Flash News: Penone, Goldsworthy, El Anatsui, Wang Keping, Lee Bae, Chaumont-sur-Loire – Louise Bourgeois, Bilbao – Damien Hirst



Every fortnight, Artprice provides a short round up of art market news: Penone, Goldsworthy, El Anatsui, Wang Keping, Lee Bae… at Chaumont-sur-Loire. Louise Bourgeois in Bilbao. Damien Hirst comeback…

Penone, Goldsworthy, El Anatsui, Wang Keping, Lee Bae … at Chaumont-sur-Loire
From time to time Contemporary art leaves the big cities and heads for quieter destinations in parks and estates out of town, and there is often an interesting dialogue between the place chosen and the works that invest them. Since the beginning of April, fifteen artists from diverse backgrounds have been showing their work at the Chaumont-sur-Loire Domaine just south of Blois. Several artists have created new works for the occasion including the Italian Giuseppe PENONE, the Ghanaian El ANATSUI (awarded a Golden Lion at the 2015 Venice Biennale) and the Frenchman, Marc COUTURIER. The Chinese artist, CAI Guoqiang has occupied an area with explosions of coloured powders and porcelain blackened by smoke while the Korean Bae LEE has installed his burnt-wood artworks. The British artist Andy GOLDSWORTHY, a champion of site-specific sculpture and land art, has built a cairn, an egg-shaped monument nearly three metres high and weighing more than eight tons. He has stated that the tumulus, made ​​with blocks of slate from the Trélazé quarries, is the last cairn he will ever construct. The monument is an opportunity to discover his works as they should be…. i.e. in direct contact with nature. His small sculptures in stone or dried leaves are rare, even for frequent auction attendees (and usually only in London). It is easier to find photographic evidence of his ephemeral works, usually printed in the size of an average painting and often accessible for between $3,000 and 6,000.

Louise Bourgeois in Bilbao
Nearly nine meters high with its shadow falling across the terrace of Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum, Louise BOURGEOIS’ giant bronze spider (Maman) has architectural dimensions, but stands on light feet, both threatening and protective. These symbolic creatures first appeared in her drawings in the 1940s and subsequently occupied a central place in her work during the 1990s, and this one boldly announces the current exhibition Louise Bourgeois. Structures of existence. The Cells (until 4 September 2016). Consisting of 28 cells, this major exhibition also includes drawings and paintings. Louise Bourgeois was one of the most emblematic artists of the 20th century and today her work attracts strong demand and top-end prices. In 2015, her work generated over $38 million on the secondary market, giving her 60th place in our all-periods global ranking by annual auction turnover. Three of her works are included in the upcoming prestige sales in New York this month, but none of them is important enough to beat her current auction record of $28 million for a majestic spider sold at Christie’s in New York last November.

Damien Hirst comeback…
Having been somewhat ‘in disgrace’ for several years, Damien HIRST is now attempting to rectify his market status via a new collaboration with the powerful Gagosian Gallery which is currently showing his work at Frieze Art Fair in New York (5 to 8 May 2016). In recent years, Hirst’s popularity and market value plummeted with his price index down 83% since its peak in September 2008 when Hirst and Sotheby’s auctioned 223 works straight from his studio (effectively by-passing the galleries). In the subsequent years, Hirst’s auction turnover collapsed and critics were particularly severe with the “grand art marketing strategist”. However, the wind may be turning and the Gagosian effect is unlikely to be neutral.