Friday, May 17, 2013

Hirst Ends 17-Year Relationship With Gagosian Gallery

The U.K.’s wealthiest living artist, Damien Hirst, has parted ways with the Gagosian gallery, which represented him for the past 17 years.
Hirst, 47, whose best-known work is a tiger shark suspended in formaldehyde that billionairehedge fund manager Steve Cohen reportedly acquired for $12 million, had been a major moneymaker for Gagosian.
"The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living" (1991) by Damien Hirst. It belongs to Steve Cohen. Source: Tate via Bloomberg
James Chanos Cocktail Party
Crystal Connors, Kynikos Associates Ltd. founder and president James Chanos, artist Damien Hirst and Jay Joplin attend a cocktail party at Chanos' Miami home. Hirst will continue working with his longtime art dealer Joplin. Photographer: Katya Kazakina/Bloomberg
'For the Love of God'
This is an undated handout photo of "For the Love of God" by Damien Hirst. The life-sized platinum skull, studded with 8,601 stones weighing 1,106.18 carats, cost Hirst $20 million to make. Source: Bolton & Quinn via Bloomberg News.
'Lullaby Spring'
This is an undated handout photograph of artist Damien Hirst's "Lullaby Spring." Source: Sotheby's via Bloomberg News.
'Eucatropine' (2005) by Damien Hirst. The work was part of the exhibition "Damien Hirst: The Complete Spot Paintings" at Gagosian galleries worldwide. Source: Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates Copright Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012 Courtesy Gagosian Gallery via Bloomberg
“Damien Hirst has decided to cease working with Gagosian Gallery worldwide,” Hirst’s company Science Ltd. said in an e- mailed release. “Damien has had a fantastic and productive working relationship with Gagosian Gallery, but after 17 years of representing him Larry Gagosian and Damien have reached an amicable decision to part company.”
All 11 Gagosian galleries presented his Spot paintings earlier this year. The dealer has since opened a 12th branch, at the Le Bourget private-jet airport north of Paris.
London’s White Cube gallery said it will carry on representing Hirst through its galleries in London, Hong Kong and Sao Paulo. Tim Marlow, the director of exhibitions at White Cube, said on the telephone today: “We are working with him now and will continue to represent him internationally in the future.”
Science Ltd. would not respond to questions about who would represent Hirst in the U.S.

Price Drop

Though Hirst’s prices have fallen recently -- only four of his works sold for more than $1 million at auction this year, and none above $2 million, according to Artnet -- his decision to leave Gagosian will be keenly felt.
“Hirst is in the uppermost echelon of the contemporary art canon, and high price or low, it’s a blow for the gallery,” said Jehan Chu, an adviser who runs Vermillion Art Collections in Hong Kong.
The news comes a week after David Zwirner, a major New York art dealer that recently opened a space in London, announced that Jeff Koons, another market star from Gagosian’s stable, will have an exhibition in May in Zwirner’s New York Chelsea gallery. A Gagosian spokeswoman confirmed that the gallery continues to represent Koons.
A formal break like Hirst’s raises the question of who will represent him in New York.
“Why would he commit to one dealer when he can have them all?” said Alberto Mugrabi, whose family has supported the Hirst market for years. “Any great gallery in New York would love to do a show with Damien.”

No Talks

David Zwirner gallery spokeswoman Julia Joern said she wasn’t aware of any talks between the artist and her gallery.
Mugrabi said his family’s commitment to the Hirst market won’t be affected by the artist’s departure from Gagosian, saying, “I will support his market until I am dead.” He said the family owns “several hundred” pieces by Hirst.
This year, Larry Gagosian was accused in two lawsuits, including one brought by billionaire Ron Perelman over a $4 million sculpture by Koons, of using his position in the art world to negotiate secret deals, push clients around and manipulate prices for contemporary works.
Both Gagosian Gallery and Gagosian have declined to comment on the accusations. The gallery filed its own case against Perelman but later dropped it and will defend itself in Perelman’s suit.
This spring, Gagosian also lost John Good, a gallery director of 13 years. Good left for Christie’s, where he is now senior vice president and international director of postwar and contemporary art.
“I am not worried about Mr. Gagosian,” Mugrabi said. “He is still at the top, with or without Damien.”

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Preserving Paints

Painting is a beautiful art form, but it has its challenges. Practical aspects of storing paints and preserving them for future use are always a concern to the artist—especially when resources are limited. Who wants to toss away unusedpaint that is no longer usable?
Unfortunately, for most artists, throwing away dried paint is just one of the costs of the trade but. At some point in time, it's going to happen. But there are some things you can do to help you preserve your paints. The first suggestion is simply to avoid buying more than you need at any one time. This is a tough one, we know. It's easy to say you want 50 paint colors in whatever medium you may be working in. A watercolor kit, for instance, might be enticing and can be more cost-effective. The question is, how much are you painting?
It helps to prime your work surface with a product such as gesso so that your paint supply will stretch a bit more. Gesso primes any surface for painting, creating a surface that is somewhat textured. Without it, paint would soak into whatever you are painting—a canvas for instance. Using gesso on unprimed surfaces can keep you from having to buy as much paint at the start of your project.
Another way to preserve your paint is with proper storage. Keep your paints in a cool area away from heaters and blowers. The more airtight the better. Remember that all plastic containers are slightly porous and allow a small amount of water vapor to escape. Clean the threads of lids and jars. If paint accumulates there, the tops will not seal properly and the paints will begin to dry out.
Because of the versatility of acrylics, they are widely used by artists. They can also quickly dry out if not sealed tightly. An issue with acrylics, too, is drying too quickly while they are being used. Paint additives can be helpful in keeping acrylics from drying to quickly. Another option is to use a non-absorbent palette. Glass works well, as do plastics such as polyethylene. In addition, a small amount of retarder can keep paint from forming a skin for up to six hours, depending on the temperature and humidity. You can also simply mist the paint on your palette with something like a plant mister. Be careful not to use too much, though.
If you abide by these tips, you should do well in keeping your paint preserved and fresh for your next project.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Saudi artist plans Arab state's first artist-run foundation
Amen Art Foundation will support emerging artists and encourage art education

Abdulnasser Gharem with one of his stamp works
The Saudi conceptual artist Abdulnasser Gharem plans to set up the Arab state's first artist-run foundation in Riyadh in light of “the art revolution taking place in Saudi Arabia”, he says. Gharem, who is also a lieutenant colonel in the Saudi Arabian army, aims to support emerging artists and encourage art education through the new organisation called the Amen Art Foundation.
“We have so many good artists here. The galleries and, unfortunately,auction houses are starting to move in but there are no institutions or foundations here to help the younger artists,” he tells The Art Newspaper. Raising funds will not be his biggest challenge, he says, but changing attitudes in the notoriously conservative state could be an issue. “This country is full of people who have the [necessary] money. But the problem will be getting the government's permission to launch the foundation. Such art foundations are not part of our culture,” Gharem says.

A non-selling exhibition of Gharem’s works, which opened at the Side by Side Gallery in Berlin on 25 April (until 13 July), invites people to contribute to and explore the project. Akim Monet, the gallery owner, says: “I spontaneously offered Abdulnasser to use my gallery as a laboratory, as a forum to present the idea, but also as a platform through which to develop the project.”