Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Koons's Former Porn Star Ex-Wife Can Keep Their Son, Court Says

Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) -- New York painter and sculptor Jeff Koons's human rights weren't violated by Italy's decision to give custody of his son to his ex-wife, a former porn star and member of the Italian parliament, a court said today.
Koons and Ilona Staller, known as ``La Cicciolina,'' divorced in 1994 and have since fought over custody of their son.
Koons claimed that Italian authorities breached his right to respect of his family life by allowing Staller to keep their son in Italy, blocking him from visiting the U.S. and awarding his ex-wife custody, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, said today in a statement on its Web site.
Italian authorities ``made every effort to protect the higher interests of the child'' in ``a difficult situation marked by constant disagreement between the parties and their inability to put their son's well-being first,'' the court said.
Staller sued Koons in New York in March to enforce an Italian child-support ruling.
A lawyer for Koons, whose works are on display at the Palace of Versailles in France, didn't immediately return a message left requesting comment before regular business hours.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


by Gerrit Gohlke & Stefan Kobel

Michael Moses, a finance professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, may well be the art-world’s most famous academic expert on art prices. With his colleague Jianping Mei, Moses co-developed the Mei Moses Index, a fine-art price index that widely made news for showing that artworks sold at auction over the past 50 years had a compound annual growth rate better than that of bonds and close to that of the Standard & Poor 500 index. With U.S. financial markets facing the biggest crisis since the Great Depression, Artnet Magazine Germany contacted Moses for a telephone interview on the role that art investments might play in the ongoing fiscal-market drama.
AM: The finance world has not experienced such turbulence for decades. Will there be repercussions for the art market?

Michael Moses: Historically speaking, the art market has tended to lag downturns in the financial market by 6-18 months. But the art market is also dependent upon worldwide wealth creation. So a downturn in a single market may not affect the art market, but a downturn in world markets will most likely affect the art market. But it’s driven more by global accumulated wealth than by short incremental changes.

AM: Could art become a substitute investment? In times like these, do investors move their funds not only to gold, but if necessary also to artworks?

MM: When individuals sell equities, they need to put the proceeds somewhere, whether it’s gold, cash or art. Historically, art has been basically an asset class, and money flows to it during good times and bad times. The question is how much is flowing. And when people are disposing of other assets, there may be an opportunity for some of those assets to flow into the art market.

AM: Is speculating in art a good idea during volatile times like these?

MM: Historically, art has had positive returns over many different holding periods. In the last five to ten years, art has outperformed financial assets. In the last 20 years, financial assets have outperformed art. Art is like any other asset, it has good times and bad times -- it’s not a silver bullet. My perspective is that the thing that most affects the art market is major changes in world-wide accumulated wealth.

AM: Can the loss of capital on the financial markets lead to “emergency selling” in private art collections?

MM: Yes. We’ve seen it before when the dotcom bubble burst. There were executives who had to sell works that they had just recently bought during the glory days, and that’s true with any asset. [Editor’s note: It has just been reported that Richard Fuld, chairman of the now-bankrupt Lehman Brothers banking firm, has consigned $20 million in art to Christie’s auction house.]

AM: Is the gallery market invisibly linked to the finance market? Will New York lose influence as a marketplace?

MM: Again, this is a question of ups and downs. It would stand to reason that, due to changes in Wall Street and changes in some American companies, the people who were long in all of these markets will stand to lose money. The people who were short in all of these markets will tend to make money. On balance, most likely in the short run, there probably will be more losers than winners. But in the long run, there’s nothing that I see that shows that things won’t rebound over time -- they always have in the past. But I don’t have a crystal ball.

AM: The market has many different sectors, like contemporary art, or classic modernism, or 20th-century design. Will this financial crisis effect sub-sectors of the art market differently?

