Suspect drips already flipped

April 25, 2007

The controversy over newly discovered works claiming to be by the world’s most expensive paint splatterer has gotten even more interesting. We reported a few months ago about the fallout from paint tests showing that a miraculous find of unknown Pollocks were fresher than his crash-test corpse. Now the IHT reports that Alex Matter, the owner of the trove of 32 small works found in his father’s storage locker might have already sold some of them (which should surprise nobody).
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Alex Matter with some possible Pollocks that he may or may not own anymore
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China: Sports more important than Culture

February 7, 2007

China is using the Olympics as the steamroller for a vast array of infrastructural developments that just happen to also be destroying a lot of artifacts. If Rome is the best place to currently ponder the eternal battle between Archaeology and the Art Market, then China is the best place consider the nexus of Urban Development, Cultural Destruction, and Wholesale Tomb Raiding.
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Art Miser totally scoops Mainstream Media on that Rembrandt thing

February 7, 2007

Well, wouldn’t you know it, two days after I drew our readers attention to the problems inherent in the Rembrandt recently auctioned at Sotheby’s, then the IHT picks up the same story. The article describes the problems of Rembrandts on the market and specifically discusses the sale of St. James the Greater and how it had to overcome numerous technical difficulties in order to reach it’s modest sale price of $25.8 million. We are told the insightful observation that the piece had been offered at the 2006 European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht for $45 million. Nice try. What the article fails to notice, though, which Art Miser readers had an exclusive on, is the Footnote of Death.

When is a Rembrandt really a Rembrandt? [IHT]


Pollock surely could not have dripped this

February 6, 2007

Who better to strain the connoisseur’s fine balance of art and science than Jack the Dripper, the guy who didn’t even have a brushstroke. The NYT reports to us today on one of the most befuddling cases of art authentication plaguing the world’s currently most expensive painter.

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Duveen Rembrandt not worth mentioning, sells for $25.8 mil.

January 28, 2007

Sothebys is trumpeting their recent sale of a Rembrandt, St. James the Greater, which went for $25.8 million at a recent Old Masters Auction, but could it be that the sale was actually a disappointment?
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The painting comes to us through a Who’s Who of art dealing in the last 2 centuries, and such a provenance should have pushed prices to the stratosphere, but instead St. James came up 3 million short of the high end of its estimate. In many ways, the pieces serves as an Exhibit A1 for what’s problematic with Rembrandts.
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Uncomfortable conversation is best thing on show at Vienna Antiques Fair

December 20, 2006

While perusing the Antiquitätenmesse in Vienna in October, we came upon a stand prominently located in the foyer of the Palais Ferstel. The vitrines were filled with a vast assortment of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman artifacts. In fact so many, in such good condition, that I had to think there was something not quite right. And then, as if the Baby Jesus had answered my prayers, I overheard the voice of tall Englishman behind me, addressing a dark haired man with a mustache.

Englishman: Oh Hi, I was hoping to find you here.
Mustache: Oh Hello again, are you buying paintings again this year?
Englishman: No, I just came here to see you.
Mustache: (audibly uncomfortable) Oh I’m very pleased.
Englishman: You see I wanted to bring something up with you. You remember that terracotta statuette of Venus I bought from you. Well I had an archaeologist I know round to my house for dinner, and I showed it to her. She said it couldn’t possibly be authentic.
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