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Artnet News
Dec. 18, 2007 

The international art market totaled €43.3 billion in sales in 2006, according to a new report from the European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF), organizer of the annual TEFAF Maastricht art fair. Sales almost doubled between 2002 and 2006, according to the report, "as demand for contemporary art rose and buyers in the emerging economies of China, Russia and India flexed their financial muscles." The last time TEFAF commissioned such a report was in 2002, when the global art market totaled €26.7 billion.

Titled The International Art Market, a Survey of Europe in a Global Context, the report was prepared by cultural economist Clare McAndrew, editor of the financial quarterly magazine Wealth. The study is based on a survey of art dealers as well as information from auction houses and databases like Artnet’s own fine art price database.

The report also concluded that 2005-06 was an especially good year, with art sales jumping by 50.3 percent. Art dealers did particularly well during that one-year period, with average turnover increasing by nearly one-third and sales volume increasing by 13 percent. Dealers and auction houses each hold about half the business, according to the report, with dealers edging ahead a win in 2006 of 52 percent of the total sales value.

The number of transactions increased by 24 percent between 2002 and ’06, according to the report, rising from 25.8 million to 32.1 million. The increase of sales in China has made the country the fourth largest art market in the world, with five percent of the total by value. Between 2003 and ’06, the report says, China’s contemporary auction market grew by nearly a hundredfold.

The U.S. has a leading share of the art market, with 40 percent of the total, or just under €20 billion in 2006. In Europe, the UK has the largest share, with 60 percent of the continental total (and 27 percent of the global total). France has 6.4 percent and Germany 2.9 percent. The EU art market directly employs over 220,500 people, the report says.

Dealers are increasingly reliant on fairs such as TEFAF Maastricht, according to the report, with 21 percent of those surveyed saying that they did three-quarters or more of their business away from their galleries or offices.

Copies of the report can be ordered for €15 at

While the average citizen "might shy away from commenting on the merits of a Juan Gris or a Henry Moore," notes Metropolitan Museum Fashion Institute curator Harold Koda, they have no such compunction when it comes to fashion. Thus, the Met’s first blog -- located at -- invites the public to comment on the new exhibition in the Costume Institute galleries, a presentation of 65 recent acquisitions dubbed "blog.mode: addressing fashion," Dec. 18, 2007-Apr. 13, 2008. Comments can be registered at the Met’s website, or on what is called a "blogbar" of eight computer terminals in the museum galleries. So far, remarks seem to be confined to "fabulous" and the like, though one contributor notes that 99 percent of the costumes in the show are for women, "reinforcing the idea that women are the peacocks and men should be looking on or not seen at all."

One of the many interesting items in the exhibition is the "Remote Control" Dress (2000) by Hussein Chalayan (b. 1970), a cast-plastic form with side and rear flaps that open to reveal pink tulle. According to Met curator Andrew Bolton, who co-organized the show, Chalayan is one of several contemporary designers who is beginning to issue his designs in limited editions in order to encourage collectors.

The art world offers several last-minute options for holiday shopping. In addition to "Giftland" at Printed Matter [see "Artnet News," Dec. 6, 2007], the Emily Harvey Foundation at 537 Broadway in SoHo has presented "The Holiday Shopping Show IV," organized by artist Robin Kahn and featuring limited-edition artist multiples by 80 artists, ranging from AY-O, Peggy Ahwesh and Blaine Anderson to Robert Watts, Charmaine Wheatley and Matteo Zagolin. Items on offer include Guerilla Girls posters ($100), Mike Bidlo’s Duchamp Mona Lisa Matchbooks ($500), Christy Rupp’s Homeland Security Towels ($50) and Nick Tobier’s postcards of imaginary events in nonexistent places (two for $1). The show closes at 6 pm today, so hurry.

For the more profligate shopper, Jeanne Greenberg’s new downtown gallery, Salon 94 Freeman, has mounted "The Crown Jewels," Dec. 12, 2007-Jan. 6, 2008, an exhibition of one-of-a-kind jewelry and other decorative art pieces by more than a dozen contemporary artists. Among the selection are sterling-silver pendants and other "bling" by Kiki Smith, "living necklaces" of air ferns nestled in silk and metal pockets by Paula Hayes, and necklaces constructed of seashells and beads by James Brown. Prices range for $250 (for charm bracelets by Daniel McDonald, packaged with a relevant thrift-store book) up to five figures. The undertaking is a joint project of R Gallery in Tribeca and publicist Andrea Schwan.

