Flash News: #ARTVIDEO – Serge Poliakoff – Jean Rustin



Every fortnight, Artprice provides a short round up of art market news: #ARTVIDEO – Serge Poliakoff – Jean Rustin

#ARTVIDEO sale/event in France

29 January 2014 marks the anniversary of the death of Nam June Paik, considered to be the founder of video art. On this date, the Vincent Wapler auction house will be holding its first session devoted solely to video art.
This will include 16 mm and 35 mm films, VHS, DVD and internet streaming created by well-known contemporary artists such as the indispensable Nam June PAIK, Fred FOREST, Sylvie FLEURY, Mircea CANTOR, Claude CLOSKY, Pipilotti RIST, Tony OURSLER, along with up-and-coming artists such as Hervé ALL, Bérengère HÉNIN and César Pesquera.

As a medium, video is in a state of flux. It offers new ways of producing and airing content and is increasingly attracting artists who may not use it as their sole means of expression, but who are keen to benefit from it as a way of expanding their scope. Apart from Paik – whose current record stands at $540,120 (Wright Brothers installation, 1995, 25 November 2011, Christie’s Hong Kong) – the top-selling artists in this genre are Bill VIOLA, William KENTRIDGE, Bruce NAUMAN and Tony OURSLER, with record prices ranging from $85,000 for Oursler to over $600,000 for Viola. However, the video art market has not yet attained the peak prices attracted by other numbered limited editions such as prints and photographs, which have sailed blithely past the million dollar mark. Many market experts believe technological art is still undervalued. Accompanying the sale, there will be a round table discussion on video art entitled « What is the future of video art? » This will provide a forum for discussion about the future and the challenges that lie ahead for this booming new medium.
Fans of the genre have an opportunity to view the works before the sale via a website that has been specially set up for the occasion and via the video art TV station Souvenirs from Earth.

Serge Poliakoff: Musée Maillol and Musée d’Art Moderne

Until 9 February 2014, there is still a chance to visit the Musée Maillol in Paris to catch the exhibition of 40 gouaches painted by Serge POLIAKOFF between 1948 and 1969. There are also two weeks remaining of the Poliakoff retrospective of 150 works at the Musée National d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (18 October 2013 to 23 February 2014).

Before becoming a leading light of the Ecole de Paris in the 1950s, Poliakoff lived in Paris and earned his living playing the guitar in Russian cabarets. When Dina Vierny (a gallery owner and model for Maillol) first met Poliakoff, she was quite unaware of his artistic talents. She occasionally performed as a singer in a cabaret and he used to accompany her on the guitar. But once she discovered his paintings she decided to hold an exhibition of his work in her gallery in 1951.
Eleven years later, Poliakoff became a French citizen and a whole room was given over to his paintings at the prestigious Venice Biennale of 1962. With their cadences of vibrant colour, his paintings quickly came to be recognised as some of the most revolutionary works on the European abstract scene. His market is based in Paris, the only major city where he has broken the million-dollar barrier to date. The artist’s record price is in fact $1.2 million, with the 2011 sale of a Composition abstraite from 1954 (with an estimate of € 200,000 – € 250,000, the work finally went under the hammer for € 820,000 at Ferri et Associés in Paris on 10 June 2011). A major artist, his value has soared by 90% since 2000. The majority of his gouaches – those being exhibited at the Musée Maillol – are still affordable, with average prices ranging between $20,000 and $50,000.

Death of Jean Rustin

French painter Jean RUSTIN died in Paris on 24 December 2013 at the age of 85. Known in Europe for his expressive, raw and brutal depictions of the naked body, Rustin incessantly painted the human tragedy of a fragile body racked by sexual urges and the consciousness of its inevitable decay. His radical, obscene and tragic works provoke unease rather than exhilaration, which is no doubt why it was kept apart from the rest of the European market. Today, Rustin’s market is split between France, the country with the most works (35% of receipts for 55% of transactions); Belgium, where collectors were introduced to his world with the opening of the Fondation Rustin in Anvers in 2000 (Belgium is number one in the market in terms of results, with 48% of sales revenues); and the Netherlands (14%). He is a artist who is both known and unknown, but his works are affordable, with 90% selling for less than $23,000 at auction and a record price of $41,600 (L’homme au pantalon bleu, 1984, sold for € 33,000 on 9 October 2006 at Lombrail-Teucquam in Paris).