January 2012

A new exhibition in Jedda, Saudi Arabia is one more likely to be seen in art capitals like London, Venice, or Berlin.  

The show, which features 40 pieces by 22 young, edgy artists is organized by Edge of Arabia, an independent art initiative.  

According to this article, this could not have happened in the country just 10 years ago.  Even the young Saudi family attended the opening, further showing a cultural shift being watched by the art community.

[This article was drafted with the assistance of Nicole Dornbusch].

In this article, Marc C. Taylor discusses the parallels and relationship between finance and Modern Art.  He finds that in both markets, concepts are becoming more abstract and trading faster paced.

According to reliable estimates, in fact, the private art market reached 25 to 30 billion dollars by 2006 just as obscure financial instruments gained momentum.  In addition, corporations and high net worth individuals use art to show their wealth.  

The commodification of art itself has become popular, with artists like Warhol and Koons achieving the highest prices with works made with commercialization in mind.

[This article was drafted with the assistance of Nicole Dornbusch].

On Jan 3, Weng Fine Art became the only company to go public in the once booming Krenfeld, Germany in almost 3 years.  According to this article, this art firm’s success is not as surprising as it would appear – the North Rhine-Westphalia area where it is housed is one of the wealthiest in the country and is just a 20-minute drive from the culturally vibrant Dusseldorf.  

Weng runs his business uniquely – he prefers to discuss art deals one on one with his contacts, instead of attending big art fairs or showing at a big gallery in a major city.  

Skate’s art market index warns of the unlikely success for the firm though, by comparing its current trajectory to that of other Art dealers that previously went public only to go private again shortly after.

[This article was drafted with the assistance of Nicole Dornbusch].

ArtInfo discusses the biggest controversies of the art world in 2011 in this article.

Along with the protests of artist Ai Weiwei and collective Voina, the article also recounts issues of copyright, censorship, class tension between the art world elite and those whom they employ, and arts funding.

[This article was drafted with the assistance of Nicole Dornbusch].

Alice Walton has opened the Walmart-financed Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. The museum has had its negative critics, like Bloomberg’s Jeffrey Goldberg, who called attention to the disparity between the grandeur of the American museum and the poverty of the American people in this article

Nevertheless, Roberta Smith gives the museum itself a strong review and even says that “Crystal Bridges is poised to make a genuine cultural contribution, and possibly to become a place of pilgrimage for art lovers from around the world,” in this article from the New York Times.



Victoria Reed, curator of provenance at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, researches potential acquisitions with questionable histories.  In her position, the Museum of Fine Arts asks Ms. Reed to attend to provenance issues by investigating liens on title before the Museum acquires works. 

Recently, her research, which traced a 17th century gold medallion to a museum in Gotha, Germany, looted during the Nazi era, resulted in the Museum electing to decline to purchase the work. A few months later, the Art Loss Register announced that the dealer who had offered the medallion was returning it to the museum in Germany. 

More about Ms. Reed’s interesting work can be found here.

[This article was drafted with the assistance of Nicole Dornbusch].

ArtInfo has published its version of the “top 20 shows to see in 2012.” 

With artists such as On Kawara, Damien Hirst, Henry Taylor and Cindy Sherman, the publication is bullish on modern and contemporary art in 2012. See the slideshow, with details on dates and locations, here.

[This article was drafted with the assistance of Nicole Dornbusch].