Larissa Goldston Gallery on West 25th Street in Chelsea is also offering a limited number of unique bracelets of hand-knotted nylon rope by Orly Genger for $150 each. The bracelets are made from the same material used for Genger’s Masspeak installation at the gallery in April 2007. The gallery also notes that artist Mark Fox has produced a silk scarf with the Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia. The workshop also offers a $225 handbag designed by Betty Woodman and items by Kiki Smith and William Wegman as well.

And last but certainly not least, Works on Whatever has produced towels by several artists for 2008, including Jeff Koons, Elizabeth Peyton, Cindy Sherman and Kehinde Wiley. The towels are priced at $50 each, and available at Target as well as

The race is on to create the art fair that will dominate the Gulf Region, with the emirate of Dubai out in the lead. Haughton International Fairs’ entry into the sweepstakes is Art and Antiques Dubai, Feb. 21-24, 2008. The fair takes place at the Madinat Arena, and focuses on decorative arts, Orientalist painting, jewelry and maps -- items with long appeal in the Arab region. Rahman Mohammed Al Owais, minister of culture, youth and community development for the United Arab Emirates, provides the necessary patronage.

Of the 36 galleries announced so far, 12 come from London: Bazaart, Lucy B. Campbell Fine Art, Brian Haughton Gallery, Koopman Rare Art, Mathaf Gallery, Amir Mohtashemi, Susan Ollemans Oriental Art, Olyvia Oriental, Samina Inc., Bernard J. Shapero Rare Books, Waterhouse & Dodd and Whitford Fine Art. Another 10 hail from New York: Boccara, Alastair Crawford, Dillon Gallery, Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts LLC, Cristina Grajales, Mark Hachem, Jason Jacques, Tom Thomas Gallery, Johnson Trading Gallery and Maison Gerard.

Other participants are Rami Abboud (Tripoli), Art Asiatique SARL (Marseilles), Ayyam Gallery (Damascus),  Nicholaus Boston (Co. Limerick, Ireland), Galerie Dumonteil (Paris); Galleria dei Coronari SRL (Rome), Peter Gant Fine Art (Carlton, Australia), Fulvio Granocchia (Italy), Lesley Kehoe Galleries (Melbourne), Mita Arts Gallery (Tokyo), Potterton Books (Thirsk, N.Yorks.UK), The Tolman Collection (Tokyo), Top Time SRL (Milan) and Toninelli MF Art Moderne (Monte Carlo).

More information at

The London underground continues its ongoing project of commissioning contemporary artists to design its free maps of the subway system, which are issued each year. The artist for the 2008 edition is Cornelia Parker (b. 1956), the English sculptor known for wrapping Rodin’s The Kiss in a mile of string and for blowing up a shed and arranging the fragments in a large room for Cold Dark Matter (1991). Parker’s design is a Rorschach blot, created in subway colors. In the past, the "Art on the Underground" program, as it is called, has commissioned works from David Shrigley, Liam Gillick, Gary Hume and, most recently, Jeremy Deller.  

Paola Antonelli has been appointed senior curator of the department of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art. Antonelli has been with MoMA since 1994, serving as curator in the department since 2000. She organized the popular "Safe: Design Takes On Risk" exhibition of paranoid contemporary design in 2006, and "Design and the Elastic Mind," a show focusing on "science, design and innovation" that opens at MoMA on Feb. 24, 2008.

The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) in San Francisco is looking for "an inspiring leader" to direct its visual arts program. The ideal candidate has a broad knowledge of global trends in contemporary art, and is capable of dealing particularly with the institution’s focus on artists of the Pacific Rim. Minimum qualifications include a BA in the visual arts and five years of curatorial experience. The new director replaces René de Guzman, who left to become senior curator of art at the Oakland Museum of California. For more info, see the institution’s website

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