2017 Art in Curious Times

It’s been a strange, unsettling year in the art market and 2017 looks likely to be just as turbulent. What does a new president who can rattle the world with a tweet mean for an industry so dependent on the international rich? The answer is that no one knows, but it is a hot topic among gallery owners and auctioneers this new year.

In 2016, the art market received what it had purportedly wished for – some of the speculative froth came off the top of the market, easing fears that a bubble would burst and hurt the industry. But it also received much of what it probably did not forecast or desire: a 30% drop in overall market volume, a series of high-profile disputes, court actions and authenticity issues that resulted in substantial payouts, and a fall-off in attendance at some art fairs that read to some as cultural cooling-off at the bling end of the contemporary art business.

The two major auction houses, privately held Christie’s and publicly listed Sotheby’s, have also undergone substantial changes to their business models whose reverberations are still being assessed.

World art market stalls for first time in years

2017 Art Market Turbulence

2017 Art Market Turbulence

A dwindling supply of top-quality work, costly seller-guarantee systems and the overheads required to secure lots for sale have proved unsustainable. Both houses saw drops in business, with Sotheby’s down from $6bn in 2015 to roughly $4.1bn in 2016.

“The art market went down primarily because a small number of high-value objects did not trade hands as they had in 2015 and that reduced the overall market volume,” says Art Market Monitor’s Marion Maneker.

Still, both Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction houses instigated shakeups of their tradition-bound methods of business.

Christie’s contemporary art chief, Brett Gorvy, quit after 23 years at the auction house to join Dominique Lévy’s gallery, which represents Frank Stella and the estate of Yves Klein among others. Sotheby’s too lost several longstanding department executives and announced plans to start offering management services to living artists as well as artist’s estates.

Maccarone plans New Gallery in Los Angeles

L.A. Maccarone


Los Angeles, CA ~ Michele Maccarone, principle and founder of Maccarone, New York, announced today that the gallery will open it’s new L.A. space on Sept. 19, 2015.  Maccarone Los Angeles will occupy a former factory building at 300 S. Mission Rd, at the corner of 3rd St. in Boyle Heights, along the L. A. River in the city’s burgeoning Downtown Arts District.  The new 50,000 sq. ft. complex will present a dynamic series of exhibitions and public programs focused upon the gallery’s internationally admired roster of artists, as well as works by related historical figures.

Maccarone to Inaugurate New Gallery in Downtown L. A.


L.A. Maccarone copyLOS ANGELES, CA.- Michele Maccarone, principle and founder of Maccarone, New York, announced today that the gallery will open its new Los Angeles space on September 19, 2015. Maccarone Los Angeles will occupy a former factory building at 300 South Mission Road, at the corner of 3rd Street in Boyle Heights, along the Los Angeles River in the city’s burgeoning Downtown Arts District. The new 50,000 square foot complex will present a dynamic series of exhibitions and public programs focused upon the gallery’s internationally admired roster of artists, as well as works by related historical figures.

Maccarone Los Angeles opens in conjunction with the 15th anniversary of the gallery, which launched in 2001 at the eastern end of Canal Street in Manhattan. In 2007, Maccarone moved to an expansive space at 630 Greenwich Street in the West Village, where its pioneering program has attracted consistent critical praise. In Los Angeles, Maccarone will occupy an industrial building constructed in 1926 and transformed by Jeffrey Allsbrook and Silvia Kuhle of the LA architecture and design firm Standard to house gallery spaces of various scales; 15,000 square feet of outdoor exhibition and event space; two working artists’ studios; and an upstairs residence and project space where the gallery plans to explore programs merging art, design, and other disciplines.

“The opening of Maccarone Los Angeles represents a homecoming of sorts for us,” said Michele Maccarone. “We presented exhibitions at MC, a project space in Culver City, between 2005 and 2007, and our relationship with LA has only intensified since then. We work closely with so many museum curators, scholars, and extraordinary collectors in Los Angeles, and we spend a great deal of time on the West Coast. But our decision to open the new space on South Mission Road is ultimately a response to our artists’ increasing engagement with LA, which has become one of the most important cities for contemporary art worldwide. We are opening in the downtown district at a moment of ferment there, and Maccarone looks forward to being a full-time participant.”

Ellen Langan, partner at Maccarone, observed, “Our priority is to provide not just a platform but also an active laboratory for our artists, to offer a place for their processes as much as their finished work. The atmosphere in Los Angeles – and the ability to spread out there – helps us to do this. The facility on South Mission Road will be an

Maccarone to Inaugurate New Space in Downtown L.A.

ideal counterpart to our New York space, giving us a way to materialize the dialogue with Los Angeles that we already enjoy.”

Maccarone also announced it will inaugurate the Los Angeles venue with an ambitious presentation of new works by gallery artist Alex Hubbard. Admired for an enigmatic art that proposes new bridges between performance, painting, and video, Hubbard recently relocated to Los Angeles from New York City. Like fellow gallery artist Oscar Tuazon, he occupies one of the studios that are an integral part of 300 South Mission Road.

North Ireland Terror Rifle found in London’s Imperial War Museum



LONDON (AFP).- An assault rifle displayed at London’s Imperial War Museum has been removed after it emerged that it was linked to a terror attack in Northern Ireland in 1992, the police ombudsman said on Friday.

The VZ58, which looks like a Kalashnikov, had been included in an exhibition on three decades of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland known as The Troubles, in which 3,500 people were killed.

Five Catholics including a 15-year-old boy were killed in the 1992 attack by Protestant paramilitaries on a sports betting shop in Belfast.

Relatives of the victims believed that the weapon “had been destroyed”, the police service of Northern Ireland ombudsman said in a statement.

“The rifle is now undergoing forensic examination,” it said.

The weapon was taken from the museum late last year, but details of its removal only emerged this week.

A museum spokeswoman said the rifle was “removed from display”, adding that it had originally come into the collections from the Northern Ireland police’s Weapons and Explosives Research Centre.

The BBC reported that the weapon had also been linked to the unsolved murder of two men in 1988.

The weapon was originally recovered by the police in 1992, but officers from the Historical Enquiries Team were unable to locate the gun when they re-opened the unsolved murder cases, the BBC said.

Billy McManus, whose father was killed in the attack, told the BBC it should never have been exhibited.

“I am absolutely shocked that a gun connected with so many deaths was there on display,” he was quoted as saying.