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Posts Tagged ‘Louvre’

Sheikh Sultan opens private collection to public putting Sharjah on the UAE art map

Posted by artradar on August 18, 2010


PRIVATE COLLECTIONS PUBLIC GALLERIES SHARJAH

In Arabic, the word “barjeel”, from which the Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, takes its name, means “wind tower”. For collector and owner Sheikh Sultan Sooud al-Qassemi, the euphemism does very little to hide his vision – that of an art space where ideas, like air, circulate freely and create a dynamic where art can breathe.

Sheikh Sultan, Barjeel Art Foundation

Sheikh Sultan, Barjeel Art Foundation

Housing close to four-hundred and eighty works of art from the Arab world or by Arab artists living elsewhere, the Barjeel Art Foundation’s collection is originally the collection of Sheikh Sultan. In an interview with The National Daily Newspaper in Abu Dhabi earlier this month, Sheikh Sultan said that,

Artists are the conscience of society. It is essential for their work to be seen and appreciated.

Another article on Real Estate Channel, recounts Professor Alma Kadragic’s VIP tour of the gallery space led by the Sheikh himself. Kadragic says,

Many people have visited the gallery over the first five months since it opened, and Sheikh Sultan has personally guided VIPs and others through the collection. The day I visited with a friend, we were joined by two other women, and Sheikh Sultan treated us to descriptions of the works on display and even opened locked doors to show some others kept out of sight in storerooms.

The first exhibition at the Barjeel Art Foundation is called “Peripheral Vision” and features contemporary work made later than 2007 by Arab artists. The show is on until the end of August this year, after which new selections from the Sheikh’s collection will be mounted for show. The foundation is currently not selling any of the works. The premise of the foundation is summed up by Sheikh Sultan:

Layan Shawabkeh, 'Ladies of Gaza', acrylic on canvas.

Layan Shawabkeh, 'Ladies of Gaza', acrylic on canvas.

We want to show how art of the Arab world is nuanced and in a constant state of transformation and renewal. Our mission is to expose different aspects of social, political and geographical landscapes that may be obstructed and out of focus.The works can however be borrowed for exhibition locally or internationally by institutions that will pay for transportation and insurance.

The objective behind the Barjeel Art Foundation is, in Sheikh Sultan’s words,

A foremost goal of Barjeel has been to give the artworks in the collection greater public exposure; making the space accessible for people to come and view a selection of art in rotating exhibitions seemed to be the ideal starting point.

The collection houses some masterpieces of Arab art. Considered a national treasure, artist Abdul Qader Al Rais’s works are so important that they are only handled by the Ministry of Culture of Sharjah, the Sheikh being an exception.

The gallery is not averse to showing political art, like that of Layan Shawabkeh, a Palestinian artist who died in 2009 at the age of 23. In a work called Ladies of Gaza, Shawabkeh takes inspiration from many of Picasso’s works that deal with women and post World War II trauma.

The Barjeel Art Foundation comes at a time when governments world over are cutting funds for art institutions and the market is relying on trusted modern, rather than contemporary artists for returns. Additionally, the art world of the UAE is fragmented, with only a few galleries in Abu Dhabi where the Louvre and the Guggenheim have yet to be built. Dubai seems to be at the forefront of cultural and financial investment in art although Arab art altogether has a long way to go.

AM/KN

Related Topics: Middle Eastern artists, collectorsgallery showsnon-profit

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Posted in Art spaces, Business of art, Collector nationality, Collectors, Gallery shows, Middle Eastern, Nonprofit, Oil, Painting, Palestinian, Promoting art, Sharjah, UAE | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fresh evidence contemporary art price rise is structural says FT

Posted by artradar on July 8, 2008


 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Financial Times

MARKET NEW BUYERS MORE BUYERS The huge wealth from oil and mining in the Middle East and Russia is flowing into fine art, with a rush of new buyers entering a market that was already booming. 

The arrival of Russian, Middle Eastern and emerging market collectors has given fresh evidence to those who believe that the powerful rise in the price of artworks is structural rather than cyclical – reflecting a long-term shift to a truly global market supported by growing numbers of millionaires and billionaires.

