Final Post

Thank you all so much for a wonderful semester. I greatly enjoyed it.

Here are the links to the articles you brought in for our last lesson in no particular order (where I couldn’t find your link online, I substituted one very close to it). They’re a snapshot of the art market as it stands in spring 2012. An updated exam is on BBoard, reflecting the changes we made together in our last class.


You’re welcome to use any and all that you’d like in your final exam response:

Candra, on questions of authenticity: Robert Indiana, Pop artist known for ‘LOVE’ sculptures and prints, sued by Monaco art buyer

Deneeesha, on money destroying the art world and the art of selling out

Jerrica, on Gunter Sachs, the playboy art collector and art as an asset class

Alice, thinking about public art as “un-collectible” or on the periphery of the market (vs. someone like Serra, embraced by it) [see Oxford Art Online “Public Art in the 21st Century”]

Baher, on the business of art in the middle east and stolen antiques. [see also CQ Researcher, “Stolen Antiquities,” April 13, 2007. Vol 17, No. 14]

Kylesha, on the state of the art market today

Lena, on artists getting paid (or not) and advocacy in the arts

Mayra, on the NY Magazine arts special and pretending you’re an outsider to be an insider

Michael, on five theories on why the art market can’t crash, and why it will anyway

Elizabeth, on an artist’s family saying his gallery ignored warning of fakes

Dasha, on burning art to make a point about funding cuts

Ginger, on Nazi-era repatriation

Monique, on Munch’s The Scream and the Nazi era

Tatum, on the Huffington Post’s Hennessy Youngman interview 

Nav, on the FBI and art theft

Maria P, on an ex-Gagosian employee telling all

Daniel, on Artforum’s “Scene and Herd” at Frieze

Mariya S, on The Art Newspaper at Frieze

Michelle B, on the Sotheby’s art handler lockout and the sale of The Scream

Eitan, on the fact that the super-rich are still buying art despite the economic crisis

Angela, on Martha Rosler’s garage sale at MoMA

Randy, on stolen art

Isabel, on the Guerrilla Girls

Wilson, on hotels using artists to boost their street cred

Victoria, on new tech start ups for art and art rental (really interesting!)

Michelle C, on the ethics of corporate sponsorship in the arts

Leonel, on Jerry Saltz rejecting and embracing (and playing) the market

Julia S, on the Artist Pension Trust

Sandy, on the very interesting question: how do performance artists make any money? 



I’m just working on finalizing your exam questions and will also work on getting your rich cache of resources up by end of day tomorrow too (bravo on bring in so much great stuff last class!). Just in case they’re useful, here are the notes from the whiteboard brainstorm last class.

Happy finals week!

My “share” for our final class

This is the article I’m bringing in for tomorrow as my “share”: Dan Zimmerman’s Art as an Autonomous Commodity within the Global Market posted to “Art & Education” last week. I’ll report on it tomorrow, and I look forward to seeing what you bring – remember, it can be anything, it doesn’t need to be a scholarly article. Just compelling and germane to our studies this semester.

Weekly Roundup

Thanks to Alice for alerting us to the book above (forward by Mayor Bloomberg – yup, the one who steps out with Diana Taylor, on the board at Sotheby’s), a preview of which can be read here.

Julia S. alerts us to the mixing of politics an art at auction with the charity sale of a work by …. Valdimir Putin!

Thank you to Daniel for sending info on the current exhibition of Gertrude Stein’s collection at the Met Museum, and the recent outcry over her links to the Nazi regime in France during the Vichy collaborationist period. It seems she didn’t have to fill out the PCF forms we learned about in Soltes’ essay…… she got to keep her art works during the war.

Candra sent the outsider art documentary One Bad Cat to our attention and here’s a link to another outsider artist (responsible for some R.E.M. covers back in the day), Howard Finster.

Jerry Saltz on why he hates big money auctions

Thanks Deneesha for flagging this post in Vulture by Saltz on the auction of The Scream. It’s worth citing a chunk from:

“I hate art auctions. Not just because they’re freak-show legal casinos, spectacles where the Über-ultrarich can act out as profligately in public as possible, trying to buy immortality, become a part of art history, make headlines, and create profit. I don’t only hate them because they may be the whitest sector in the entire world. I hate them for what they do to art, for the bad magic of making mysterious powerful things turn into numbers.”


“Auction houses run a rigged game. They know exactly how many people will be bidding on a work and exactly who they are. In a gallery, works of art need only one person who wants to pay for them. Auctions jigger the rules in one tiny way: They have two people who want something, and they know how high each is willing to go. The setup is simple and perfect. The auctioneer simply waits until he gets around the ceiling he knows these two clients are willing to go to; then he pits the two bidders against one another. Voilà! Money. ”

Should we hate on auctions and what they stand for? Is such a big sale indicative of income inequality hitting a new high, or the economy bouncing back? Is Edward Conard, former co-worker of Mitt Romney, actually right about the trickle-down effect of extreme displays of wealth such as these? (You can read his POV in this NYT article here: “The Purpose of Spectacular Wealth, According to a Spectacularly Wealthy Guy“). Should we all just head to the Outsider Art Fair in protest, or are displays from the periphery always doomed to be subsumed by the center again? (see: Hennessy Youngman and decide for yourselves).

“It’ll become a headline and a freak show”

Sotheby’s auction house in New York will auction off a 1895 pastel version of “The Scream” by Edvard Munch, one of the four versions of the artwork, in just a few hours. Experts say it could sell for up to $200 million, a world record price for a piece of art. Jerry Saltz breaks it down on video here, and also manages to get in mention of the art handlers lock out.

For those of you who don’t regularly read Jerry’s work, head to New York Magazine where he’s the art critic, penning articles like this one on the current state of the art market. He’s well worth reading.

Our class on Art 21

This month I wrote my column for Art 21 on our Art Market class  at Baruch and May Day. Our group photo from the Armory is up there too – thanks for your photo skills Candra!

Black Markets

Related to our class discussion today, here’s some links for you to peruse :

A scholarly-but-straightforward and enjoyable article on the Sotheby’s-Christie’s price fixing scandal of 2000.

Thanks to Julia K. for this link to the Yad Vashem website and an essay (see pages 10-12) on the confiscating of Jewish property by the Nazis.

Thank you Dasha for your mention of the satellite Frieze fair at Pierogi gallery in Williamsburg – we should have a final class field trip! The opening party is this Friday and it’s free and open to all.


May Day

As part of activities tomorrow on May Day, there’s a Free University being set up at Madison Square Park (23rd at Madison Ave, right by Baruch). Here’s the Facebook events page and a full list of classes and events, inlcuding information on Occuprint, a visual arts movement that’s decidedly anti-market.

The (truly) awesome CUNY professor David Harvey speaks at 10am. Don’t miss him.

Outside(r) Art?

We’ll be talking about outsider art, and art outside markets on Thursday. Here’s a recent article on the Guerilla Girls, a group we’ll be talking about during our lesson.

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