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Archive for June, 2008

Larasati is Asia’s first auction house to hold sale outside Asia

Posted by artradar on June 30, 2008

AMSTERDAM MARKET WATCH Larasati makes history as Asia’s first auction house to hold an international art sale outside the region.

The passion for contemporary Southeast Asian art has hit Europe as the world’s first auction outside of Asia by an Asian-based auction house, Lasarati Auctioneers was held in Amsterdam June 2 2008 featuring a diverse collection of European artworks, Asian and Southeast Asian contemporary art paintings.

Close to 80% of the 22 lots of Asian and Southeast Asian artworks were sold out at the Amsterdam auction, most of them by up-and-coming artists from the region.

Of this, 40% went to European collectors, proving that there is a growing interest in contemporary Asian and Southeast Asian art and increased support for work by new and emerging artists. Over 20% of total sales came from the Asian collection, which amounted to €120,000 as numerous lots were bidding at prices significantly above their estimates.

Top performing Asian artists at the auction include Indonesian Tommy Wondra whose artwork “Yearning for Answer 3 (no. 9) – Imbalance”, sold at €8,750, 219% above estimates; Vietnamese Dang Xuan Hoa’s “My Family” fetched €6,875, 172% over estimate; Indonesian Ugy Sugiarto’s “Mystery” sold for €9,375, 156% over estimate and Indonesian Saftari’s “Natural Room I” fetched €11,875, 148% over estimate.

The auction set another ‘high’ for Ugy Sugiarto, after a series of record prices achieved at Larasati auctions in Singapore, confirming the artist’s status as a new rising star.

Highest bids went to Malaysian artists – Ahmad Zakii Anwar’s “Seated Figure 6”, at €13,750 and Chang Fee Ming’s “September 27th” at €13,750.  (All prices include premium).

Daniel Komala, CEO of Larasati Auctioneers said, “More and more international art collectors are falling under the spell of the mystical charms of Asian art. I am very proud to say that we are breaking new ground here with Larasati’s inaugural show outside of Asia. Although this is the first international show for an Asian auction house, response has been very encouraging with most of the Asian artworks on display sold. Southeast Asian art, in particular, is growing in popularity and influence as the artworks by artists in this region exceeded sales estimates and secured very high bids.”

To sustain and promote the interest in Asian contemporary art, Larasati plans to hold more auctions in Hong Kong and Singapore later this year.



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Indian modern art 1905 – 2005 at Philadelphia Museum of Art

Posted by artradar on June 29, 2008

USA EXHIBITION INDIAN ART UNTIL DECEMBER 7 2008 Multiple Modernities: India, 1905-2005 (on view at Philadelphia Museum of Art June 14 – Dec. 7, 2008  consists of more than 25 drawings, prints and watercolor paintings produced by South Asian artists before and after the region’s independence and subsequent partition into India and Pakistan.

The exhibition illustrates the range of artistic traditions and experiments in visual culture that emerged as South Asia transformed from a British colony to independent nation-states to a world economic power.

Many of South Asia’s preeminent artists of the past century are represented. Jamini Roy (1887-1972), for example, looked toward regional eastern Indian folk traditions for his simplified forms and bold, flat colors.

One of the most significant individuals in the fight for cultural regeneration was Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), who collaborated with a group of artists and intellectuals to launch what has been called the “Bengal Renaissance.” A writer, educator, and Asia’s first Nobel laureate (Literature, 1913), Tagore did not focus on visual art until he was well into his 60’s. The exhibition includes a rare and never-before-displayed group of seven of his imaginative and enigmatic drawings and paintings from the Museum’s collection.

The Progressive Artists Group in Bombay, formed in 1948 and disbanded a few years later, searched for their individual artistic voices, rather than solely a national vision. Its members and associates included some of the major artists who shaped modern India, such as F.N. Souza, M.F. Hussain, and Tyeb Mehta, all represented in this exhibition.

During the 1960s and 70s, a younger generation modeled in part on the Progressives renewed their search to infuse art with powerful individuality. Their variety of voices is evident in works including Bhupen Khakhar’s Shame (after 1983) and Gieve Patel’s Dead Politician (1972).