MM: Currently I think that we’re finding that new money seems to go after new art, and this tendency might be one of the reasons that post-war art has done so well over the last five years, so potentially, this category might be more susceptible to downturns in new wealth creation. But we have to remember that wealth creation is a worldwide phenomenon now more than it has been in the past, so it may be that the world market picks up now where the American or European markets may slow down.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hirst's `Golden Calf' Bucks Financial Slump in Record Art Sale

LONDON — "Against a backdrop of reeling financial markets and nervous investors, Sotheby’s and the British artist Damien The Golden Calf'' kept alive a 10-year bull run in the art market last night as collectors vied for the British artist's works at Sotheby's, even as global stock markets collapsed.
Hirst's ``Beautiful Inside My Head For Ever'' auction in London took 70.5 million pounds ($126.6 million) with fees, led by the 10.3 million-pound preserved Charolais calf with 18-carat gold horns. The total was a record for a sale of works by one artist, said Sotheby's, which had estimated the evening would fetch as much as 62.4 million pounds. All but two of the 56 lots sold.Hirst forged ahead with “Beautiful Inside My Head Forever,” a highly publicized auction of 223 works, all by Mr. Hirst and all made within the last two years. In a gamble that could have ramifications for other artists, Mr. Hirst was bypassing his dealers — the Gagosian Gallery, based in the United States, and White Cube, based in London — and taking his work straight to auction with a sale that began here on Monday night and concludes on Tuesday afternoon.
And there were signs that the bet was paying off: the first session’s total was $127.2 million, above the high estimate of $112 million. “I woke up this morning in the teeth of the gale of recession,” Mr. Hirst’s business manager, Frank Dunphy, said after the sale, “but we came out as confident as ever.” Tobias Meyer, worldwide head of contemporary art at Sotheby’s, explained the total this way: “Damien Hirst is a global artist that can defy local economies.” Jose Mugrabi, a New York dealer, had another take: “Today people believe more in art than the stock market. At least it’s something you can enjoy.”
While Mr. Hirst risked flooding his own market, he had also spent several months courting potential buyers. Still, he could not anticipate the sale’s timing, amid news that Lehman Brothers had filed for bankruptcy and other serious changes on the financial landscape. Sotheby’s was said to be taking steps to ensure that the sale did not fall flat, like offering buyers a six-month grace period to pay for purchases.
Jay Jopling, owner of the White Cube gallery, could be seen in the audience bidding on works (and winning at least one, “The Triumvirate,” which features anatomical models, for $3.1 million). Word in the auction world was that Sotheby’s had given him an incentive to steer his clients to the sale. Sotheby’s declined to comment on any of the financial arrangements. As part of his sales pitch, Mr. Hirst said that he would no longer be making spin or butterfly paintings and that there would be far fewer dead animals and almost no dot paintings."
We've heard that before!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Jeff Koons’s forthcoming exhibition at the Château de Versailles is not just irritating French cultural purists who would prefer to keep the American king of kitsch off the castle grounds. As Le Monde’s Clarisse Fabre and Emmanuelle Lequeux report, there are now charges of a conflict of interest around the exhibition at the former residence of Louis XIV. The exhibition’s origins go back to Venice in June 2007. “Jean-Jacques Aillagon found himself with his friend the businessman François Pinault,” write Fabre and Lequeux. Aillagon was then responsible for the Palazzo Grassi, where Pinault shows part of his private collection. “Monsieur Aillagon, also the former French minister of culture, was getting ready to take over at the Château de Versailles,” write Fabre and Lequeux. “Pinault then asked him: ‘With all the gardens that you have, you will be able to exhibit my Split-Rocker!’ ” Koons's Split-Rocker, 2000, is one of seventeen works that will go on display this week inside the castle and on the grounds. Although a former employee of Pinault, Aillagon seems to be doing his old job by including a total of six Koons works from Pinault’s private collection in the Versailles show. That’s not the only problem. Elena Geuna, who is curating the project with the Centre Pompidou's Laurent Le Bon, is an employee of Pinault.
“I find this argument specious and discourteous,” says Aillagon in Geuna’s defense. “Koons’s works have obtained impressive prices well before being exhibited at the Metropolitain a few weeks ago and at Versailles today.” Of course, many of those impressive prices have been reached at Christie’s, which is owned by Pinault’s holding company. The director of the Friends of Versailles, Anémone Wallet, would have liked to have had the chance to make one request to the artist: to create a work that would have deferred the costs of the exhibition, estimated at around $2.7 million. At Versailles, the public purse is paying for around $400,000, while the remaining $2.3 million has been provided by partners, most of whom also happen to be Koons collectors with works in the Versailles exhibition: François Pinault, Eli Broad, Dakis Joanno, and Edgar de Picciotto.

