Art Market News in Brief!



Every fortnight, Artprice provides a short round up of art market news.

Qiu Shihua mistifies the Hamburger Bahnhof

There are only ten days left to admire the phantasmagorical paintings of QIU Shihua at the Hamburger Bahnhof. Born in 1940 in Sichuan, Qiu Shihua moved to France to study Impressionist painting in the 1980s. After this experience he started to develop a new technique, but nevertheless remained very detached from Western schools of thought.
At first glance monochromatic, his paintings do in fact project vaporous landscapes. Empty, still, serene, they are faithful to the Taoist precepts that guide the artist’s work. They represent the inner life of the being, its soul … “All being and non-being is hidden in them, completely self-contained. In the zero condition the original countenance of the soul reveals itself”, he has himself said of his paintings.
Although they constitute a most interesting contribution to Contemporary painting in the last 20 years and are rare on the market (34 lots at auction since 1998), Qiu Shihua’s landscapes remain affordable. Over the past three years, they have usually sold for between $20,000 and $35,000. Already presented at the Biennales of Venice and of Sao Paulo, they are now on display at the Hamburger Bahnhof. In our view, the work of the little-known Qiu Shihua has substantial value accretion potential.

Gabriel Orozco’s Asterisms at the Guggenheim in Berlin

Until 21 October 2011, the Guggenheim Museum in Berlin is hosting an exhibition of work by the Mexican artist Gabriel OROZCO entitled Asterisms. Two years after his retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art (NY), the artist offers us his vision of the world made from detritus washed up on Mexico’s Pacific coast (Sandstars) or picked up from a public sports complex near his home in New York (Astroturf Constellation). Sandstars is a monumental sculptural carpet of 1,200 retrieved objects of all descriptions, including bottles and light bulbs, organized by material, color, size, etc.. The work is accompanied by twelve gridded studio photographs of each individual objects. The second work, Astroturf Constellation, using the same modus operandi, focuses on tiny objects and calls into question the relativity of the notion of scale.
Gabriel Orozco is a versatile artist who always brings refreshingly new work to each exhibition. His auction results also reflect the diversity of his work with results generated by paintings, prints, sculptures and photographs as well as audiovisual installations. His six best results have been hammered for paintings from the series Samurai Tree Invariant, all above $220,000. The New York MoMA has also acquired an installation consisting of several hundred digital scans of this series that was exhibited at the museum’s retrospective of Orozco’s work at the beginning of 2010. A few months after this exhibition, Sotheby’s New York set the artist’s current auction record of $420,000 for an acrylic painting entitled Samurai Tree (Invariant Gold 2).

Burhan Dogancay retrospective at Istanbul Modern: 50 years of urban walls

Until 23 September 2012, the work of Burhan DOGANÇAY (born in 1929) is the subject of a retrospective at the Istanbul Modern museum. After briefly working for the diplomatic corps in New York, he decided to devote himself entirely to art in 1964. He very quickly became fascinated with urban walls, that he has been photographing during each of his travels since the 70’s. These shots became the basis for paintings which, like the walls that he admires so much, reflect the cultural, economic, social and political changes that he observed. His canvases, mixing collage, painting and enfumage earned him notoriety in the 70s and 80s, with two series of works entitled Ribbons and Cones.
Burhan Dogancay is a well-known artist whose works almost all sell at auctions in Turkey. While his auction record of close to $1.5m for Symphony in Blue dates back to 2009, the results since then for his paintings have usually oscillated between $50,000 and $500,000, depending on quality. His smaller watercolors sell for between $5,000 and $20,000 and his photos change hands for between $3,400 and $8,400.

Doug Aitken receives the Nam June Paik prize

Already winner of the International Prize at the 1999 Venice Biennale, the Californian artist Doug AITKEN has won this year’s award from the Nam June Paik Art Center (South Korea). This prize gives the artist a grant of $50,000 and a solo exhibition at the Center in the second half of 2013.
The prize, established in 2009, honors artists who, like Nam June Paik, have extended the boundaries of art with work that is largely experimental. This is exactly the case of this year’s winner whose creativity is expressed through a great variety of interdisciplinary collaborations. In his work Patterns & Repetition, Doug Aitken opens a dialogue with the pioneers of the 21st century, all artistic media combined.
At auctions, his textual sculptures are widely sought-after: the powerful messages – resonating like mantras – generate his best results. The work West (2008) fetched $270,000 on 11 November 2010 at Christie’s NY and on 10 May 2012 at Sotheby’s NY his Now (2009) sold for $170,000. Over the past decade, 79 of his works have been proposed on a secondary market that remains highly localized: in fact, the United States and Great Britain alone account for more than 95% of his auction results.