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11 posts from March 2007

March 29, 2007

Phillips : 27 Exceptional Photographs Auction

We got an invitation to the preview party for the Phillips : 27 Exceptional Photographs sale in the mail yesterday. Our first thought...

Have the pickings become so god dam slim in the world of Art photography that all they could come up with was 27 "exceptional" photos?  Yikes!

What's even more depressing.. We looked at their website.. to see how "exceptional" these photos are... and we can honestly say.. while they were all very nice, there were only 4 or 5 we'd even consider truly exceptional. Wow.. It's such a sellers market in the world of Art Photography.

Abdre_kertesz_meudon_1928 Here's our top pick (photo #1)...A true vintage, Andre Kertesz Iconic image, in a decent size 10x7" (most vintage Kertesz works are the size of a postage stamp), and from a great provenance.


Meudon, 1928
Gelatin silver print, printed 1928-1935. 9 3/8 x 6 15/16 in. (23.8 x 17.6 cm).  Titled by the artist in pencil, '32 bis, Rue du Contentin, Paris XV' copyright credit stamp, Société Paris - Publications reproduction tax receipt stamp with 50c tax stamp affixed to the verso.

Estimate: $300,000-500,000
By the way.. Moudon... is a region/municipality in the southwestern suburbs of Paris.
This image has been on the cover of a few books, and used as the marquee image for several worlwide shows on Kertesz.
We're sure they'll have no trouble finding a buyer well above this estimate. Let the games begin!

The Auction is on April 24th at 7pm, and for those who want free drinks on Phillips, the preview party is on Thursday April 12th from 7 to 9pm. See you there!

Oh.. by the way.. Phillips is also having a second Auction of Non-Exceptional Photographs the following day, April 25th, at 10am and 2pm.

March 27, 2007

Ryan McGinness work at The Lower East Side Printshop

Ryan McGinness, we've been watching his art work for some time.. now he's got new work at the Lower Eastside Printshop... But is Ryan's work Graphic Design or Art ?? What do you think?

Ryan is one of those artists that we never really know how to categorize his work..

  • Are his colorful whimsical works, fresh cutting edge painting or
  • Just gee-whiz graphic design dressed up and packaged as contemporary art?
  • or is he one of those revolutionary Graffiti/Beautiful Losers artist that everyone will be compared to for years to come?
  • They maybe nice little pretty doodles.. but it's not art?

So far people have been voting with their wallets!! His work was completely sold out during the first few hours of the collectors preview at the Jeffrey Detich booth during this years Armory Show.

Ryan's few published books are already very difficult to come by for collectors.  And last year, his works on paper covered the hallways at MOMA (Since 2000: Printmaking Now, May 3-Sept 18th)!

Ryan_mcginness_multionjapanese1Well.. much to our surprise, there are several of Ryan's newest works available for only $3,000 to $4,000. And even better... we think it may also count as a donation to the great not-for-profit, The Lower East Side Printshop.

(photo #1, Ryan McGinness 2007, "Untitled, Multi-colored Barbed Wire on White," screenprint, 48" x 36" image and sheet. Price: $4,000)

FYI, The Printshop is a true learning/teaching institution. Some very impressive artists have done some of their earliest work at The printshop. Over the years they've  included Kiki Smith, Leon Golub, Philip Taaffe, Robert Longo, Barbara Kruger, and even Kara Walker.

These prints by Ryan are all listed as unique one-of-a kind prints.. printed on a variety of different types of papers.  Pretty cool. Right?

Ryan also has his own website if you'd like to see more of his work.

FYI.. The Printshop also has a limited edition print portfolio from the over-hyped super hot hot painter Amy Sillman.

March 22, 2007

Marco Breuer - Free Artist Talk and Book Signing

Marco_breuer_early_record The ever insightful Aperture Foundation & Gallery, will have a Marco Breuer talk and new book signing next week!

Event details...here... Tuesday.. 6:30.. Aperture Gallery. His new book is called Early Recordings.

We've not talked up enough about this ground breaking artists.. but if you're a fan of innovative methods of photography... like the work of Adam Fuss, Susan Derges, The Starns, and Christopher Bucklow.... you'll just love Marco's work.

We've never herd Marco talk... but if he's half as interesting as his photographs.. the evening will be a huge success.

Sadly.. MAO will not be in attendance... we've got a super dull business dinner this Tuesday night at the new Uber Chic NYC hot spot.. Morandi !!  Yes... It's tuff being MAO..

But we're most certainly going to get this book.. Marc_breuer_study_for_pan_vii_2003 We've seen an advance copy.. and it looks amazing!

His photographs were prominently show at the summer 2005 - PS1 Grater NY show, as well as at MOMA.

