Friday Degustation: all produce locally sourced!
The seven volume Brett Whiteley catalogue raisonne by Kathie Sutherland has been published by Black Inc. after several months of teasing in the media. The idea of a biog, fat catalogue of all of Whiteley’s work is in itself newsworthy, but there’s a twist here. The thing about a catalogue raisonne is that it’s not just [supposed to be] a complete collection of all the work an artist as produced, but it’s all the work that’s officially recognised by the artist’s estate as having been done by that artist, whether in fact they did or not. For example, imagine an artist gave you a work, or sold it to you, and you framed it and put it on your office wall but never got around to having it officially recognised by the estate after the artist’s death. Sorry, if it’s not in the catalogue, it’s not official. So you can imagine the flurry of excitement when the Whiteley publication was announced because, as has been widely reported, there are a number of Whiteley fakes in the secondary market. These are fraudulent works created by forgers with the express intention of making money from the lucrative market. But there might also be authentic Whiteley works out there that didn’t make the cut. How could this have happened? In a story for the ABC’s Background Briefing it was acknowledged by auctioneers and dealers that [>] “it’s become common knowledge some of the Whiteleys in circulation aren’t genuine” however… “There is a theory held by some art traders that Whiteley sometimes sold work on the sly. “He lived a bohemian lifestyle,” Tim Abdallah, head of art at Menzies, said. “He exhibited his work through respectable and good galleries, but there were also pictures that were sold privately by Whiteley out the back door when he needed money urgently.”
Another artist who lived a ‘bohemian lifestyle’ – and who tragically also died well before his time – was Melbourne painter and secondary market favourite Howard Arkley. A number of the artist’s paintings that have attracted big money at auction have come under scrutiny because not only do they share the same title, they are almost identical [>] “Completed during a flurry of creativity, Arkley’s Family Home painting was first exhibited in 1988 and sold to controversial Melbourne art dealer Peter Gant for $8,500. Nearly 20 years later, Family Home broke all the artist’s previous records when it attracted a bid of $407,000 at an auction by Joel Fine Art. There was just one problem: it was not the same painting as the 1988 original, as Australia’s leading expert on Arkley, John Gregory, has acknowledged.”
One might naturally assume that these works aren’t fakes but another example of out-of-the-studio sales. Perhaps, but there’s another curious connection to Whiteley. Per the ABC Background Briefing [>] “The dealer at the centre of this controversy, Peter Gant, once had a thriving trade in the Melbourne art world. His dealership fell into decline after he was embroiled in a criminal court case over three paintings, which were sold or attempted to be sold for $4.5 million, and he said were by celebrity artist Brett Whiteley. Whiteley’s estate and many art experts disagreed, and the case ended up in the Supreme Court of Victoria, where a jury found Mr Gant and his business partner guilty of two counts of obtaining financial advantage by deception and one count of attempting to do so…”
Someone on Facebook is upset…
Previous controversies around Paul Yore‘s art have largely been the result of outraged conservatives finding apparent evidence of moral turpitude within the artist’s intense and colourful collages and paintings. In 2014 Yore was found [>] not guilty of producing and possessing child pornography following his delightfully titled show Everything Is Fucked at Linden Contemporary Art Centre in 2013. Despite the deliberately provocative content of Yore’s work, he was widely supported by the art community. Five years later however, Yore’s work has come under scrutiny once more, this time in Wales, after a complaint on Facebook centred on the work’s lack of… contextualisation. According to The Age [>] “Yore said he was “shocked and dismayed” that his piece, Taste The Feeling, which was taken down from the Mostyn Gallery in Llandudno last week would be accused of being homophobic when it was, in fact, an attack on homophobia […] The collage, which includes the faces of right-wing Australian politicians alongside slogans such as “God hates fags” used by the notoriously homophobic Westboro Baptist Church in the US, was removed after a complaint was posted on the gallery’s Facebook page saying that the artwork “spewed homophobic hatred”. On Facebook, Cheryl Crichton-Edwards wrote that the piece included “statements of homophobic hatred” which had not been contextualised with the artist’s position. “It is not good enough to hide under the guise of ambiguity or the mantle of freedom of speech,” the critic wrote. “This piece spews homophobic hatred in no uncertain terms and is a very real verbal assault in the present, made worse for it being unexpected.” The gallery responded that it was reconsidering the presentation of the work and then subsequently removed it.”
