Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Lowry Art Trickery?

Wigan Today reports that an art lover from Cheshire accused of tricking a dealer into buying a fake LS Lowry has told a court he thought the painting was genuine. Maurice Taylor - who calls himself Lord Taylor Windsor after buying the title on the internet for £1,000 - sold the Mill Street scene to businessman David Smith during a meeting in a Ritz hotel room in 2007. Mr Smith, managing director of Neptune Fine Arts, paid over £230,000 before discovering the work was bogus. Taylor, 60, who lives in a mansion near Congleton, had bought the snowy scene featuring matchstick-style figures three years earlier through friend and Lowry expert Ivan Aird. Mr Aird acted as an agent for the previous owner Martin Heaps who, the crown say, sold the picture for £7,500 with an invoice describing it as "After Lowry" because it was created by artist Arthur Delaney. Prosecuting at Chester Crown Court, Sion Ap Mihangel, said Taylor knew the picture was fake, invented history to boost its provenance, and doctored the invoice so it appeared he was sold a genuine work. Taylor admitted telling his buyer and auctioneers Bonhams he bought the painting several decades earlier from industrialist Eddie Rosenfeld. He said he did not know why he lied but claimed Mr Aird asked him not to say he bought the painting through him. He said Mr Aird told him the painting was genuine and said: "When he sold me that picture there was never a question in his mind. I didn't question him, he told me it was original." A team of experts from Bonhams later assessed the work and were taken in by it. They provided a £600,000 insurance valuation and laid on the red carpet treatment, hoping Taylor would sell it through them. Mr Mihangel said Taylor acquired the Bonhams valuation to strengthen his selling position and to ensure a private sale. Taylor denies denies six counts of fraud and one of forging an invoice. The trial continues. (For full source and full article click the Headline). Irish Art

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Caged Art Recognised

The New York Times reports that 1974 Tehching Hsieh, a young Taiwanese performance artist working as a seaman, walked down the gangplank of an oil tanker docked in the Delaware River and slipped into the United States. His destination: Manhattan, center of the art world. Once there, though, Mr. Hsieh found himself ensnared in the benumbing life of an illegal immigrant. With the downtown art scene vibrating around him, he eked out a living at Chinese restaurants and construction jobs, feeling alien, alienated and creatively barren until it came to him: He could turn his isolation into art. Inside an unfinished loft, he could build himself a beautiful cage, shave his head, stencil his name onto a uniform and lock himself away for a year. Thirty years later Mr. Hsieh’s “Cage Piece” is on display at the Museum of Modern Art as the inaugural installation in a series on performance art. But formal recognition of Mr. Hsieh (pronounced shay), who is now a 58-year-old American citizen with spiky salt-and-pepper hair, has been a long time coming. For decades he was almost an urban legend, his harrowing performances — the year he punched a time clock hourly, the year he lived on the streets, the year he spent tethered by a rope to a female artist — kept alive by talk. This winter, owing to renewed interest in performance art, new passion for contemporary Chinese art and the coinciding interests of several curators, Mr. Hsieh’s moment of recognition has arrived from many directions at once. The one-man show at MoMA runs through May 18. The Guggenheim is featuring his time-clock piece in “The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860-1989” through April 19. M.I.T. Press is about to release “Out of Now,” a large-format book devoted to his “lifeworks.” And United States Artists, an advocacy organization, has awarded Mr. Hsieh $50,000, his first grant. He is gratified by the exhibitions. But he judges the book, which is 384 pages and weighs almost six pounds, to be the definitive ode to his artistic career. “Because of this book I can die tomorrow,” said Mr.Hsieh. (For full source and full article click the Headline). Irish Art

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Yves Saint Laurent Art Auction

The Financial Times reports that at 9am this Saturday morning the doors of the Grand Palais in Paris will open on an exhibition of the art collection formed by the couturier Yves Saint Laurent and his business and civil partner Pierre Bergé. The three-day, 733-lot art auction, organised by Christie’s in association with Pierre Bergé & Associés, is expected to realise €200m-€300m (half the proceeds are to benefit scientific research in the fight against Aids). This is a sale that has it all: glamour, celebrity and, above all, objects of impeccable provenance, quality and rarity. Yves Saint Laurent also used his art collections as inspiration for his designs), eventually turning to modern painting, acquiring the “Demoiselles d’Avignon”, for instance, directly from Picasso’s studio and commissioning sumptuous art deco furniture. The first of many purchases made through the Parisian dealer Alain Tarica was Brancusi’s rough-hewn, totemic oak sculpture of the Parisian hostess Léonie Ricou, acquired from Léger’s widow for around $500,000 (€15m-€20m). The whole of Mondrian is summed up in three superlative works and their glorious Matisse, “Les coucous, tapis bleu et rose” of 1911 (€12m-€18m), which has never been lined or varnished, dates from that rare phase in the artist’s oeuvre when he moves on from fauvism to orientalism, the Spanish fabric depicted featuring in many subsequent works. What is clear is that there was never any sense of hierarchy in their art collecting; every object, major or relatively minor, was there to add its own particular magic, and resonance, to the grander scheme. They were not in pursuit of trophies per se; rather, gathering pieces of a visual, intellectual and emotional jigsaw evoking that heroic age of early-20th-century French culture and creativity. (For full source and full article click the Headline). Irish Art

Friday, February 13, 2009

Gormleys - "20 Years in Irish Art" Celebration

Over the last 20 years Oliver Gormley’s passion for art and success driven attributes have helped develop Gormleys into the respected business it is today. This gallery continues to work towards building sustainable relationships with both artists and collectors, selecting artists in whose future and creativity they believe in - both established and emerging. Many of their artists are now receiving critical acclaim and appear in important collections. Twenty years experience in the art business, have left Gormleys Fine Art in a strong position to offer solid advice to their collector clients. The gallery walls in Belfast and Dublin during the "20 years" Celebration exhibitions will show artists such as John Behan, Paddy Campbell, Ian Pollock, Eileen Meagher, Peter Monaghan, Arthur Maderson, Liam O’Neill, James Brohan, Charles Harper, J.B. Vallely, Lorcan Vallely, Michael Smyth, Barry Kerr, Jonathan Aiken, Paul Donaghy, Ken Hamilton, Rita Duffy, Rowland Davidson and Jane Swanston. "20 Years Celebration" Exhibition - Belfast + Dublin Gormleys Fine Art - Belfast - 19th Feb - 19th Mar 2009 Belfast Gallery 251 Lisburn Road, Belfast Tel:+44 (0)28 9066 3313 belfast@gormleys.ie Dublin Gallery 24 South Frederick St Dublin 2 Tel: +353 (0) 1 6729031 dublin@gormleys.ie Irish Art

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"Nazi" Picasso's Stay In NY

Time/CNN reports that it may have been possible for Picasso's boy to lead that horse without a rein, but it appears that the Museum of Modern Art didn't have the famous painting on as tight a leash as you might have thought. For more than a year that 1906 picture, one of the high points of MoMA's art collection, has been the focus of a Holocaust restitution fight that also involved another Picasso, Le Moulin de la Galette, this one hanging at the Guggenheim. Yesterday both museums settled out of court with three plaintiffs seeking return of the paintings, which they claim had been relinquished under duress by their Jewish owner in the 1930s. As with most settlements the details of this one are sealed, so we may never know whether or how much money changed hands. And by itself the mere fact that the two art museums chose to settle doesn't mean they didn't have faith in their own arguments. (Or, for that matter, that the plaintiffs didn't have faith in their's.) But jury trials are a crapshoot and for the museums at least, the paintings were too important to lose. (For full source and full article click the Headline). Irish Art