It’s Been a While

By Asher Edelman

Yes, it’s been too long, in my view at least, since I’ve last put a pen to paper, so:

ArtAssure Ltd. News

Moss: Dialogues Between Art & Design, the auction organized , curated, and executed by Murray Moss and ArtAssure was a resounding success. With all results in and counted the sales rate by value exceeded 83%. Records were set in Pre-War Giacometti sculpture, Robert Wilson drawings, Doug Argue paintings, and design works by Maarten Baas, Studio Job, Hella Jongerius, and Patricia Urquiola. The exhibition in Phillips de Pury’s 57th Street space and the catalogue written by Murray Moss drew accolades from the normally skeptical auction press. Thank you Franklin Getchell, the ArtAssure team, the Phillips catalogue, installation, and PR teams, Patty Hambrecht and Simon de Pury for backing up Murray in this extraordinarily creative sale.

ArtAssure Financing Innovation

ArtAssure has instituted a first in the world of art finance. We are now able to advance funds to borrowers who intend to dispose of art within ten business days of the loan request.

Art Market and the Like

We have noted of late that a substantial supply of some importantly priced art is beginning to flow to the market from none other than collectors, investors, and dealers who had been on the buy side of those same artists for the past four years or so and through last May. Some names worth watching in this category are Gursky, Hirst, Kapoor, Oehlen, Richter, Warhol, and Wool. At the same time it appears likely that new records will be set in November for such classics as Franz Kline and Henry Moore.

On the whole we are seeing a pretty even balance of eager sellers and willing buyers at the top of the market. Below the top layer we continue to see undeniably more sell than buy interest.

Recent Absurdities

New York Times, October 6th, “Shopping List: Tuna, Detergent, a Warhol” by Patricia Cohen

Patricia Cohen, a critic of some note, writes about Costco again selling art, having ceased selling art six years ago after being caught selling forged Picasso drawings. Now Costco has recommenced its quest into the “art” business with the same dealer of works who supplied the fake Picassos,
Greg Moors, who in his wisdom as a dealer declares:

1. “It takes time to find and frame original art…”
2. He is “driven by his vision of art for everybody…”
3. “The customer is more important than the deal.”

Now what Mr. Moors is selling represents little more than copies of copies. The fact that there is no signature and, therefore, no forged signature is one of the greatest lines in art history. I pass it on to the dealer community for their clients who insist on a signature on the front of the Picasso!

Though this is all amusing it is deeply disturbing that my Costco membership is sullied by such nonsense.

Washington Post, October 12th, “Can You Destroy a Rothko Painting That is Available Everywhere?” by Kriston Capps

I don’t know what Mr. Capps is noted for, probably nothing much. Capps presents incoherent jabber for an argument about why its makes no difference that a crazy destroyed a Rothko painting. His extraordinary declarations include:

1. “What better way to point out that a paint-covered piece of canvas might by overvalued by society than by tagging it?”

2. “As his (Rothko’s) works age, they find their way into the collections of hedge-fund managers and other conspicuous consumers, negating what Rothko said his work stood for.”

Now really! Must we destroy to prove society wrong in taste? No one seems to like hedge fund managers or conspicuous consumers these days – BUT – what in the world does that have to do with the greatness of Mark Rothko?All in all what a great day it will be when art writers stop writing about themselves, their silly little prejudices, and write about art. The rest is a sad waste of time and degrades even the reader.


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