Sotheby’s Institute of Art | Taxidermy to Tennis Balls: Rauschenberg and the Art of Recycling

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From the esteemed faculty of the Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, Pierre Saurisse introduces us to New York’s Abstract Expressionist, Robert Rauschenberg.

To imagine Rauschenberg finding inspiration in the streets of New York, where he moved in 1949, is to evoke the figure of a scavenger. Shops, flea markets, but also the city streets were a gold mine for this tireless object hunter. Striding along the streets, he brought back to his studio a vast array of artifacts which would be integrated into his Combine paintings. These objects include newspapers, a crank, gears, a mirror, photographs, stamps, wax, fabric, a mirror, a quilt, a pillow, socks, shoes, maps, plastic, a light bulb and a tennis ball. The list, of course, is far from complete.

A very different kind of object is the taxidermy Angora goat Rauschenberg bought in a second-hand shop in 1955, still early on his career. In the artist’s studio in Pear Street, there was no doubt that the long-haired ruminant stood out among the bric-a-brac dragged in from the streets. Soon it found its way onto a shelf attached to the upper part of a Combine painting. Majestic and somewhat intimidating with its long curving horns, it was the largest object Rauschenberg had ever incorporated in a single piece.

But this was not the final destination of the goat. As the original work was dismantled, the animal found itself not only encircled by a tire but attached to another panel, this time near the floor (while the first panel was reworked into another combine, Rhyme, in 1956). However, this pairing was also short-lived, as two years later the new panel and the goat were separated by the artist. The former was incorporated into yet another Combine painting, Summerstorm (1959), while the latter, still caught in a tire, landed on a square canvas placed horizontally. It is only then, in 1959, that Monogram took its definite form.

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The convoluted fate of the goat in Rauschenberg’s studio is less a symptom of the artist’s indecisiveness than a sign of his extraordinary ability to recycle his own works. It epitomises his unique propensity to rework his Combines and reuse parts of them in other works as he saw fit. Recycling was at the very heart of his artistic strategy during the years he spent in New York.

By the end of the 1950s, other young artists were incorporating everyday materials into their works, both in the United States and in Europe. In reference to an avant-garde movement not uncommonly associated with nonsense and madness, the label ‘Neo-Dada’ was, rather inadequately, sometimes used to refer to this trend, and it was not meant to be flattering. When in 1961 the Museum of Modern Art in New York mounted an exhibition on The Art of Assemblage, in which two works by Rauschenberg were shown, anger and outrage were still voiced at such a prestigious temple of art opening its door to, literally, junk.

About Sotheby’s Institute of Art

3rd

Sotheby’s Institute of Art is The Graduate School of Art and its Markets. Evolving from a small connoisseurship program started by Sotheby’s Auction House in 1969, Sotheby’s Institute is now the foremost leader in art business education and object-based learning. Its global faculty represent the best of almost every facet of the art world, helping students decipher and master the unique forces at play at the intersection of art and commerce.

With campuses in the cultural capitals of London, New York and Los Angeles, Sotheby’s Institute offers graduate level programs that have become more relevant than ever in an art world that is constantly seeking individuals with art historical scholarship and business acumen. Besides Master’s degrees, Sotheby’s Institute offers programs of study such as summer classes, 15-week semester courses, online learning and executive education. Sotheby’s Institute of Art’s programs provide the knowledge and credentials needed to achieve success in today’s worldwide art markets and cultural institutions.

Discover more from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art

Sotheby’s Institute of Art | Extraordinary Women in the Art World

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March is Women’s Month around the world and the Sotheby’s Institute of Art is celebrating a selection of extraordinary women from the world of art. Following their passion for art throughout their professional career – decades-long for some, burgeoning for others – they have made their mark as auctioneers, gallery owners, writers, and entrepreneurs in a challenging, but rewarding environment. Discover three of them, and learn more about how their passion brought them where they are today.

Amy Cappellazzo
CappellazzoEven before she spoke at Sotheby’s Institute’s first panel that focused on women leaders in the art market in New York in September 2016, Amy Cappellazzo has been on our radar of powerful women to watch in the art market.

Cappellazzo is Chairman of the Fine Arts Division at Sotheby’s; before, she was a founder and principal of Art Agency, Partners, a global art advisory firm acquired by Sotheby’s in January 2016. As an advisor, Amy drew upon 13 years of experience in the art market as a leader in the field of Post-War & Contemporary Art. Amy has overseen the sale of some of the most important collections and works of art of our time, served as a pioneer in private sales and online auctions, and acted as an advisor to numerous families, foundations, and trusts.

