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Kobel's Art Weekly

Eglė Ožalaitė, Fireflies in the burnt forest; free via
Eglė Ožalaitė, Fireflies in the burnt forest; free via
Stefan Kobel

Stefan Kobel

Kobel's Art Weekly 48 2022

There is a making of video of Banksy in Ukraine, reports dpa.

Cologne's Priska Pasquer Gallery is holding a charity auction with works by Aljoscha on December 1 to benefit Help Ukraine.

Susanne Schreiber reviews the Cologne exhibition "Worth Fighting For" with works from the Ukrainian Pinchuk Foundation and the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp in the Handelsblatt.

Rarely has a German newspaper on this side of the Springer press been so dissected by another newspaper for violations of journalistic standards as the ZEIT has now been by Sören Kittel and the Berliner Zeitung (English version) because of the now infamous article on alleged sexual assaults by the Berlin gallery owner Johann König: "In the case of König, it becomes apparent that the readers of the Zeit text were presented with a truncated picture. Research by the Berliner Zeitung leads to the conclusion that this report should never have been published in this way. There are compliance conflicts with one of the authors and an editor of Die Zeit. The text seems one-sidedly researched - and on top of that there is a script exposé for a kind of Netflix series in which the König case is also dealt with and which reads like a manual for activism, written by an author of that Zeit text. According to an anonymous source, it was written before the publication of the Zeit text and virtually prejudged the subsequent research, i.e. anticipated the guilty verdict." The details are truly hair-raising.

Meanwhile, Naomi Rea and Kate Brown at Artnet are struggling to keep up with artist departures from Johann König's gallery.

This year's Monopol Top 100 list is out. Number 1 is Nan Goldin, Number 2 Ruangrupa.

The interesting information in daoinsights report on plans to build a new China headquarters in Shanghai is between the lines: "The move shows Sotheby's confidence in the art and luxury markets on the mainland despite business uncertainties posed by its harsh zero-COVID policy. [...] The country's luxury sector is also believed to have a strong foothold. Having recorded double-digital growth again in 2021, the mainland is 'on track to becoming the world's largest luxury goods market by 2025 - regardless of future international travel patterns'." Quite naturally, the art market is seen as part of the luxury goods segment.

Meanwhile, Lisa Movius and Shana Wu wonder in The Art Newspaper about the reasons for the significant decline in auction sales in Hong Kong : "The results in part reflect the economic downturn in mainland China, which is still navigating harsh zero-covid policies and a cratering property sector. But it also represents a subtler shift in what has been coming to the market."

If the heads of the major auction houses are already cautious, caution is in order. Michael Irwin's analysis of recent auctions at Ocula provides evidence: "In a conference following Phillips 20th Century and Contemporary Evening, Phillips CEO Stephen Brooks noted, 'some of the froth is going out of the market. Christie's CEO Guillaume Cerutti told Artnet the market has been more difficult in the last six months."

With a whole art market issue auction previews the FAZ of 26 November pleases its readers, of it also online freely accessible: Villa Grisebach (Ursula Scheer), Lucas Cranach in the Paris Hôtel Drouot (Bettina Wohlfarth) and Koller in Zurich (Felicitas Rhan).

Christian Herchenröder reports on the auctions of old art and decorative arts at Lempertz in Cologne for the Handelsblatt: "With a total turnover of 8.7 million euros for its auctions of old art, the traditional Cologne house Lempertz can boast. That is over 2 million more than the corresponding fall auction in 2021 brought in. The big winner was the decorative arts - including porcelain and furnishings from a Westphalian private collection - which sent proceeds soaring to 4 million euros."

In a spectacular coup, burglars have stolen a Celtic gold treasure from the museum in Manching, Bavaria, reports dpa: "It was a matter of just nine minutes: At 1.26 an outer escape door at the Celtic and Roman Museum in Manching was pried open, at 1.35 o'clock the burglary in the night to Tuesday was already over again. The day after, Rupert Gebhard, head of collections at the Archaeological State Collection, mourned the loss of the museum's most precious treasures: 483 coins and a cast gold cake." Tobias Timm points out parallels to other cases and possible omissions in the ZEIT: "As in the case of the break-in in the Green Vault - or other professional break-ins in banks - the perpetrators in Manching first tried to cut off the museum's communication possibilities. First, they destroyed several fiber optic cables in a central distribution center located one kilometer from the museum. As a result, 13,000 telephone lines and the Internet failed in Manching and the surrounding area. That's probably why the break-in on Tuesday night didn't trigger an alarm at the security company responsible - there doesn't seem to have been an emergency line for such cases. The police even drove extra patrols after the communication failure became known during the night, but only in front of banks and ATMs. The theft at the museum, however, was not discovered until Tuesday morning shortly before it opened by employees there and was reported to police at 9:45. No security personnel were stationed there at night."

Some disputes between insureds and insurers over the value of art are described by Riah Pryor in The Art Newspaper.

Art Karlsruhe gets a new leadership, Susanne Schreiber reports in Handelsblatt: "Olga Blaß is a house call. Since 2017, the art historian already operationally controls the fair. The surprise is the not exactly underemployed gallery owner, BVDG board member and fair founder Kristian Jarmuschek as chairman of the advisory board. There he is supposed to be responsible for strategy and repositioning."

semi-automatically translated


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