Christies consumes Haunch of Venison. Why?

Last night at the tony Upper East Side opening of the Art Dealers Association of America fair, the hottest gossip surrounded Judd Tully’s scoop for Art Info: “Christie’s to Buy Haunch of Venison” which he described as:

a deal that further blurs the already fuzzy line between auction and gallery business domains…[sure] to prompt its arch-rival Sotheby’s to enter that battlefield.

Several sources point to Francois Pinault, the owner of Christie’s and a major figure in the contemporary art world, as the contributing factor to the acquisition. “There’s no doubt this is the influence of Mr. Pinault,” said the previously quoted London dealer, “who has a very, very strong interest in the contemporary market.”

I wonder about the business logic here. Given the pitched battle between galleries and auction houses for great secondary-market works, it’s unlikely Haunch of Venison will be admitted to any major fairs moving forward. (Tully cites the inclusion of Christies in TEFAF Maastricht as precedent for auction houses showing at fairs, but I’d Continue reading “Christies consumes Haunch of Venison. Why?”

The Artworld’s brain drain

The Baerfaxt writes that, according to a study by Thomas & Associates, 77 percent of professionals who work in international museums, galleries, auction houses, foundations, and performing arts centers said they were planning on staying in their current position for five years or less “due to lack of career advancement and other opportunities.” I guess this includes much of the art world. It shows that, contrary to all recent exhortations about the professionalization of the arts, we still have a long way to go.

I know, just by listening to anecdotal chatter, that many young artists coming out of art schools do not count on pursuing art as a career for too long. They count on doing the art thing for a while, then getting a real job. They are well aware that youth is the prime commodity in the global art world, and that the logistics of party-going and biennale-hopping Continue reading “The Artworld’s brain drain”

Gallery guide Google mashup

gallerygoogle.JPGVery interesting use of technology. Now if they could just combine this with Mappy or another route planner, that would be useful.

I imagine an interface where you choose all the shows that you want to see and then the software spits back to you the most efficient route and modes of transport – taking into account existing tube and traffic conditions. Especially in London, this would be a godsend.

Photography in Berlin and Paris with Google Maps
Recently Google Maps has linked maps from all over the world with specific information on many different locations.

Photography now and the Berlin based agency Datenflug have developed a prototype version of this service for the European Month of Photography in Berlin and Paris. All the institutions have been “pin-pointed” on Google Maps and are presented with their exhibition programmes as well as opening times, enabling interested users to find detailed information about the festival quickly and easily.

Paris | Berlin

Gago’s Glasnost?

The artworld is full of dealers who love to talk to the press – I have the mobile numbers of roughly two dozen on my cell phone, many of them people I can call at 11pm for a killer quote when I’m on deadline. That said, among journalists it’s common knowledge that some dealers simply don’t talk to the press — Larry Gagosian and Jay Jopling are prime examples. You almost never see them quoted, and when you do the “quote” looks like something they signed-off-on rather than actually said.

Which is why I was surprised to see that Gagosian is doing a full-on public presentation next month. Well, it’s not public, per se, it’s in front of a room full of Wharton Business School students and alum. To wit:

Whenever Wednesday: Business of Art: Dealers and Collectors
wed oct 4 @ 5pm

“The art market is defying the laws of gravity. What went up isn’t coming down,” according to a gallery director in the 2006 ARTnews collectors issues. ICA Overseer and top 200 collector Glenn Fuhrman (W’87, WG’88) discusses the art market with dealer Larry Gagosian who Art Review magazine called “the world’s greatest art businessman.”

I’ve never heard of Gagosian doing this kind of thing before, but maybe one of you (or one of our readers) have. Then again, maybe its just a personal favor to Fuhrman (who is Michael Dell’s investment manager), or an opportunity to recruit Wharton finance types onto the gallery’s roster of collectors. After all, someone has to pay for the empire’s expansion.