Melanie Gerlis
5003d452a8da016f3ed02a6385cf54e8-1-300x300Since graduating from Sotheby’s Institute in 2006, Melanie Gerlis has been an expert of art market and finance. As the art market columnist for the Financial Times and Editor at Large for The Art Newspaper, she was recently one of the panelists of Bourgeois/Kusama: Women in Art History, a discussion held at Sotheby’s auction house exploring how Louise Bourgeois and Yayoi Kusama opened up new territories for female artistic expression. She also contributed an entry on private museums and the art market in Art Business Today: 20 Key Topics, a collaborative book edited by Professor Jos Hackforth-Jones and published by Lund Humphries in 2016.

Helena Newman
45_HIMIW_270598kUnder the gavel of Sotheby’s auctioneer Helena Newman, Gustav Klimt’s exceptional summer landscape Bauerngarten inspired energetic bidding to achieve £48 million on March 1, 2017 – the third most expensive artwork ever sold at auction in Europe in a sale that overall brought in the highest total for any auction ever staged in London.

Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe since July 2016, the 28-year veteran of the auction house said after the historic sale: “Tonight’s outstanding result is a new benchmark for London sales as much as it is a statement on the momentum of the global art market in 2017”. The only woman alongside fellow chairmen Oliver Barker, Mario Tavella, and Philipp Württemberg, Helena Newman has long been at the forefront of the development of the Impressionist & Modern Art market, building extensive contacts with a wide range of international collectors and institutions.

Learn about more women in art with the Sotheby’s Institute of Art

About Sotheby’s Institute of Art

3rd

Sotheby’s Institute of Art is The Graduate School of Art and its Markets. Evolving from a small connoisseurship program started by Sotheby’s Auction House in 1969, Sotheby’s Institute is now the foremost leader in art business education and object-based learning. Its global faculty represent the best of almost every facet of the art world, helping students decipher and master the unique forces at play at the intersection of art and commerce.

With campuses in the cultural capitals of London, New York and Los Angeles, Sotheby’s Institute offers graduate level programs that have become more relevant than ever in an art world that is constantly seeking individuals with art historical scholarship and business acumen. Besides Master’s degrees, Sotheby’s Institute offers programs of study such as summer classes, 15-week semester courses, online learning and executive education. Sotheby’s Institute of Art’s programs provide the knowledge and credentials needed to achieve success in today’s worldwide art markets and cultural institutions.

Discover more from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art

Sotheby’s Institute of Art | How To See Art From Around The World Without Leaving London

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With international galleries from the East End to the west, the now well-established Frieze art fair each October, and a busy calendar of major auctions, London is a vibrant, global center of contemporary art. For today’s blog, the MA Contemporary Art faculty at Sotheby’s Institute of Art tells us about what makes London the dynamic, outward-looking art hub it is today, and which local institutions they believe have played a part in its transformation. Here are three things you can’t miss.

Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts)

This is a gallery and research center that has foregrounded the work of artists from outside the West and of UK artists of diasporic descent since its inception in 1994. For a time in the 90s it published a journal, Annotations, which traced connections between postcolonial thought and artistic practice. Despite swingeing funding cuts, it remains, with its library, exhibition program and public talks, a vital resource for artists, students and scholars, including of course students on our MA program in Contemporary Art.

Autograph ABP

Autograph ABP is located in the same David Adjaye-designed center as Iniva, on Rivington Street in Shoreditch. Under the dynamic stewardship of Mark Sealy, it has used its exhibition and education programs to raise the visibility of historically marginalized photographic practices, such as those of British photographers of diasporic descent, and to promote research into photographic developments in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It houses a major archive that has long served as a research tool for our students.

Tate Modern

Tate Modern, which opened in 2000, has shown a strong commitment to collecting art from around the world for over a decade now. It has appointed specialist curators to implement this acquisitions policy and the opening in June 2016 of the new wing, dubbed the Switch House, has enabled them to put more of these newly acquired works on display. In another sign of their determination to broaden the geographical reach of their program, Nicholas Serota and his team have in recent years devoted shows to a number of artists from Africa, Asia and South America, including Meshac Gaba, Bhupen Khakhar, Gabriel Orozco and Saloua Raouda Choucair.

Discover more in London with the Sotheby’s Institute of Art

About Sotheby’s Institute of Art

3rd

Sotheby’s Institute of Art is The Graduate School of Art and its Markets. Evolving from a small connoisseurship program started by Sotheby’s Auction House in 1969, Sotheby’s Institute is now the foremost leader in art business education and object-based learning. Its global faculty represent the best of almost every facet of the art world, helping students decipher and master the unique forces at play at the intersection of art and commerce.

With campuses in the cultural capitals of London, New York and Los Angeles, Sotheby’s Institute offers graduate level programs that have become more relevant than ever in an art world that is constantly seeking individuals with art historical scholarship and business acumen. Besides Master’s degrees, Sotheby’s Institute offers programs of study such as summer classes, 15-week semester courses, online learning and executive education. Sotheby’s Institute of Art’s programs provide the knowledge and credentials needed to achieve success in today’s worldwide art markets and cultural institutions.

