The art market experienced worldwide growth in 2013

Lyon, 19 February 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA). The global sales total, fees not included, for public art auctions in 2013 was $12.05 billion, according to figures supplied to Agence France Presse by Artprice. After a decrease of more than 9% in 2012, sales improved by 13% last year, stimulated by the Chinese and American markets, which both vied for the top place. With sales of $4.078 billion (+21%) in 2013, China emerged as the world leader for the fourth year in a row, just in front of the United States’ result of $4.016 billion, an increase of 20%. The United States’ share of the market has risen to 33.33%, while China’s has decreased to 33.84%. Together, the two countries occupy around two thirds of the global market. Behind these two giants, the UK holds the title of third place with sales of $2.11 billion and a market share of 17.57%; meanwhile France comes in in fourth place with sales of $549 million and a market share of 4.56%. Germany takes the fifth spot with sales of $207 million, followed by Switzerland’s $159 million. As far as artists are concerned, Andy Warhol comes out on top for the highest sales total in 2013 with a result of $361 million, just beating Pablo Picasso ($361 million), Zhang Daqian ($291 million), Jean-Michel Basquiat ($250 million), Qi Baishi ($230 million), Francis Bacon ($195 million), Gerhard Richter ($165 million), Roy Lichtenstein ($140 million), Zao Wou-ki ($139 million) and Claude Monet ($137 million). Regarding auction houses, Artprice placed Christie’s in first position with a worldwide sales total of $3.55 billion, in front of Sotheby’s $3.1 billion. Poly International Auction came in third, and China Guardian Auctions...

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Ralph Rugoff to curate Lyon Biennale

Lyon, 30 January 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA) Thierry Raspail, the artistic director of the Biennale de Lyon, has named Ralph Rugoff as curator of the event’s 2015 edition. This edition of the Biennale has been constructed as a trilogy, based around words selected by Raspail, with “Transmission”, “Temporality” and “Global” having already been launched. A fourth cycle is to take place from 2015-2019, inspired by the word “Modern”. Ralph Rugoff began his career as a critic and independent curator, and has led projects in locations including the Serpentine Gallery, London. From 2000 to 2006, he was director of the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art in San Francisco and, since 2006, has directed London’s Hayward Gallery. In 2002, he acted as an advisor on the board of the Syndey Biennale, and in 2002 was part of the jury for the Turner...

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In the public eye: the ups and downs of public art

Paris, 29 January 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA). Public art is designed to engage people in their surroundings. A visual installation acts as a bridge, connecting the public to the space around them. Traditionally reserved for commemorative statues and memorials in town centres, the domain of public art developed after the 1960s civil rights movements, when people began to claim urban spaces as their own. The regeneration of built-up areas after the Second World War placed more of a value on public space, reworking sculpture from merely a decorative addition to a space to something which defined it, unified people, and appealed to the greater social interest. Artists such as Henry Moore became prominent producers of public art, combining the broader social desire to return to rationality with a refined abstraction, and as such Moore was viewed as “the voice of British sculpture” following the war. In recent years, the sphere has developed into a thought-provoking art form which constantly challenges the boundaries of space to ask questions about community, our relationship to each other, our place within our environment, and what constitutes art. Today, public art continues to spark fierce debate across all realms of society. Public involvement Art installations increasingly use innovative new techniques to involve people in the form. In 2009, Antony Gormley’s project One & Other invited members of the public to occupy the fourth plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square for an hour each, transfiguring the spectator into the artwork. The 2,400 “living sculptures” did everything from campaigning for rights for disabled people to posing naked, providing the civilian with a literal platform and thus blurring the lines between art and everyday life. In a less intrusive manner, Anish Kapoor’s 2006 sculpture Cloud Gate also makes the spectator part of both the artwork and the environment...

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Record number of visitors to Museum of Fine Arts in Lyon

Lyon, 21 January 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA) Lyon’s Museum of Fine Arts has seen a record number of visitors – 331,000 – pass through its doors in 2013. The increase of o.3% is small, but has stabilised 2012’s excellent results, which saw a 23% increase in visitor numbers compared with 2011. The figures speak for the musuem’s strategy, particularly highlighting the success of its temporary exhibitions in 2013: “Métissage, la collection Denise et Michel Meynet” (Hybrid: the collection of Denise and Michel Meynet), and especially “Joseph Cornell et les surréalistes à New York” (Joseph Cornell and the New York Surrealists). The latter is on show until February, and has already attracted close to 66,000 visitors. In addition, the record consolidates the museum’s ambitious acquisition policy. In 2013, three new works were added to its collection: Ingres’s L’Arétin et l’envoyé de Charles Quint (1848), thanks to the support of 1,536 donators; as well as two Jean-Honoré Fragonard paintings, acquired with the support of business members from the Club du Musée Saint-Pierre: L’Abreuvoir (c. 1765) and Le Rocher (c. 1780), both of which are classed as objects of major historical interest. The Museum of Fine Arts has announced its exhibition programme for 2014, including a significant show entitled “From Degas to Bacon”, which is to take place in the autumn and is to celebrate the collector Jacqueline...

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Linda Sanchez wins the Prix Bullukian

Lyon, 16 January 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA) The Fondation Ballukian’s jury, led by Véronique Ellena, has awarded the Prix Ballukian for contemporary creation to Linda Sanchez, for her project entitled De la goutte d’eau au ruissellement, poétique d’un cheminement (From a single drop of water to an entire stream, the poetics of progress). The prize awards Sanchez a grant of €5,000, as well as a studio in Lyon, the production of a catalogue and a solo exhibition at the Fondation Ballukian between September and December 2014. Linda Sanchez was born in 1983 and lives and works in Lyon. Her work, which explores various themes, is centred around the problem of movement, which she approaches from an almost-scientific point of view. Her work constructs itself around experiments that she documents in fine detail. Her work Les coquilles sont incluses (The shells are included) was notably exhibited during FIAC 2012 in Paris’s Jardin des Plantes. She is represented by Paris gallery Bertrand...

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