Journal

Russian art exports freeze up as Culture Ministry launches criminal probe into International Confederation of Artists Unions.
Sotheby's, London, sold Georgy Nisski's 'Over the Snowy Fields' to Alexey Ananyev in June 2014 listing the owner as The Union of Artists.

Over the last 10 years various people, supposedly having access to the paintings of the former Soviet Artists Union, have approached me. This body was a sort of Trade Union for Soviet Artists (without any rights) to which artists donated artworks. Many of the items were poorly stored, or had been rolled, and appeared to
[continue reading…]

Singapore sends Rybolovlev versus Bouvier case back to Switzerland
Dimitry Rybolovlev will now face off against Yves Bouvier in Switzerland as Singapore has declined to try the case.

A Singapore Court, which was about to start deliberating over the long-running Rybolovlev versus Bouvier saga, has directed the case back to Switzerland, in a move that is seen to be more helpful to Bouvier who has previously sought to have the case tried in Switzerland. The background to the case has been widely reported
[continue reading…]

Art is the answer but what is the question?
A lady considers the Tkachev brothers 1956 painting 'Laundresses' at an exhibition in Abu Dhabi.

While all the talking heads are poring over the just-released TEFAF 2017 Art Market Report (yawn…) one wonders who really looks and thinks about art any more. For those interested in number crunching the report it can be found here http://1uyxqn3lzdsa2ytyzj1asxmmmpt.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/TEFAF-Art-Market-Report-20173.pdf Today’s endless art courses teach branding and tie-ups between contemporary artists and luxury goods
[continue reading…]

Russian art history has been hijacked by the West
Somerset House's facade on the Strand. Built in 1776 by Sir William Chambers the fine Neoclassical building is home to the Courtauld Institute.

  Many Russian Art historians, in Russia, are puzzled by the slew of art exhibitions being organized in the West this year as a celebration of the 1917 Russian Revolution, an event that triggered the 70 year Communist Era that brought brutality, poverty, death and terror. Russia itself, having actually experienced the trauma of 1917,
[continue reading…]

Articles

Will aggressive activist investors shake up Sotheby’s? Ivan Lindsay investigates for Spears WMS Magazine
Shareholders list their demands to Sotheby's CEO William Ruprecht

BIDDING WARSotheby’s finds itself locked in a battle with Dan Loeb, one of New York’s most aggressive fund managers. Loeb, 51, who refers to himself as an ‘activist investor’ (the current term for corporate raider), has built up a 9.3 per cent stake in the 269-year-old auctioneer using his Third Point LLC. Sotheby’s first realised
[continue reading…]

Should Detroit sell off its art?
Visitors walk past Breughel's 'Wedding Dance' in the Detroit Intitute of Art

  The City of Detroit is bust.  Selling off its exceptional hoard of art treasures could fix it – but not without complicated and legal consequences.   Ivan Lindsay, The Good Life/ Art, Spears WMS Magazine, Issue No. 35, December 2013.         ON 18 JULY, Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, seeking
[continue reading…]

Essays

Sotheby’s and Christie’s, the Goldman Sachs of the Art World by Martin Sosnoff.

Munch The Scream lithography (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (This thoughtful article by Martin Sosnoff on the current enormous prices recently seen at the art auctions came out in Forbes). I relish evening contemporary art auctions in the Big Apple.  It gives me a feel for the breadth and intensity of bidding on specific pieces of interest. 
[continue reading…]

Framing of Old Master paintings by Paul Mitchell
1

Introduction In contemplating an Old Master painting, the frame is generally taken for granted. It is a fait accompli, and most of us may be unaware of how powerfully the frame can influence our perception and enjoyment of the picture within. The marriage of the two may be harmonious or discordant, enhancing or depressing, or
[continue reading…]