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Kobel's Art Weekly

Enes Secilmis & Melis Cantürk Enes Secilmis & Melis Cantürk, It's not a Show; free via
Enes Secilmis & Melis Cantürk Enes Secilmis & Melis Cantürk, It's not a Show; free via
Stefan Kobel

Stefan Kobel

Kobel's Art Weekly 50 2022

Local politicians' hopes that Miami could become the capital of NFTs may be over for the time being, notes Georgina Adam in The Art Newspaper: "And the market for NFTs collapsed as dramatically-sales volume stood at $9m in November, compared with $93m just six months before, according to [Oh, and by the way, all this seems to have shattered the much-touted theory that there is an inverse correlation between NFTs and crypto. This year, NFT initiatives were hugely scaled back in Miami. Granted, there were some events, such as launch parties for Moonbirds and Pudgy Penguins, and some galleries such as Pace Verso were continuing their initiatives. But the heat was definitely off compared with last year. [...] But there is a more significant problem. Another potential victim of the meltdown is the whole Effective Altruism (EA) movement. Briefly, this encourages people to make vast sums of money so they can then donate to good causes, notably 'efficient' charities." The latter sounds like a souped-up trickle-down theory variant from the mothballs of Reagonomics.

When figures like the comedian, life and financial coach Mike Hager, who has already published such groundbreaking books as "Money Alone Is Also a Solution: Amazingly Simple Truths About Wealth and Prosperity - How You Can Really Become Financially Free", launch "NFT - Das Magazin", you know that now is the time to get out at the very latest.

Within the framework of an otherwise successful auction week, one section unsurprisingly flopped at Van Ham in Cologne, Christiane Fricke found out for the Handelsblatt: "What was advertised with heart and soul and explained by every conceivable means - including a workshop - achieved the least pleasing result: "digital art" with NFT certificate. Of the 15 works produced especially and exclusively for the auction at Van Ham, which were offered on 30 November, only five were sold, including works by Banz & Bowinkel and Tim Berresheim. And at euro prices around the estimates. This is a bitter, but in view of the developments on the crypto market almost expected setback, which was not communicated at first. Originally, neither the results were noted in the relevant lists, nor did Markus Eisenbeis say a word about it in the just completed Annual Report 2022. Wrongly so. Because the entrepreneur, who is not exactly shy of innovation and willing to invest, is characterised by trying out new ways, even if this does not seem to pay off at first."

Meanwhile, Ketterer from Munich reports record figures. A press release says: "With proceeds of € 59 million in the second half of 2022, the company achieves the industry's best seasonal result in Germany for the ninth time in a row. At the same time, the auction house confidently surpasses the € 100 million mark for the first time with its annual proceeds and, with the sum of € 103 million, not only confirms first place in the German art auctioneer ranking once again, but also consolidates its top position among international houses. A total of 13 proceeds above the million euro mark as well as an additional 163 results in the six-figure range round off the sensational overall picture." The total sum was made up of room and online-only auctions as well as private sales.

Stephanie Dieckvoss saw light at the end of the tunnel of the Old Master market at the auctions in London for the Handelsblatt: "The Old Master auctions in London are setting records again. This has not happened for a long time. Especially market-fresh still lifes and works from the 19th century are popular with collectors - if the provenance is right. Works with motifs that are not in keeping with the zeitgeist, such as portraits, early Italians or sculpture, however, still have a hard time finding buyers. Buyers come mainly from the USA, Asian buyers are largely holding back. This also explains why the highlights of the season were exhibited in London but will not go under the hammer until January in New York. London has to make do with smaller works, despite its centuries-old tradition of trading old masters."

Frieze and Art Basel have taken steps to measure and reduce their carbon footprint. However, the art fairs are not the biggest problem, Anny Shaw and Scott Reyburn explain in The Art Newspaper: "Wealthy collectors tend not to travel on the cheap, and those who fly first class are reported to have a carbon footprint more than nine times larger than those who travel in economy. The Global Carbon Project estimates that the US's CO2 emissions will rise by 1.5% in 2022, with a surge in air travel mainly to blame. International fairs seem destined to remain an indispensable part of the luxury lifestyles of wealthy art collectors. Organisers and exhibitors continue to take commendable incremental measures to reduce the carbon footprint of these events, but there is still an elephant in the room, and it has very big, very polluting wings."

The collateral damage of the climate protests in museums would not only affect the museums themselves, but also visitors, lenders, taxpayers and insurers, explains dpa: "However, the problem is not only the probably more difficult access to works of art in the future due to stricter entrance controls, but also restrictions on exhibitions. We know that private individuals are also becoming more cautious because they are worried that the one unglazed object they bring in as a loan might be the very object that suffers the next attack,' says Wolzenburg [head of Allianz Kunstversicherung]. From his conversations he learns that the radical actions of the climate protectors are strictly rejected by the museums, but also by all lovers of culture and art. [...] The group 'Last Generation' acts to the detriment of art and uses it 'as a catalyst' to bring their goals and messages to the public. 'There was a line crossed,' says Wolzenburg." The activists still see it differently: "A spokesperson for the climate protest group 'Last Generation' considers the criticism of the actions inappropriate in view of the consequences of the climate catastrophe that are to be feared. 'What are we talking about and being outraged about - that something flew onto a picture or that our livelihoods are simply being taken away,' he said." However, this mantra-like killer argument can be used to justify almost any action. The activist, however, does not respond to the criticism with a single syllable.

The University of Heidelberg has a collection of art forgeries so that art historiy students can train their eye on them, Hubertus Butin found out for the FAZ of 10 December: "The students can thus take such objects into their own hands and under the magnifying glass, examine them from a style-critical and material-technical point of view and research their provenance. in this way, they develop their own connoisseurship, supported by experts from different disciplines. The research results are then recorded in an internal university database. It is not only academics and collectors who benefit from the institute's initiative, but also the art trade, a possible future professional field for the students."

The dispute over the auction of a work by Wassily Kandinsky by Villa Grisebach is not yet over, reports Monopol: "The Polish Ministry of Culture had asked the Warsaw police to report the theft to Interpol after the auction house announced the sale of the watercolour. However, it has been listed in the art theft report of the internationally active organisation IFAR since 1985. Unlike in Switzerland, for example, the statute of limitations for claims for restitution of stolen works of art in Germany is 30 years. However, this is not the case if the buyer is aware of the illegitimacy of the acquisition, i.e. if he or she is, as the BGB puts it, 'not in good faith'. This case can be excluded if the sale was carried out by an auction house. A circumstance to which Grisebach also refers when referring to the 1984 London auction. Until the case is clarified, further handling by Grisebach is suspended, according to information given to Monopol by the auction house."

Cologne and Hamburg are each restituting larger quantities of looted art to Nigeria, reports dpa.

The 90-year-old painter Gerhard Richter is switching from a major gallery to a mega-gallery, reports Monopol: "Up to now, Richter has worked closely with the Marian Goodman Gallery, but will now leave it in favour of Zwirner after 37 years, as an employee of Goodman confirmed to Monopol. The artist is still listed on their website, they are still offering works by Richter, the gallery said, and are operating on the secondary market. In 2020, Richter had announced that he no longer wanted to paint. In spring 2022, however, new paintings had already been on show at the Fondation Beyeler in Riehen near Basel."

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