Representing the latter half of the 20th century a recently acquired collage-lithograph by Atul Dodiya is on show. Based on a minor episode in the great Hindu epic Ramayana, Sabari with her birds (2005) explores the power of faith through the tale of a tribal woman who spends her life alone in the forest preparing to encounter God. The work is part of a series inspired by three paintings by Indian artist Nandalal Bose (1882-1966), whose retrospective will be on display concurrently in the Museum.

“ Multiple Modernities offers an unusual opportunity to appreciate the breadth of South Asian art from the 20th century, and gives insights into the challenges that artists confronted in developing both a national identity and authentic personal voices,” Darielle Mason, the Stella Kramrisch Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art, said. 
Image details: Atul Dodiya Sabari with her Birds 2005


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Japanese 80’s Generation Artists, Andrew James, Shanghai

Posted by artradar on June 28, 2008


Exhibition Title: “If You’re Happy, Clap Your Hands”

Artists born in the 80’s are called the “Jelly Generation” in China referencing both their material wealth and their mentality. This is a group exhibition of Japanese ‘”Jelly generation” artists from the 80’s , who express their creativity in a fantastic, ironic and sweet way. Their artworks allow us to realize that happiness cannot be found in materialism but is always around us. Why don’t we clap our hands together?

Artists: Miyuki Akiyama, david, Ikumi Nagasawa, Ai Ryumon, Osamu Watanabe, Yu Yasuda
Dates: The exhibition runs from the 28th June – 27th July 2008, open Tuesday to Sunday 11am-7pm.

Image details: Artist Osamu Watanabe         Source:


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Billionaires from Russia, Middle East new in list top 10 art collectors

Posted by artradar on June 28, 2008

MARKET WATCH COLLECTORS There’s change at the top. ARTnews magazine’s annual list of the Top 200 art collectors in the world has four newcomers among the top 10: Ukrainian businessman and philanthropist Victor Pinchuk; Mexican businessman and telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim Helú; the New York pair of investor Leon Black and his wife, Debra, and Sheik Saud bin Mohammad bin Ali al-Thani of Qatar.

The Top 10 and Top 200 lists will be printed in the magazine’s summer issue, on July 11. Now in its 18th year, the ranking is compiled according to the level of activity each collector exhibited that year.

The information gives art-world watchers a framework for judging the shifting trends in the market. Indeed, as the editor and publisher of ARTnews, Milton Esterow, said: “It’s no secret that billionaires from Russia, the Middle East, and South America have emerged as big collectors.”

The appearance of these new collectors on the list reflects a general shift in the art market away from American collectors. According to Mr. Esterow, until this year, America generated between 60% and 70% of sales, and that will change in years to come. As the list shows, the top players come from all parts of the globe.

But the change will be gradual. Of the 200 collectors, still more than half come from America and 37 are from New York. The United Kingdom boasts 15 collectors, Germany has 12, and France and Switzerland have 10 apiece.

Contemporary art is the most popular for major art collectors: Seventy-eight percent of the individuals on the list are buying that genre. Modern and Impressionist art are the second- and third-most popular genres, but collectors are also buying everything from African, South American, and Asian art to rare books, furniture, and photography.

The activity of players who are buying the highest-quality works does not seem to reflect a teetering market. While many projected that the art market would be vulnerable and perhaps even crash this year, auction sales do not support the claim. In May alone, $1.57 billion was generated by Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Phillips de Pury & Co. during their sales of Impressionist, Modern, and Contemporary art, according to Mr. Esterow’s introduction to the lists. Mr. Esterow states that some of the collections that are represented on the list are worth close to $2 billion. “These people are not concerned with spending,” he said. “For them, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on art is like buying lunch.”

A survey conducted by ARTnews this year places current annual private art sales at between $25 billion and $30 billion, “and growing.” As a London dealer, Martin Summers, told ARTnews, art is “proving to be as sound an investment as you can make these days.”