And he shows with the Von Lintel Gallery in NYC where Marco is curating their next show. The show, Drawing, Thinking  will open on March 29th.

Marco Breuer.. yet another exciting artist to watch!

March 20, 2007

Being a High Power Chelsea Art Dealer isn't enough for some people?

Lewis_hine17_empire_state_building Have you seen this??         www.650SixthAve.com

Apparently, being a super successful Chelsea Art dealer isn't enough excitement for some people.

Now Chelsea Art Dealers want to make their name in the High Flying world of the crazy NYC Real Estate Business too! Apparently the thought here must be, if you can sell over priced contemporary art.... your name can probably help sell fools gold, snake oil, dreams, expensive NY City Condo's too!

(photo #1 by Lewis Hine, Icarus, The Building of the Empire State Building, 1930) Hmmm... this Icarus Image and story.. just seem to be so appropriate for this posting...

So, in this weekend's Sunday New York Times... There was a full page ad for 650 Sixth Ave - Gallery Style Condominium Living presented by SHVO, and the Jack Shainman Gallery.

We guess this is a new Art Gallery Owner ego gone real estate developer trend.. cause there was also this NY Times Real Estate Story featuring 14 units within Gallery Owner Max Protetch's new condo project.

Reagan_louie_bankofchina3_hongkong_ We just don't understand the connection to the art gallery business..

(photo #2 by Reagan Louie, Bank of China, Hong Kong, 1988)

What's next?? 

Hotel Gagosian? The Zwirner Shopping Mall?? or maybe even the Zach Feuer Office Towers?

Have times in the NYC art gallery business become so fat crazy greedy good.. that now these art dealers want to become Egomaniacs Real Estate Moguls as well?

Where will all this money madness end??

March 16, 2007

Some Pearls of Wisdom from Duane Michals

Duane_michals_self_portrait If you've not picked up a copy of Duane Michals hilarious and totally bitchy witty book.. Foto Follies, How Photography Lost It's Virginity on the way to the Bank get one ASAP!!

Actually, they're still on pre-order at amazon and BarnesandNoble.com but, finally it's in a few bookstores...I found that Dashwood Books had some copies..
The entire book, is a MUST read for photographers, Art dealers, and EVERY crazy photo obsessed collector.

Here's just one of my favorite parts from the book.. Duane gave us his..
Tattle-Tales From The Land of Fauxtography

  1. Photography has never been about money, it had always been about photography. Now that the Haute Kunsters have deemed it art, it's all about money and not about photography.
  2. Foxy photographers who call themselves "artists" who take photographs and not photographers, are moron oxys. If a photograph is labeled a mere photograph it is only worth $3,000; if a photograph is labeled a conceptual piece, it fetches $300,000 - semantic sleight of hand.
  3. Never trust any photograph so large that it can only fit inside a museum.
  4. Color is the new black and white.
  5. HOW CRITICS FLUFF THEIR FEATHERS AND PREEN WITH IRONIC AND ICONIC JARGON: One intuits that one has experienced highfalutin cultural hyperbole when one has read one or more of the following brand philosopher's names bandied about in one or more sentences of an art speak critique review: Wittgenstein's Tractatus-Logicics-Philosophicus, Nietzsche's Ubermensch, Darrida's deconstructivist construct, Cartesian logic, Lacan's lexicon, and the epigrammatic phenomenology of Husserl and Marceau-Ponty.
  6. The announced demise of the decisive moment is premature.
  7. Bill Brandt's nudes give me an art-on.
  8. "Kitsch Ray The Wonder Weimaraner Bites William Wegman's Ass" - headline from The Onion.
  9. Photographers whose next three books will look like their last three-books should quit.
  10. The Bechers are the godfathers of the Dusseldorfer Avant-Garde Photo Kunst Academie of Derriere-Garde Photography mafia.
  12. Art is never boring. Andy Warhol was boring.
  13. Gary Winogrand was a snapshooter. A snapshooter is a voyeur who loves the act of taking pictures but doesn't necessarily care about the photographs. He left seven thousand rolls of undeveloped films.
  14. This is the era of foto fast food. Too many Tillmans will give you heartburn, high cholesterol and a fat ass.
  15. Diane Arbus is authentic; Cindy Sherman is inauthentic.
  16. Museums should never exhibit photographs of visitors looking as art in museums to visitors who are looking at art in museums.
  17. The Menage-a-trois of the symbiotic relationship between dealers, critics and museum defines contemporary art. The imprimatur of this art-industrial complex informs the hedge fund arrivistes how to decorate their walls with trendy conspicuous consumption.
  18. Mapplethorpe was not a poete maudit. He was an old fashion fairy who unwittingly legitimized Leviticus by describing homosexuals as terminally hedonistic queers. Jerry Falwell would agree.

