collection include drawings by Pablo Picasso, Paul Cezanne and Paul Gauguin. Each artwork is uploaded to, and can be found at Germany’s Lost Art Internet Database. In the most recent development art net reports that Cornelius Gurlitt offered the investigators one year to confirm provenance of all 1280 seized works of art. “A task force funded by the government will have a year to investigate any works with questionable provenance. Any artworks with possible restitution claims will remain in fiduciary custody. After a year, all other work will be returned to Gurlitt, who will ensure continued access if additional research is required.” Unless Gurlitt’s son proves rightful ownership of an artwork in the collection, it will be returned to its rightful owners or their descendants. Source: artnet

Landscape paintings provide insight about air pollution

L_landscapesWe always knew that people look at art differently. But it turns out that meteorologists can take contemplation of the sky, its color and shapes of clouds to a totally different level! According to a team of atmospheric physicists at the University of Patras in Greece, the palette the artists used (think of Turner’s burning orange-red skies the artist painted in the mid-late 1800’s) and particularly tones of red close to the horizon line, correlates with the volcano eruptions. While meteorological measurements had not been made until the mid-nineteenth century, landscape as a genre existed for centuries and provides ample resources for research. Source: New York Times

This article © galleryIntell. Image courtesy Christie’s Images, Ltd.