March 22 | The ever-expanding Asian art market
The highly anticipated Art Market report written by Clare McAndrew for Art Basel HK offers different conclusions from that recently published by TEFAF. Whilst it appears that Asian buyers are the most dynamic, it's clear that such an opaque market has proved difficult to measure. In other news, Pace Gallery expands in Hong Kong, and response to Whitney Biennale stands divided.
Asia’s ‘new-rich’ cushions global market fall, says Hong Kong report
The 2017 Art Market report was released today at Art Basel in Hong Kong by economist Clare McAndrew. The report shows that total sales in the global art market shrank by 11% in 2016 to $57 billion – a $10 billion fall from 2014’s all-time high of $68 billion. The location of the first report by the founder of Art Economics for Swiss-based Art Basel, in collaboration with the Swiss bank UBS, was appropriate given that, for the first time, it was reported the number of high net worth individuals is greater in Asia-Pacific, than in North America. McAndrew, speaking ahead of The Art Market 2017’s publication, noted that there were 1.7 million millionaires in China and Hong Kong, with Asia seeing three new self-made billionaires every three days.
Nevertheless, this report stands in contrast to that of Rachel Pownall’s Tefaf Art Market Report 2017, written by McAndrew until last year, which estimates that the global art market is now worth $45 billion, an increase of 1.7% from 2015. Details via The Artnewspaper.
Pace Gallery to open second space in Hong Kong
Pace Gallery looks set to expand once more, with a new space opening at 80 H Queen’s Road in Hong Kong, located in the iconic H Queen’s building. This opening follows that of Pace’s new outpost in Seoul – signalling the gallery’s robust health.
The leading contemporary art gallery represents several of the most significant international artists and has already scheduled a number of exhibitions for the new space. These will feature artists Julian Schnabel, Chuck Close, Alexander Calder, and Lee Ufan, among others. Marc Glimcher, president of Pace Worldwide, hinted that the Hong Kong location would be vital in ensuring the gallery’s growth, providing Pace with greater access to Asia’s expanding art market. “Collectors and the curatorial community rely on Hong Kong as a place where they can see important work being made by artists around the world.” For more info, see Artnet
A rendering of the new Hong Kong venue for Pace Gallery
Metropolitan Museum appoints new curator of Modern Art
Stephanie D’Alessandro has been appointed the Leonard A. Lauder Curator of Modern Art at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Beginning in May, D’Alessandro will also be in charge of the museum’s Leonard A. Lauder Research Center.
The Metropolitan Museum’s director, Thomas P. Campbell, described D’Alessandro as “a curator who is nationally and internationally recognized for her exhibitions and publications on Matisse, Picasso, and other twentieth-century artists and for her innovative installations at the Art Institute of Chicago.” Remarking on her ability “to pioneer new ways of audience engagement with modern art,” Campbell reaffirmed this attribute as “a cornerstone of The Met’s mission.” Details via artnews.
London’s Fourth Plinth to hold American artist’s replica of statue destroyed by ISIS
The American artist Michael Rakowitz and the British artist Heather Phillipson were announced yesterday, March 21, as the winners of the next two commissions to occupy the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square, funded by the Mayor of London. The new commissions follow British artist and illustrator David Shrigley’s Really Good bronze sculpture of a giant “thumbs up.”
Rakowitz will present a replica of the Lamassu statue that once stood at the Nergal Gate in Nineveh, Iraq, and was destroyed by ISIS in 2015, whilst Phillipson will present THE END, a sculpture of a giant mound of whipped cream complete with cherry, fly and a functioning drone on top. Previous winners include Antony Gormley, Rachel Whiteread and Yinka Shonibare. More info at The Guardian.
Lamassu statue, by American artist Michael Rakowitz
“BLACK DEATH SPECTACLE” protest at Whitney Biennale
This past Saturday saw artist Parker Bright hold a protest in front of Dana Schutz’s painting titled Open Casket. Whilst otherwise the Whitney Biennale has been received amiably by critics for it’s fresh explicitly-political stance, this past week has seen some reverberation. Bright wore a grey T-shirt with “BLACK DEATH SPECTACLE” written across the back, reportedly stating that the white artist, Schutz, “has nothing to say to the black community about black trauma.” The abstract painting depicts the famed photograph of Emmett Till’s open-casket funeral, a photograph that served as a catalyst for the civil rights movement, by exposing the mutilated body of Emmett Till, the teenager who was lynched by two white men in Mississippi in 1955.
Artist and writer Hannah Black, along with 47 co-signatures, yesterday penned an open letter, addressed to the the curators and staff of the Whitney biennial. She stated that “it’s not acceptable for a white person to transmute Black suffering into profit and fun.” Black called curators Christopher Y. Lew and Mia Locks to destroy the painting, so as to make sure that it could not be sold or seen in the future. Details via The New York Times.
SCOTT W. H. YOUNG (@HEISCOTT)/VIA TWITTER