Yet More Bob!
Various estimates put Bob Ross‘s output somewhere [>] in the vicinity of 30,000 paintings and given that some of them are on offer for as much as $25,000 US that’d make him one of the most sought-after US painters in the secondary market. But hold on a moment… 30,000? Maybe don’t believe everything you ‘research’ on Wikipedia. It seems that Ross, the painter of many happy trees, did indeed produce a lot of work, but most of it is locked away. As Atlas Obscura reports [>] “Somewhere of Route 50 in Herndon, Virginia, next to a LabCorp and across the street from a dentist’s office, there is a warehouse that houses almost every painting ever painted by one of the most recognizable painters in America: Bob Ross. They’re not on display, but are stacked carefully in numbered cardboard boxes; landscape upon landscape, snow-capped peak upon snow-capped peak, happy little tree upon happy little tree Ross’s instructional television show, The Joy of Painting, ran on PBS for 31 seasons, from 1983 to 1994, each containing 13 episodes, for which Ross would make three versions of the same painting—one as an initial reference, one that he painted on TV, and a last, more painstaking version to be included in his books. Over his PBS tenure, Ross crafted some 1,143 paintings (there were sometimes guest hosts)… The majority of those landscapes—and they are all landscapes—are housed in the warehouses of Bob Ross Inc., the company that sells his signature how-to books, art supplies, and memorabilia…”
“George Stubbs: ‘all done from Nature’ will bring together more than 50 paintings and 40 prints and drawings including a rare loan of the National Gallery’s masterpiece Whistlejacket, as well as lesser known works, some of which have not been seen in the UK for many decades. Stubbs’ detailed anatomical studies will be displayed alongside the actual skeleton of Eclipse – the progenitor of over 90 percent of subsequent racehorses – as well as his paintings of Eclipse. The exhibition will also feature a selection of drawings from the artist’s last great endeavour, A Comparative Anatomical Exposition of the Structure of the Human Body with that of a Tiger and A Common Fowlproduced many years before Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. A version of the exhibition will tour to the Mauritshuis in The Hague where it will be the first George Stubbs exhibition in the Netherlands…” MK Gallery, 11 October 2019 – 26 January 2020: George Stubbs: ‘all done from Nature’
Accept the Mystery
[>] “It’s so easy to forget about mystery. Virtually everything blocks us from remembering the vastness of the unknowns all around us. This week, as all the world celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the first lunar landing, we are pleased to feature this photograph of the 67P comet Churyumov Gerasimenko—collected over 18 months by the European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe and published in the new Xavier Barral book, The Comet: A Journey of Rosetta. The photograph is captioned, “Perhaps the most spectacular and brightest outburst captured during Rosetta’s entire encounter with 67P. Taken around the perihelion, it shows beautifully sunlit dust being blow into the coma. Fainter ejections can also be seen. The direction of the largest jet approximately matches the direction of the axis around which the nucleus rotates over the 12.4 hours of a ‘cometary day.'”
Exactly how big is Shaun Gladwell‘s beard now anyway? The reality will shock you! [>] Shaun Gladwell in Conversation
Because nothing says anarchistic street artist [>] like a ticketed touring exhibition and gift shop…
Hey! Photographer Vivian Maier has been ‘discovered’ again [>] What the nanny saw: Vivian Maier’s street photography
Artists fearful about [>] the future under new UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
How does a gallery stay in business for 35 Years? [>] Lisa Spellman on 303 Gallery’s Staying Power and the Hardest Part of Being a Dealer
From the Dept. of Utopian Visualisations [>] What could Elon Musk’s Hyperloop stations look like? This VR video shows you an idea.
“Instagram-friendly installations are catering to the desires of young people to share something beautiful. But taking selfies leaves less time to contemplate, appreciate and be challenged by what we see…” [>] When art becomes a hashtag, do museums lose their meaning?
Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio Have Been [>] Making Ceramics Together Late Into the Night at Pitt’s Sculpture Studio
Brian Eno on [>] Apollo
Unintentional art [>] Cadillac Parked On Brooklyn Street For 25 Years Finally Towed