Sunday, September 07, 2008


Robert Hughes, the world's best-known champion of modern painting and sculpture, is publicly to lay much of the blame for the decline of contemporary art at the door of Damien Hirst. In an uncompromising television essay about art and money that follows next week's controversial London 'clearance' sale of 223 of Hirst's works, the Australian critic will claim they are 'absurd' and 'tacky' commodities.
Hughes's film for London's Channel 4 argues it is 'a little miracle' that Hirst's 35ft bronze statue, Virgin Mother, could be worth £5m and yet be made by someone 'with so little facility'. Calling Hirst's famous shark in formaldehyde 'the world's most over-rated marine organism', the critic will mount a lengthy attack on the artist for 'functioning like a commercial brand' and make the case that both Hirst and his shark prove that art has lost all meaning separate from its price tag.
Hughes, 70, became well known in Britain with his acclaimed BBC series The Shock of the New in 1980, which made the theories behind modernism in art accessible to a wider audience. But Hughes says he now fears he is a member of the 'last privileged generation' to have visited an art gallery without thinking about the market value of the exhibits.
Hirst's 1991 suspended tiger shark, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, is, Hughes judges, a 'tacky commodity', even though collector Charles Saatchi sold it for £8m in 2004. 'It is a clever piece of marketing, but as a piece of art it is absurd,' Hughes says. The common defence is that Hirst's work mirrors and subverts modern decadence: 'Not so. It is decadence,' says Hughes.
His harsh verdict on Britain's leading artist is a key part of the new film's argument about the change Hughes has witnessed over 50 years as a New York-based art reviewer. His film, The Mona Lisa Curse, opens with shots of Hirst's diamond skull, For the Love of God, which sold for £50m and is now owned by a consortium. Hughes maintains that all works of art now operate in western culture much as celebrities do. He dates the trend from 1962 when Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa left the Louvre in Paris to go on display in New York. The long queues to see it turned a masterpiece into a mere spectacle, he argues.
The huge sums now regularly paid out by collectors at auctions, placing the lots out of the reach of public galleries, mean that art itself has been redefined. The works, he suggests, are now like film stars, while the galleries have been reduced to the level of the limousines used to convey them to people. 'Art as spectacle loses its meaning,' Hughes warns.
Grayson Perry, the Turner prize-winning potter and artist, welcomed Hughes's intervention this weekend, although he admires some of Hirst's work. 'I always enjoy Robert Hughes's erudite grumpiness,' Perry said. 'We get the art we deserve and Damien is the perfect artist of our times of fluff economies, New Labour and celebrity hype. His skull was brilliant for its brazenness and for the debate it provoked. His work has always been largely about money: I fear his accountant has become his most influential artistic adviser.'
Like Hughes, Perry is concerned about the way the significance of artworks is skewed by the price they attain in the market. 'What has changed is that the market, fuelled by glitzy new wealth, is becoming more powerful than the connoisseurs, museum curators and art academics whose consensus used to decide what was good art. Hedge fund managers and Russian oligarchs are not necessarily known for their sophisticated good taste,' said Perry.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


The Wizard of Oz
September 2 - December 13, 2008

CCA Wattis Institute
for Contemporary Arts
California College of the Arts
San Francisco CA

Curated by Jens Hoffmann
Robert Bechtle, Jennifer Bornstein, Ulla von Brandenburg, Bruce Conner, Walker Evans, Simryn Gill, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Loris Gréaud, Joseph Grigely, Carsten Höller, Evan Holloway, Glenn Ligon, Steve McQueen, Gareth Moore, Rivane Neuenschwander, Raymond Pettibon, Clare Rojas, Harry Smith, Donald Urquhart, Andy Warhol, Cerith Wyn Evans

The Wizard of Oz translates the narrative of L. Frank Baum's famous book into the narrative of an exhibition. It features sculpture, film, video, painting, drawing, and photography by 22 international artists, several of whom are contributing new pieces specially conceived for the show; others are represented by existing artworks related to one of the book's key themes. A number of cultural artifacts, inspired either by the novel or by the famous 1939 film, create a framework for the visitor's journey. This is the second in a series of exhibitions by curator Jens Hoffmann that take a written narrative as their point of departure (the first was Around the World in Eighty Days [2006]).
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has become one of the most beloved stories in popular culture. Written in 1900, it captured a moment in American history when society was rapidly changing, due in part to industrial, sociopolitical, and technological developments as well as increased expansion toward the West. Some of the themes that it touches upon—the realities of childhood, rural life, poverty, displacement, and migration as well as the more intangible, but nonetheless powerful, ideas of security, friendship, and dreams—continue to have resonance with the way that we experience the world and approach the idea of America itself.