March 15, 2007

Ryan McGinley Wins ICP's 2007 Young Photographer Award

Ryan McGinley wins The Young Photographer award from ICP.

Ryan_mcginley_morrissey_25 OK.. we know, we've probably talked up the work of photographer Ryan McGinley way too much already.. but you have to admit.. this kid is getting some serious recognition!

(Photo #1, Untitled, Morrissey 25, 2006,

10 x 8 inches)

Some of the past ICP Young Photographer awardee's include... Tomoko Sawada, Elinor Carucci, Lauren Greenfield, and Nick Waplington.

Congrats to all the 2007 ICP Award winners..

Tracey Moffatt - Art Award

William Klein - Lifetime Achievement Award

Milton Rogovin - Cornell Capa Award

Christopher Morris book My America - Photojournalism Award

David Levi Strauss - Writing Award

By the way.. For those McGinley Obsessed like MAO, there's a new Ryan McGinley Book coming out from Twin Palms with a Slip-cased Limited Edition very soon...

March 13, 2007

The Size King!! New Works by Andreas Gursky

We wish we could go to London... cause there's a new show of some newer works by photographer Andreas Gursky at Monika Spruth Philomene Magers Gallery. We know.. We know.. Huge photo's are already considered out of vogue, tacky and passe.. like..  they're just soooooo last year!!

So, anyway, we were expecting to not like the new Gursky work.. Cause..When you've had the amazing success that Andrea Gursky has enjoyed..  what could he possibly do better than this image or this image?  Right?? Well..think again..check out the show...

Gursky_kuwaitexchange There's just something about his image (Photo #1) of the Kuwait Stock Exchange, 2007 that made us smile.. Which given the total shit performance of these US financial markets the last few weeks that hasn't been happening much over in MAOville!

And yes, yes.... we know he's done these exchange photo's many times before, again, and again.. but this one just has a great little current (political) bent to it.. very witty!

So, anyone know what the prices are on these new puppies are? I'm afraid to even ask..maybe $100k each? more?

Thanks Andreas.. you're still the size King in the art world according to MAO.

FYI.. There's an announcement of the show sent out by Re-Title via email..  And Wallpaper.com has a short posting on the show as well.. Enjoy!

March 09, 2007

So Much For the American Art Expert Estimates ?

Well...my little MAOettes... it would seem several, would be American Art Collectors read MAO's wise advise yesterday.. and were waving their little opportunistic paddles in the air at the Sotheby's American Art Auction.

Sanford_gifford_san_giorgio_venice (Photo #1 Lot 61, Sanford Gifford, San Giorgio, Venice 1870, 26 3/8 by 52 3/8 in, oil on canvas)

Every item we highlighted as looking like good relative value vs. the insane prices of Contemporary Art today, sold for a shitload "just a bit" more than the Sotheby's "Experts" had initially suggested. 

Actually, their pre-sale estimates were so far off.. It just make us think..... were these "Experts" just completely clueless uninformed about the huge demand for these American Painters work, or were they intentionally putting out very low pre-sale estimates in order to attract the attention of many opportunistic non-American Art Specific collectors... it's not clear.

Ludwig_bemelmans_little_madeline_in_bed What do you think..Are these "Experts" Clueless... or Very Art Marketing Savvy?

(Photo #2, Lot 176, Ludwig Bemelmans, Little Madilne Sat in Bed, Cried and Cried, Her Eyes Were Red, 17.75 by 14.25 in, watercolor and ink on paper)

Anyway..here are the results of a few of the MAO favorites...Americanart_auction_results_march07

Sadly, we at MAO didn't buy anything..Grrrr!! There were just throngs of people bidding on everything in sight.

The $192,000 dollars paid for that tiny, 8 x 10 inch, Thomas Hart Benton painting was a real shock!

So actually some of these prices look pretty high..  Hmm... Maybe that huge, edition of 6, Candida Hofer photograph wasn't such a bad buy after all !!

March 08, 2007

An American Art Auction at Sotheby's Today

So maybe we've gone completely MAD here at MAO, or maybe the effects of the Contemporary Art Cool-Aid we were drinking last week at the  Armory show finally wore off.. but some of these American Art Auction pre-sale price estimates at todays Sotheby's auction look very low compared to recent absurd Contemporary Art prices.

Milton_avery_portrait_of_jane_kootz After going  weeks at only seeing still wet new paintings by 25 year old MFA grads being sold by trendy art dealers named Zach or Oliver over the local taxi garages of Chelsea for $30,000, we were a little shocked by the low estimates during this auction preview.

