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FEBRUARY 2008 NEWSLETTER
Reports from the Front, by Carole Leiff Market Trends: Full '07 Data Soon  


Gallery participants in this year's art LA (run by Stephen Cohen's art fairs inc.) are owed some amends. With tickets to the Patron Preview at $200 per person (much higher-priced than last year, with all proceeds going to Hammer Projects at The Hammer Museum), opening night attendance was way down. It seemed only Hammer benefactors even knew about art LA, so poor was promotion. Celebrity sightings were way down; only Dustin Hoffman and Matt Dillon braved the antediluvian flash floods that certainly didn't help attendance, insult added to injury. Furthermore, with Sundance (replete with young Hollywoodians, the future of art in LA) still going on in Utah and the widely-anticipated opening of Broad Contemporary Art Museum in less than two weeks, shouldn't someone have thought to better coordinate the Los Angeles art fairs?

Onto the FADA's LA Art Show...

artnet insiders have plumbed reputable sources to determine that Sunny California is not so sunny when the freeways are flooded and every blue-eyed blonde newscaster is exhorting Los Angelenos to stay in your houses. Tickets to The LA Art Show, reprising the experience at art LA, were far more expensive than last year (this is not Basel), and the big-ticket Patron crowd didn't show. After 7pm, the rain relented, tickets were down to $250 and the hall filled up. Understand that 90% of the dealers sold nothing, attributable to the weather, the writer's strike (a trickle up effect), the weather, Bushynomics, the weather and parking. We've heard this parking jeremiad for the past three years, but no seems to listen. It didn't matter if one was paying $50,000 for a booth or $10 for a single parking space...the parking attendants were unhelpful and, especially in the torrential rains, unbearable. Howard Rehs, take note: people in Los Angeles with $100,000 cars and $1,000 shoes care about parking. The art was vanilla, vanilla, vanilla, and if you like vanilla that's not always a bad thing...Rauschenberg, Wesselmann, and if you were looking for plein air paintings, you'd think you had died and gone to heaven.

Crossin' Rosson...

Forget the LA fairs, the best (floor) show in town happened over at Honor Fraser's new space on La Cienega Saturday night. Sloe-eyed Yale grad, Rosson Crow, was dressed for the Moulin Rouge with plumes, paiettes, and a room full of paintings selling fast. This girl (and her dealer) are art stars of the first order. And was fun watching country star Dwight Yoakam stroking the 25-year-old's neck.

Spot Market...

Word on the street has it that a certain internationally-known Warhol collector has been taking paintings directly to Sotheby's to cash out, no auction, no nothing. "Private Treaty" departments at all major auction houses ratchet up their retail divisions by making private sales between dealers and buyers, disemboweling gallery business...in addition, to buying paintings outright. This means no waiting for auction dates and sellers cashing out on the spot. Will they be storing these new properties at the Rockefeller Center Haunch of Venison? The dealers' only revenge: the ever-more staggeringly expensive art fairs and gallery shows with emerging artists not yet on the auction block....

New artnet Galleries
Angstrom Gallery
Beyond Art Space
Eaton Fine Art
Galerie Mark Hachem
Marlborough Fine Art
Skarstedt Gallery
Stella Art Foundation

...and more
Auctions
(AUCTION) RED
Sotheby's, New York
Thursday, Feb 14
Photographs
Christies, New York
Wednesday, Feb 20
Contemporary Evening
Sotheby's, London
Wednesday, Feb 27

...and more
Exhibitions
Chiharu Shiota
Goff + Rosenthal, NY
Feb 1 - Mar 10
Bruce Nauman
Kim Light/LightBox, LA
Feb 2 - Mar 1
Yayoi Kusama
Victoria Miro, London
Feb 6 - Mar 20
John Chamberlain
PaceWildenstein, NY
Feb 14 - Mar 15
Arman
Le Violon Bleu, London
Feb 15 - Mar 29

...and more
Art Fairs & Biennials
Art Madrid
Madrid, Spain | Feb 13 - 17
ARCO
Madrid, Spain | Feb 13 - 18
The Art Show (ADAA)
New York, NY | Feb 21 - 25
Whitney Biennial 2008
New York, NY | Mar 6 - Jun 1

...and more