 

Last high 1990 surpassed in 2007

Last year, the art market – as measured by proceeds for the top 100 artists sold at auction – in nominal terms surpassed the previous high set in 1990, according to data from Art Market Report. After a decade in the doldrums the market recovered sharply in 2003-04 and has been on the upswing ever since. The rise in the contemporary market has been especially strong, with prices up by 300 per cent in the past three years, according to Art Market Report’s Contemporary Art 100 index.

 

Doomsayers wrong so far

Doom sayers have been predicting a fall in art prices for the past two years. The high level of nervousness about the market was revealed last November, when shares in Sotheby’s plummeted 28 per cent in a day. The reason? The auction house had failed to sell a work by Van Gogh at its sale the night before. The share price has not recovered.

Many respected dealers and collectors believe the market has reached its peak. Eli Broad, the Los Angeles-based billionaire collector, has said several times that he does not believe prices will continue to rise.

One bearish New York-based dealer says: “Mark my words, the Russians will turn out to be the Japanese of the early 21st century.” During the last art market peak, Japanese property developers were famously among the biggest buyers, snapping up Impressionist works – they were especially fond of Van Gogh – only to offload them at much lower prices just a few years later when the Tokyo asset bubble burst.

 

Customer base from more countries now

The underlying support for today’s art market does appear to be much more broadly based. 

Sotheby’s points out that five years ago, its buyers who spent more than $500,000 on an artwork came from 26 countries. Today, buyers spending that level or more come from 58 countries. Last year, 21 per cent of buyers at its sales were new, the auction house says. Since few buy at auction only once, that means an influx of customers. Helena Newman, vice-chair of Impressionist and Modern art at Sotheby’s, says: “The whole make-up of buyers has changed beyond recognition from 10 years ago. Now we have a far bigger global reach. We are also seeing far greater demand for the very best works. Our big challenge remains the sourcing of works.”

Simon de Pury, who heads the Phillips de Pury auction house, echoes that trend, saying: “Five years ago, the market was concentrated in western European and American collectors, a small group of art cognoscenti. The Contemporary market was dominated by three countries – the US, the UK and Germany. Now we can see the change just in our website: the hits are coming from Brazil, Turkey, China, India, Indonesia, Korea.”

 

Change accelerated 2 years ago

Mr de Pury says the change accelerated two years ago. He predicts that Contemporary art will continue to grow in buyer popularity, in part because the sheer number of buyers means that demand for works from previous eras cannot be met. “It is a question of availability. If you have unlimited money, you can no longer buy the best Old Masters collection in the world. But you can buy the best collection of living artists. For that reason Contemporary art will be the most significant market for the next 20 years.”

 

New museums adding to demand

He adds: “In China, every new [top-end] real estate complex being built has an art museum. All these spaces need to be filled and that will keep demand high.”

Most Middle Eastern nations are likewise building art museums, with both a Guggenheim and a Louvre destined for Abu Dhabi, for example. These museums will start accumulating works to fill their vast spaces later this year. In the US, the home of most of the world’s billionaires, there is a growing trend for rich art-lovers to build their own museums rather than donate works to existing museums as used to be the practice.

 

More millionaires 

There are far more rich people in the world and they are simply far more likely to buy artworks. The number of millionaires in Brazil, Russia, India and China grew by 19 per cent last year, according to the World Wealth Report, released this week by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini. The top 10 collectors in the world now include Victor Pinchuk, a Ukrainian steel billionaire, Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecommunications tycoon, and Qatar’s Sheik al-Thani, according to ARTnews magazine, which this week released its annual list of big spenders.

Art is also seen as a socially desirable channel for the wealth resulting from the 20-year growth in financial services. US hedge fund managers such as Steve Cohen have emerged as big Contemporary collectors. Ben Crawford, the chief marketing officer of MutualArt.com, says: “It starts with the wealthy and then there is a trickle-down effect. Look at the beginning of the century – who bought designer clothes? Tiny numbers of high-society people – but once they became available to more and more people, the buyers didn’t go back. The art buyers won’t go back to putting Star Wars posters on their walls.”

Image details: Eli Broad, art collector

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Posted in Art spaces, Auctions, Collectors, Globalisation, Individual, Market watch, Museums, Recession | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »