Monday, 25 April 2011

Stanley Spencer. Chapter 1. The failed free love advocate.

The last week i've been restless trying to answer a simple, yet,  rhetorical question: Is Stanley Spencer (1891-1959) a great artist? or rather: Does Stanley Spencer matter?   The questions of this sort appear very challenging whenever you are trying to find an answer yourself, rather than to google the rating 'of the most important British Artists of the 20th century'.
The need of the definite answer  is augmented by the fact that  on June 15-17   the Evill/Frost Collection is on sale at Sotheby's London - simply 'the Greatest Collection of 20th-Century British Art Ever to Come to the Market'.   Along with Spencer's paintings,  this private collection comprises works by Lucian Freud, Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, and al.
Workmen in the House, 1935

In the vacuum art market  the importance of the artist is positively correlated with the prices of his artworks. What implications can be derived from  the  £1.5-2.5 million estimate set by Sotheby's for  1935 "Workmen in the House"? Is Spencer undervalued?  With Francis Bacon, traditionally  referred to as a great British artist, reaching occasionally 44 million. So far, the highest price ever payed for Spencer was £1.3 million by  a London dealer Ivor Braka,  back in 1998. As Braka states himself,  no one has outbidded him since then.  So is Spencer unfairly cheap? Or do the  prices fetched reflect correctly the number of pages devoted to him in the 'history of art' volume?  Vicious circle, indeed. The connections between value and price have never been straightforward. 

Friday, 15 April 2011

Meeting Leonardo in the lift

''Take Leonardo da Vinci. If you met him, would you really want to talk about the Mona Lisa? It would be like meeting a tiger, but only caring about its kill. No, you want Da Vinci on witchcraft and sodomy. You want him bitching about the Medicis. You want him slagging off Dan Brown..."
(Hugo Rifkind in A hedonist's Guide to Art)

Monday, 11 April 2011

The first not to be the last

I know already what is the next post  going to be about.  I even have an idea of what i am going to write in this  very post, even though the result might has little in common with the initial intentions. I also know what were the previous posts about,  regardless that the world has never got a chance to read them, since the world can not read my thoughts.
Having said that, I am actually starting. In the next sentence. So!..