Canon is becoming very predictable

Once Willi Bongard created his Kunstkompass, the methods for predicting someones ascendancy became reliably methodical. Or maybe he just made it a self-fulfilling prophecy. His system of points was based on the pillars of canonization: display in major museums and inclusion in essential texts. Now a new company has refined the research, allowing machines to tell us what is our most valuable art. Brilliant idea! This woulda saved them all soooo much trouble back in the 19th Century.

warhal-kunstkompass.jpg
historical values for Any Old Shit from some guy in the 70s

Thing is that even if we know the methods for calculating an artist’s prices, those points still have to get earned. Currently values are rising steadily for contemporary art, or rather, let’s be more precise and say: the recent dead, the near dead, or, in the case of Andy Warhol, the undead. And since the best points get awarded for inclusion in a public collection, well, guess what? Big collectors are building whole wings of municipal museums to display their own personal collections. Now of course, since that involves millions of dollars, its not the kind of outlay everyone can afford. But…if you’re rich enough, it’s a clear route to insuring that you hold the biggest trophies.


At Contemporary Art sales, a mood to buy regardless of quality
[IHT]

When private collectors go public [IHT]

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