The auction is today at 2pm, at Sothebys, and they have some real gems at very reasonable estimates. Take a look at these 2 examples.

Lot 14. Milton Avery, 1885-1965, PORTRAIT OF JANE KOOTZ 1944, 24 x 18 inches, Oil on Canvas Board, $ 10,000—15,000 USD (Photo #1)

Thomas_hart_benton_journeys_end Lot 19. THOMAS HART BENTON  1889-1975, JOURNEY'S END, 8 x 10 inches, Oil on Canvas Board, $ 20,000—30,000 USD (Photo #2)

This Southey's auction also includes a cool Marsden Hartley drawing for $4,000 to 6,000, a beautiful Paul Cadmus drawing for $6,000 to 9,000, and then there's even some amazing Hudson River School paintings (Just one example by Sanford Gifford) with estimates of $25,000 to $45,000.. seems like good relative value.. no?

But then again, who'd ever want one of these old dead artist works, when you could buy a big editioned photo, numbered 1 of 6, by Candida Hofer for twice the money!! Crazy...NO?

Oh.. and by the way.. for those still completely addicted to over priced Contemporary Art, there's this cool new Pictures of Pigment Series by Vik Muniz, After Cezanne print now available from the Lambert Collection for sale for only 2,500 Euro's. Very nice.. we at MAO already bought one... And a big MAO thanks to new blogger David Greenblatt for pointing this sweet deal out.

March 05, 2007

Ellen Harvey.. one artist to watch!

Ellen_harvey_invisible_self_portrait_bluYou may not know NYC based artist Ellen Harvey yet.. but we think this is one amazing woman to watch. 
We first caught a quick glimpse of Ellen's work at Pulse Miami this year.  At Pulse, she was one of the featured project artists, and where we witnessed four of her Invisible Self-Portraits sell to three important  collectors within the first 10 mins of the fair preview.

(Photo #1, Invisible Self-Portrait, Blue Bathroom, 2006, Oil on wood panel each 22" x 24")

These Polaroid looking paintings are all self portraits painted from actual Polaroid photo's. We found these self portrait paintings simple, but yet elegant. They provoke a mysterious feeling of modesty or possibly shyness from this painter. Immediately they clearly had distinct references to numerous works by famed female photographers Nan Goldin and Cindy Sherman, but with a painters eye and flare.

If you find these somewhat familiar...you may have been lucky enough to see Ellen Harvey's work. It was recently displayed and quickly purchased by one huge collector at
The Armory Art Show (by the shockingly unfriendly people) at Galerie Gebruder Lehman. There were a few more of her paintings at Pulse with the very insightful Magnus Muller Gallery from Berlin .

Ellen_harvey_luxe_galleryBut they are also currently featured in 2 different shows around NYC.

- Frist, Ellen Harvey has a new solo show "The Museum of Failure" at The Luxe Gallery at 57th street. It's up till March 20th. (Photo #2, The Collection of Impossible Subjects, 8' x 12', hand-engraved mirror)

The show features a large rear-illuminated Etched Mirror light-box. AMAZING! You have to see it to understand it!  We previously saw some of her Mirror work at a show in Philly at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art last summer. This project totally blew us away impressed us.. But if you missed it (like who'd ever go to Philly to look at art!!).. there's also a cool book out by DAP of this project.

- Secondly, you can also see several examples of Ellen's Invisible Self-Portrait paintings at "The Unsung Show" which has been astutely curated by Dan Cameron at the Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery.. (in NYC Chelsea). It's a pretty big group exhibition.. but Ellen's work completely steals the show! IMO!  The Unsung show is only up till March 16th, You don't want to miss it!

March 01, 2007

Phillips Contemporary Department Taking on the Big Guys

Phillips_takes_on_sothebys_and_christies So.. given the recent bidding frenzy at this weeks Contemporary Art Auctions and the hordes of crazy people buying everything in site at the NYC art fairs, clearly the challenge for these auction houses is finding people willing to sell anything Contemporary.

So it's no surprise to see our enterprising contemporary expert pals over at Phillips & Co, Michael McGinnes.. sent us an interesting letter with the following opening paragraph...

Phillips Contemporary is now accepting consignments for our upcoming May 17th and 18th sales of contemporary art in New York as well as our June 22nd sale of contemporary art in London.  We are seeking strong examples of work from Post War to Cutting Edge and providing advantageous consignment terms to ensure the strength and balance of material included in each sale.

We just find it amusing to see every auction house ripping off  increasing their fees charged to the buyers.. and now also competitively cutting their fee agreements with the sellers.

Well.. As they've said for the last 10 years in the US Real Estate world......

Its a SELLERS Market !!