Designed by Jon Sueda / Stripe, the 76-page exhibition catalog is inspired by the first edition of Baum's novel. It includes a full-color plate section (including photographs of the new commissions), a text on each participating artist, and critical essays by Jens Hoffmann (curator and director of the Wattis Institute) and Rebecca Loncraine (writer and Baum biographer).

Thursday, September 04, 2008


DEREK is a unique collaboration between Isaac Julien and Tilda Swinton, in which British artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman is remembered and celebrated. The new film will combine document with fiction, and experiment with narrative to produce an enthralling work of art about Derek Jarman. It will be a timely reappraisal and celebration of the work of one of Britain’s most important artist filmmakers, and is intended to inform and inspire at a time when the pioneering work of a number of key figures of the 1970s and 1980s is becoming a significant influence to a new generation.

From Sebastiane (1976) to Blue (1992), Derek Jarman’s films constantly interrogated time and art, and epitomized his own era. He was a painter, part of the moment that made sixties London a capital of the art world. He was a filmmaker, perhaps the single most crucial figure of British independent cinema through the seventies, eighties and nineties. He lived as a gay man surfing the joys of Gay Liberation and the sorrows of Aids. He lived as a participant observer, noting with pen or camera all that passed before him - from punk to Thatcher, from Hampstead Heath to film premiere.

Now those images will serve to place his art in his time, to produce a fascinating history that we can put to use. As well as the feature films and Super 8 films, which span three decades, there are the extensive video clips he recorded from the early seventies, for artists from the Smiths to the Pet Shop Boys, and from television to film festivals in Japan, Berlin and Cologne. There are also images of Derek, as he erupted into the viewfinder of the news media. This unique perspective will provide a counterpoint, as his own images are juxtaposed with the images of the history that generated them.

Director: Isaac Julien
Executive Producers: Tilda Swinton, James MacKay
Producers: Colin MacCabe, Eliza Mellor

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Artist Steve McQueen has won the Gucci Group Award at the Venice Film Festival for his film Hunger, reports the Press Association. The British artist won the Camera d'Or Prize at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year for a movie about the Maze Prison. Hunger concerns the final weeks in the life of Bobby Sands. Thanking those behind the award, McQueen said, “We're living in a time and age where it is all about putting our cards on the table and going for it.” The award, which honours filmmakers from other disciplines, had intense competition. McQueen beat another British nominee, Isaac Julien, a London-based photographer and video and film artist who was nominated for his direction of Derek, a film narrated by Tilda Swinton that highlights the work and importance of the late director Derek Jarman. McQueen also beat out Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys. Yauch was nominated for his direction of Gunnin' for That No. 1 Spot, a Harlem-set documentary that trails eight high school basketball prospects. Julian Schnabel, winner of the 2007 Gucci Group Award, was also nominated for his direction of Lou Reed's Berlin. Members of the 2008 Gucci Group Award selection committee included Marco Muller, artistic director of the Venice Film Festival; Franca Sozzani, editor in chief of Vogue in Italy; the artist Jeff Koons; the actress Isabelle Huppert; and Stefano Pilati, creative director of Yves Saint Laurent.


After a six-month search, the Museum of Modern Art has chosen one of its own curators, Ann Temkin, to succeed John Elderfield, who retired as chief curator of painting and sculpture in July.
Ms. Temkin assumes the curatorial post, considered the most prestigious in the field of Modern art, as MoMA gears up for its second growth spurt in less than a decade. After an $858 million expansion completed in 2004, the museum plans to extend its galleries further in a tower that is being built next door on West 54th Street in Manhattan. The museum is also in the midst of rethinking how it presents the history of Modern art through its world-class collection. In addition to the display of paintings and sculptures, Ms. Temkin’s top responsibilities will include planning special exhibitions and advising the museum on acquisitions. “I plan to take a broader, more international view than we did in the past,” said Ms. Temkin, 48, who arrived at MoMA in 2003 after 13 years as a curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Since the era of Alfred H. Barr Jr., MoMA’s legendary founding director, the museum has played a greater role than any other institution in carving out a canon of Modern movements under curators like William Rubin, Kirk Varnedoe and Mr. Elderfield, who is now the museum’s chief curator emeritus. Yet in recent years some art-world critics have felt that the museum should have been more on top of what was happening in contemporary art. Ms. Temkin said that one of her priorities was to ensure that MoMA’s collection of contemporary art is unrivaled. Ms. Temkin said that one of her priorities would be to “change our viewers’ experience in many ways,” especially by integrating painting and sculpture with other mediums. The Modern and many other museums still have separate departments for painting and sculpture, film and video, and prints and drawings.
Ms. Temkin called that approach outdated. She said that she planned to “reflect the way artists work today, where these divisions are far less prevalent.” She also intends to change the works in the permanent galleries more frequently. “I’d like to mix the foundation of the collection in new ways, to animate those galleries so they are constantly full of unexpected revelations,” she said.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Every work in the Serpentine Gallery’s Richard Prince show, “Continuation”, which is on display through September 7th, is drawn from the artist’s personal collection and is available for sale, raising questions about the relationship between publicly-funded galleries and their sponsors.
Richard Prince, one of the world’s most commercially successful artists, is billed as the exhibition’s co-curator in collaboration with the Serpentine, while two of the artist’s dealers—Larry Gagosian and Sadie Coles—are listed on the gallery website as supporters of the exhibition program. The gallery denies there is any conflict of interest, saying “all parties wanted to present a successful show for the benefit of the public”.
 “Continuation” is the first major UK show of Prince’s work for over 20 years and consists of 32 works. It follows the New York Guggenheim’s retrospective “Richard Prince: Spiritual America” (which closed in January). Many of the works in that show were loaned by private and public collections.

The Serpentine says it had intended to borrow works from the Guggenheim show, but its dates clashed with the exhibition’s tour (currently at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis until September 14th). The Serpentine therefore decided to “show works drawn entirely from the artist’s collection. In discussion with Richard Prince, the inspiration was the installation in the artist’s own studio.”

 It credits sponsors on the walls of the gallery but makes no mention that the works are for sale.
 One trade source says that one work has sold since the opening, the iconic Untitled (Cowboy), 1989, for several million pounds. The Serpentine says it has “no confirmed information that any works [have been] sold” and adds that in any case, “the gallery has no arrangement to receive money from exhibition sales”. Richard Prince declined to comment.

Monday, September 01, 2008


Liam Gillick, theanyspacewhatever signage system (prototype), 2008. Aluminum.

The Guggenheim Museum


October 24, 2008–January 7, 2009

During the 1990s a number of artists claimed the exhibition as their medium. Working independently or in various collaborative constellations, they eschewed the individual object in favor of the exhibition environment as a dynamic arena, ever expanding its physical and temporal parameters. Using the museum as a springboard for work that reaches beyond the visual arts, their work often commingles with other disciplines such as architecture, design, and theater, engaging directly with the vicissitudes of everyday life to offer subtle moments of transformation. This loose affiliation of artists, each of whom now boasts strong, independent careers, periodically and randomly joins forces to create a variety of projects. The Guggenheim Museum has extended an invitation to a core group of these artists—Angela Bulloch, Maurizio Cattelan, Liam Gillick, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Douglas Gordon, Carsten Höller, Pierre Huyghe, Jorge Pardo, Philippe Parreno, and Rirkrit Tiravanija—to collectively formulate a scenario for an exhibition, one that will reflect and articulate the unique nature of their practices. Organized by the museum’s Chief Curator, Nancy Spector, in close collaboration with the artists, the exhibition will present a genealogy of their shared history through site-specific installations of new, often self-reflexive works created on the occasion of this project.


From September next year, Jeff Koons -- the world's costliest living artist, who once pictured himself coupling with his porn- star wife Cicciolina -- will exhibit his giant sculptures indoors and outdoors at the Palace of Versailles.

Koons, 52, whose newer works include inflatable bunnies and puppies made of flowerpots, will stage his first major French museum exhibition at the former royal residence. His host: Jean- Jacques Aillagon, president of the Chateau de Versailles, who until June ran billionaire Francois Pinault's Palazzo Grassi exhibition venue in Venice.

``I sincerely believe that this artist, who is a product of neo-Pop culture, is very well suited to Versailles,'' said Aillagon, a former French culture minister, in a gilded chamber near the late Queen Marie Antoinette's apartment. ``Versailles is a Baroque object, and Baroque art, after all, was the 17th and 18th century's version of Pop Art.''


