Year In Review: 2016 Art News
We’d like to take a moment to reflect on 2016 as we enter the new year. Here are 2016’s most compelling stories.
Paintings looked wrong, experts hesitated about accepting them as authentic, Knoedler tried to suppress scientific research that raised serious questions, ever-changing provenances seemed wildly dubious and Jackson Pollock’s signature was written “Pollok” on one canvas. Take a look at some of the lessons learned in this case after looking back at some major red flags.
The younger generation is less interested in classifications and more interested in the story.
The deadliest mass shooting to take place on American soil left 50 people dead, including gunman Omar Mateen, at Pulse, a gay night club in Orlando. The world reacted to the senseless tragedy with shock and grief, holding vigils and offering artistic tributes to the victims.
Swiss prosecutors seized a trove of Alberto Giacometti drawings which were kept in storage in the Grisons Museum of Fine Arts in Chur, Switzerland, for over two years as a result of a bitter ownership dispute. The Alberto and Annette Giacometti Foundation in Paris claimed the trove was stolen decades ago.
There were about 11.5 million documents culled from the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama. They detailed off-shore dealings of many individuals across the globe. Many use art as part of their asset storage schemes, mostly through shell companies.
When the UK voted to leave the European Union on June 23rd, the historic vote caught the world by surprise. As voting results flooded in, the pound sterling dropped against the dollar, stocks plummeted, and concerns rose over how effects would ripple across stakeholding nations. As the wider financial implications play out, the question of how the Brexit decision affects the current and future art market looms. Overall views on long-term effects on the market are optimistic.
The law imposes restrictions on what artworks can be exported from the country without a license. Artworks valued at more than €150,000 and greater than 50 years of age to be sold outside of the E.U. require government approval, while artworks being moved or sold inside of the E.U. require an export license if they are valued above €300,000 and are over 75 years old.
The sale of David Bowie’s art collection drew bidders to a packed saleroom, and attracted more than a thousand online bidders, for three highly-anticipated auctions of works amassed by the legendary musician. A total of 59 new records for artists were set over the course of two days with an overall sale total of £32.9 million.
Major collectors are taking their collections out of their homes and storage to establish private museums and institutions that make their art more accessible to the public.
Female artists — The search for new names and the best works continues to grow. The high prices for female artists who have written the history of art in their own time will be central to future museum exhibitions. This will have lasting impact in the art market.
This year saw several significant archaeological finds that established the facts of the historical Jewish connection to Israel and Jerusalem.