The Easel

25th June 2019

Sotheby’s gets a new owner

Blanket coverage of the takeover of Sotheby’s makes the topic hard to avoid, but is it such a big deal? Sotheby’s and Christie’s together sell over 80% of artworks valued above $1m. The deal should help Sotheby’s to compete so margins will probably shrink. Public information will likely reduce. Detailed analysis of the deal is here but the linked piece is succinct: it’s just “capitalism”.

An answer to Roberta Smith’s “Stop Hating Jeff Koons”

An essay about Koons (see The Easel, May 28) has brought out warring camps. Some supporters put Koons on an equal footing with the celebrated Marcel Duchamp. An outraged artist is having none of it. “There is good art and bad art; Koons’s falls into the latter category. To my mind, calling a Jeff Koons “beautiful” demonstrates only a lack of understanding of the word’s meaning.”

18th June 2019

Where In the World Is ‘Salvator Mundi’? Kenny Schachter Reveals the Location of the Lost $450 Million Leonardo

Possibly well-informed art market gossip. Where is Salvator Mundi? (On a luxury yacht – where did you expect?) Does recent scholarship support attribution to da Vinci? And, has anyone noticed the scale of investments in art in the Middle East? Abu Dhabi’s Louvre, Qatar’s National Museum and Saudi Arabia’s planned cultural precinct are a “headlong shopping spree for international cultural capital”.