On the eve of Sotheby’s auction of over 200 new works by the British artist, The Art Newspaper, reports the extent of unsold stock held by his London gallery White Cube.

“As Sotheby’s prepares to auction 223 new works by Damien Hirst on 15 and 16 September, we can reveal that the artist’s London gallery, White Cube is sitting on unsold sculptures and paintings by the British artist worth in excess of £100m.
This figure excludes the £50m asking price for Hirst’s diamond-encrusted platinum skull, For the Love of God, which is owned by a group of investors whose members include Hirst himself and White Cube owner Jay Jopling.

Recent White Cube documents seen by The Art Newspaper reveal that the gallery’s stock of paintings and sculptures by Damien Hirst numbers over 200 works.
It includes 34 butterfly paintings dating from 2005 to 2008 and ranging in price from £145,000 to £2m; 35 spin paintings dating from 2005 to 2008 (£150,000 to £400,000); seven spot paintings dating from 2006 to 2008 (£300,000 to £950,000), and six medicine cabinets, one of which, The Martyrdom of St Jude, 2002-03 was included in the gallery’s 2003 exhibition “Apostles”. These range in price from £100,000 to £2.5m.

Paintings which are still available from the artist’s “Beyond Belief” exhibition held in June/July 2007 include Periodic Table of the Elements, (£3m); 13 so-called biopsy (or cancer) canvases ranging in price from £450,000 to £850,000 (a further eight biopsy paintings not shown in “Beyond Belief” are also available) and nine “Fact” paintings (showing the labour of Hirst’s wife Maia and the birth of the couple’s son Cyrus). These range in price from £500,000 to £2m.
Unsold “Natural History” sculptures from the same show are: Love’s Paradox, 2007, a cow in formaldehyde in two vitrines (£4.5m), and Black Sheep (£4m).
Signature works such as Charity, a 22-ft sculpture of a girl with a calliper holding a teddy bear, produced in three editions and first exhibited in Hoxton Square in 2003, is still available for £2.5m, as is an edition of the Virgin Mother, the 35-ft bronze statue showing the insides of a pregnant woman, originally displayed in the courtyard of the Royal Academy in 2006 (£2.5m). Another version of the latter cast in silver and entitled Wretched War—The Dream is Dead, 2007, is on sale for £1.25m.
Two editions of The Hat Makes the Man (After Max Ernst), a sculpture included in Tate Britain’s 2004 exhibition “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida”, are available for £475,000 and £950,000 respectively.

Other Hirst works with White Cube have not been publicly displayed. These include three editions of The First Relic, a platinum sculpture in the shape of a jawbone encrusted with diamonds (£1m each) and 25 versions of The Fear of Death, a human skull coated in flies and resin (£150,000 each). The gallery also has numerous prints and other multiples by Hirst for sale on its website.

The quantity of art available for sale with Hirst’s London gallery helps explain why the artist has opted to take his latest work straight to auction.
For Hirst the challenge is to find enough outlets to distribute the huge volume of art he produces. His factory enterprise with its network of assistants working in multiple studios makes him one of the most prolific living artists. Only Japanese artist Takashi Murakami and some Chinese contemporary artists come anywhere near to this level of productivity (Murakami is also believed to be in discussions with an auction house).

The 223 Hirst lots on offer at Sotheby’s, estimated to fetch £65m, include most of his trademark pieces: “Natural History” sculptures of animals in formaldehyde, some adorned with golden attributes; spot, spin, and butterfly paintings; photo-realist canvases, and medicine cabinets, among others. All have been produced in the last two years.

Hirst already works with a network of galleries—White Cube in London, Gagosian Gallery in London and the US, and Galería Hilario Galguera in Mexico City. Others who do not represent him officially also sell his work and art is available directly from his studio. But the scale of his output requires him to find a steady stream of new buyers; the global reach of the auction house will have proved decisive.

“Sotheby’s promotion is not directed at existing collectors. They are targeting new buyers, especially in parts of the world which have only recently started collecting contemporary art,” says a trade source.
A selection of works from Hirst’s Sotheby’s auction will be displayed at the five-star Oberoi hotel in New Delhi next week. The show opens to invited guests on 26 August and to the public two days later. On 28 August, a further selection of lots will be shown at the Bridge Club in Bridgehampton to invited guests only."