The Art Newspaper:
Sotheby’s buys Orion Analytical lab in fight against art fraud
...“Technical analysis has always formed a part of the way we look at paintings we are researching for sale, but to now have someone of Jamie’s standing in-house, with access to such a wide array of diagnostic techniques and such a deep understanding of this ever-more complicated area, will be hugely beneficial,” says Alexander Bell, the co-chairman worldwide of Sotheby’s Old Master painting department.
Sotheby’s creates forensic art unit to detect forgeries
Forgeries can cost auction houses dearly, not just in repaying an owner who has been sold a fake. If part of a group, a forgery can bring into question the authenticity of other works in a collection; it can cast doubt on the expertise of the authenticators and damage the reputation of the broker. Soaring art market prices in the past two decades have given auction houses an incentive to bolster their connoisseurship with independent scientific analysis — and exorbitant values encourage owners to sue when a work’s credibility comes into question.
Bendor Grosvenor, an art historian, said the “overdue” move was likely to give Sotheby’s “a bit of a competitive edge for a while, because it means that people can buy from them with greater confidence.
He added that Mr Martin was unusual in combining both scientific skills and art historical knowledge. “These forgers are so skilled that you have to have the connoisseurial eye. It is not just about using the right and wrong ingredients but it is about knowing how artists would have used them and the manner of their application. That is where someone like Jamie Martin has an edge.”
New York Times:
Trump and the Art Market: A Feel-Good Factor
LONDON — As we enter 2017, and the inauguration of Donald J. Trump looms, many sectors of the global economy are wondering what impact his presidency will have on their business. The art market is one of them.
Last year, the political and economic uncertainty generated by the United States election (not to mention Britain’s referendum on leaving the European Union and other so-called macro factors) made collectors hesitant to buy or sell artworks. This resulted in reduced year-on-year totals at Christie’s and Sotheby’s evening contemporary auctions in New York and London, and more muted demand at the world’s leading art fairs.
... Collectors are, however, concerned about one potential downside of Mr. Trump’s suggested tax changes. The Tax Policy Center in Washington points out that the incoming president plans to reduce the tax benefits of charitable giving — which could include donating art to museums.
.... That assertion seemed to be confirmed last month with the surprise move of Brett Gorvy, Christie’s chairman and international head of postwar and contemporary art, who joined forces with the New York private dealer Dominique Lévy. Lévy Gorvy’s inaugural show, pairing postwar landscapes by Willem de Kooning and the Chinese-French painter Zao Wou-Ki, will open in New York on Jan. 18 and later travel to Hong Kong.
Bloomberg: A $100 Million Mystery: A Russian, His Art, and His Big Losses
Dmitry Rybolovlev sold three works for an estimated $100 million loss and stands to lose even more in upcoming auctions.
by Katya Kazakina and Hugo Miller
Rybolovlev—whose fortune totals about $9.8 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index—invested about $2 billion in 38 works, from Leonardo da Vinci to Pablo Picasso. They were procured privately by Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier, better known for creating a network of tax-free art storage warehouses in Singapore and Luxembourg.
Rybolovlev was among new buyers from Russia, China and other emerging economies who drove an unprecedented expansion of the art market in the past decade. Booming wealth created a network of collectors hungry for trophies by top modern and contemporary Western artists and willing to pay almost anything. Between 2003—the year Rybolovlev met Bouvier—and 2014, global sales more than tripled to $68 billion.
Since then, the market has contracted, and some of the art world’s most expensive pieces have been resold for less than their purchase price, mired in lawsuits and investigations.
Artnet: New York Gallery Owner Denied Entry Into US From Argentina
Juan Garcia Mosqueda, owner of the Chelsea design gallery Chamber NYC, was inexplicably denied entry to the US on Friday after a trip to his native Argentina, according to an open letter he titled “The Visible Wall” and shared with friends and colleagues yesterday.
Mosqueda, who was sent back to Argentina, explains the “dehumanizing and degrading” experience he was subjected to at the border, including being questioned under oath, denied legal counsel, held without food for 14 hours, prohibited from using any means of communication, and denied privacy when using the bathroom.
Dutch teacher wins 'night at the museum' dream prize
"I've slept two metres (6.5 feet) from the Night Watch. It's magic, I still can't believe it," said Stefan Kasper on Friday, a Dutch school teacher and artist who bought the lucky ticket.
Museum director Taco Dibbits said he was delighted at the high visitor numbers, following a decade-long renovation that saw its doors reopened in 2013.
Huffington Post: “I have spent significantly more than $ 1 million on Russian contemporary art”
Aven : I’m certainly interested in contemporary art, and I do not rule out that I will start collecting it, but not Russian. I have a lot of modern Russian art. So Volodya says that for a million dollars you can collect a brilliant collection, and I have spent significantly more than a million dollars on Russian contemporary art. I have a house that is full of modern Russian art, with Dubosarsky and Vinogradov, Koshlyakov and Osmolovsky, Kulik and Faybisovich, Gutov and Zvezdochetov, Grisha Bruskin and Kosolapov, Sokov, and Bratkov. I have collected all the major names. But it turned out that they did not become great. I bought the works 15 years ago, hoping that they would eventually become a part of international art, but this did not happen. I like modern art, I follow it carefully, but for the past 15-20 years for some reason, German and American artists of the same age and younger, have become significant, and none of these Russians have. You can, of course, blame me for this, but, you see, this is ridiculous.