Art Market Guide 2005
by Richard Polsky
In 1987, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art went out on a limb and purchased a fresh-from-the-studio painting by the German Neo-Expressionist artist, Anselm Kiefer. Titled Osiris and Isis
, the work is physically imposing, measuring 150 inches by 220 inches. Its imagery, which depicts an ancient pyramid, is not only composed of paint, but copper wire, porcelain, bits of circuit board and other non-traditional art-making materials. But the subject matter and media are the least of it. Instead, the local press became obsessed with the price -- reportedly $400,000.