Source: New York Sun


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Globalisation of Asian art galleries gathers pace

Posted by artradar on June 15, 2008

ASIA HONG KONG MARKET WATCH Hong Kong now lays claim to being the third largest art auction market in the world, a development much trumpeted by auction houses and fair organisers. A quieter but no less significant change is happening in  the Asian gallery sales market.

In May 2008, New York based Sundaram Tagore Gallery opened its third gallery in Hong Kong following its launch in Beverley Hills last month.  It is the latest in a line of Asia-focussed galleries to expand its franchise around the world. Established in 2000,  the gallerist Sundaram Tagore was profiled by Forbes as “India’s Art Ambassador” and he says his eponymous gallery group is “devoted to examining the exchange of ideas between Western and non-Western cultures”.

In contrast the Opera Gallery chain was spawned in Asia, first opening its doors in Singapore in 1994 at the initiative of Gilles Dyan. Today, the Opera Gallery is present in many of the world’s art capitals: Paris ( since 1994), New York (2000), Miami (2003), Hong Kong (2004) and London (2005) with galleries to open in another five cities before 2009.

Osage is a dynamic international gallery group that was established in 2004 and now has exhibition spaces in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Singapore. Unlike Sundaram Tagore and Opera which bring international artists to Asia and promote Asian artists around the world, Osage is dedicated specifically to the exhibition, promotion and development of contemporary Asian artists, art and ideas.

Other galleries like Grosvenor Vadehra are establishing commercial links between east and west by developing joint venture style relationships. Grosvenor Vadehra is a collaboration between the Grosvenor Gallery, London, and the Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi for the promotion of international art within India, and Indian art within the UK.

Source: Artradar

For more on globalisation of dealers

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Survey of Japanese photography at ICP first in US in decades

Posted by artradar on June 15, 2008

 JAPANESE PHOTOGRAPHY SHOW UNTIL SEPTEMBER 7 2008 “It was probably too much to expect the International Center of Photography to have two excellent group shows of contemporary art in a row. Not many New York museums, especially small ones, manage that regularly” says the New York Times. “Thus ‘Heavy Light: Recent Photography and Video From Japan’ is just average, or a little less”.

With some new and some familiar names, this 13 artist exhibition organized by Christopher Phillips, a curator at the center, and Noriko Fuku, an independent curator from Japan is the first large museum survey of Japanese photography in the USA in decades. 

Two noteworthy artists both dealt with conformity and divergance in humanity.

The New York Times describes Hiroh Kikai, born in 1945, as a kind of August Sander without a studio. Since 1973 he has roamed the Asakusa district of Tokyo, briefly interviewing and then taking black and white photographs of strangers who pose themselves against the blank walls of the Sensoji Temple.A morose-looking man wearing a “love and peace” T-shirt and a skull-and-cross-bones cap provides his own caption: “I’ve always wanted to be different since I was a kid, and I’ve always been knocked around for it.” 

Born in 1977, Tomoko Sawada is widely known for photo-booth and yearbook pictures of girls and young women in which, using computers and variations in hair, makeup and expression, she plays each and every character. Here Ms. Sawada is represented by two examples of her “School Days” series, which show groups of girls in their school uniforms lined up in neat rows, satirizing Japan’s homogeneity and emphasis on conformity.

Source: New York Times
Image details: Tomoko Sawada, School Days

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Christie’s June 2008 South Asian Modern + Contemporary Sale records dominated by Indian works

Posted by artradar on June 13, 2008

Justin PonmanyINDIA Christie’s South Asian Modern and Contemporary 111 lot sale, held on on June 11 2008 in London, realised US$10,614,225.

While 30% of the lots by over 50 Asian artists remained unsold, Indian master Francis Newton Souza’s ‘Birth’ realised US$2,487,931 setting a world auction record for both the artist and any work of contemporary or modern Indian art .

“12 artists’ records were set in total and reflects the continuing strength of this important category” said Hugo Weihe, Christie’s International Director of Asian Art.     

The top ten highest prices at Christie’s South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art Sale:

Francis Newton Souza – Birth 1955 – US$2,487,931
Tyeb Mehta – Figure on a Rickshaw 1984 – US$1,918,926
Subodh Gupta – Intitled 2007 – US$1,174,842
Rameshwar Broota – Havaldar – III 1980 – US$658,986
Subodh Gupta – Magic Wands 2002 – US$330,714
T.V. Santhosh – Untitled 2005 – US$283,818
Subodh Gupta – Bucket 2007 – US$236,922
Ashim Purkayastha – Attached Wings 2004 – US$213,474
Justin Ponmany – Staple Agony – II (Plastic Memory) 2006 – US$213,474
Syed Haider Raza – Rajput House 1965-66 – US$190,026

Source: Christies
Image details:  Justin Ponmany, Staple Agony – II (Plastic Memory)

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How Asians, Russians are changing the art market

Posted by artradar on June 12, 2008

RUSSIA Auction houses claim that today the auction market is better protected from a slump than in the early nineties. Then most buyers were American or Japanese and both countries were hit by the recession of the early nineties but today buyers are spread over more countries says the Economist. For example buyers who spent over US$500,000 on art at Sotheby’s auctions came from 36 countries but today they come from 58.

Americans struggling with the weakness of the dollar have become net sellers of art and while Asians – in particular new buyers from Russia. India, China and the Middle East – have taken up the slack.

Only last month, Roman Abramovich, a London-based billionaire, paid $86m for Francis Bacon’s “Triptych, 1976”, the highest price ever paid for a work of art at auction, and $34m for Lucian Freud’s “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping”, making Mr Freud the highest-selling living artist at auction.

Mr Abramovich has never been known as a major buyer but on Wednesday, June 4th, Mr Abramovich was seen touring Art Basel, a contemporary-art fair, accompanied by a new girlfriend, Daria Zhukova, who is transforming a disused bus garage designed by Konstantin Melnikov, a Constructivist architect, into the Centre for Contemporary Culture Moscow, due to open in September.

Mr Abramovich’s new art advisor, who accompanied the couple to Art Basel, is Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst, a former director of the Gagosian gallery in London and Damien Hirst’s agent. But Mr Abramovich is only the tip of the iceberg. In 2004, Viktor Vekselberg, an oil and metals baron, unexpectedly paid more than $90m for the Forbes family collection of Fabergé imperial Easter eggs.

The contemporary Russian market, where prices can leap from a few thousand pounds to millions in a short space of time, is where the richest pickings are. The traditional market is already more mature.

Source: Economist

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Benefit art auction for new contemporary art museum in Hong Kong opening fall 2008

Posted by artradar on June 12, 2008


CHINA On 29 June 2008 a fund-raising auction will be held to raise capital to build and operate a new contemporary art museum in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Indonesian auctioneers Larasati will put 35 lots donated by Hong Kong gallerists and Chinese and overseas artists under the hammer at the gala dinner sale in the JW Marriott hotel. Executive director of the Moca China museums group envisions that the museum due to open in fall 2008 “could eventually be considered to be one of the finest museums of contemporary art in the world”. Highlights include a piece from the highly sought after emerging artist Shen Hua’s “Manual Workers Series” and a C-Print by the Preview 19th to 28th June 2008. 

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Contemporary Pakistani art emerging – Asian Art News

Posted by artradar on June 9, 2008

PAKISTAN Contemporary Pakistani art is on the radar, writes Gina Fairley in Asian Art News. Urban Myths and Modern Fables at UTS Gallery, Sydney brings together the work of 11 artists of Indian and Pakistani heritage working in Germany, Canada, the United States and Australia and is part of a new focus on wider Islamic art in a post 9/11 society.

Interest in contemporary Pakistani art was sparked by the landmark exhibition “Pakistan: Another Vision” organised by London’s Asia House and Arts of the Islamic World in 2000. Inreasingly Pakistani artists are being included in biennales and in August 2007 the first State sponsored art institution in Pakistan, Islamabad’s National Gallery, was opened in August 1997.

Participating artists include Hamra Abbas, Khadim Ali, Henna Nadeem, Hitesh Natalwala, Tazeen Qayyum, Nusra Latif Qureshi, Sabeen Raja, Naeem Rana, Amin Rehman, Sangeeta Sandrasegar and Alia Toor. 



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