Discover more from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art

Sotheby’s Institute of Art | Good Design Is Everywhere, You Just Need to Know Where to Look

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It’s an old truism that while art is essentially decorative, design has always been functional, even while it was regarded as a decorative art. Jonathan Clancy, MA Fine and Decorative Art and Design Program Director at Sotheby’s Institute of Art – New York, chooses his top five shows from 2016 that represent the best in historical design and contemporary craftsmanship.

“It helped too that all are brilliantly installed and well-curated, as it showcased the objects at their best and encouraged connection and dialogue” says Clancy. “That the institutions included vary in size and mission is deliberate: good design is everywhere, you just need to know where to look.”

Studio Job MAD House
Museum of Arts and Design, New York

This show—the first solo exhibition in the United States of Job Smeets and Nynke Tyangel—was a revelation. The works were opulent, subversive, exquisitely crafted and rewarded close looking and repeated engagement. Their work, as that of many contemporary designers, defies neat classification and successfully blurs the line between artist and designer to such a degree that those terms become meaningless. I can’t say that I would want every piece in my house, but each piece challenged me, made me stop and think, and compelled me to look closer. At the end of the day, that to me is the joy inherent in good work.

You & i are … Earth
Wilton House Museum, Richmond

Sometimes, a show is so good—so well installed and conceived—that regardless of how off the beaten path it seems, you need to make it a destination. Michelle Erickson’s exhibit at the Wilton House in Richmond, Virginia was such a show. An exceptional ceramist who blends traditional craft practices with contemporary ideas about meaning and narrative, the show was thoughtfully installed in an 18th century house to create a dialogue not only between past and present, but between the objects and the home, and the visitor and original inhabitants. Erickson tackled difficult issues of race, of politics, and the poetics of the body in a manner that spurred dialogue and discussion.

Atmosphere for Enjoyment: Harry Bertoia’s Environment for Sound
Museum of Arts and Design, New York

Bertoia is a major creative force who is only beginning to have the recognition he deserves. What was particularly beautiful about this exhibition was that the Museum recognized that his sound sculptures—what he called sonambient works—are not simply static monuments of design, but need to be played to be understood, and they let you do just this. On the one hand, it fostered an engagement with the works, and on the other it transformed the gallery space into an acoustic experience that vibrated with motion, sound, and chance. It was mesmerizing.

View past pieces from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art

Global by Design: Chinese Ceramics from the R. Albuquerque Collection
The Metropolitan Museum, New York

Accompanied by an exquisite catalog replete with beautiful photography, it is easy—if mistaken—to think that a publication of such high quality could have done justice to such a carefully curated exhibit. While the catalog was in itself an achievement, the ceramics were simply too good in person to miss. The scale of them was lost in the photography, so too was their presence, from subtle, inscribed lines that cannot register in photographs to the dazzling enamel work which catches light and flickers as one moves to and from an object. I cannot stress this enough: anyone interested in Chinese ceramics needs to own this catalog: the scholarship is sound and the photography is brilliant.

Chinamania
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, DC.

While the Freer Gallery in Washington, DC is closed for renovations, the Sackler continues an ambitious program of contemporary exhibitions. In Chinamania, artist Walter McConnell juxtaposed Kangxi ceramics and three-dimensional printed replica vases arranged in monumental stupas. The interplay between historical forms, contemporary work and the balance he exposed between what we view as precious and what we view as mass-produced connects past and present in thought-provoking ways without sacrificing a unique and powerful aesthetic. You have until June 4, 2017 to catch this show.

About Sotheby’s Institute of Art3rd

Sotheby’s Institute of Art is The Graduate School of Art and its Markets. Evolving from a small connoisseurship program started by Sotheby’s Auction House in 1969, Sotheby’s Institute is now the foremost leader in art business education and object-based learning. Its global faculty represent the best of almost every facet of the art world, helping students decipher and master the unique forces at play at the intersection of art and commerce.

With campuses in the cultural capitals of London, New York and Los Angeles, Sotheby’s Institute offers graduate level programs that have become more relevant than ever in an art world that is constantly seeking individuals with art historical scholarship and business acumen. Besides Master’s degrees, Sotheby’s Institute offers programs of study such as summer classes, 15-week semester courses, online learning and executive education. Sotheby’s Institute of Art’s programs provide the knowledge and credentials needed to achieve success in today’s worldwide art markets and cultural institutions.

Sotheby’s Institute of Art | Tim Goossens: Exploring Visual Art and Music at the Stadstriënnale Hasselt-Genk

Alongside his teaching on the MA in Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art – New York, Tim Goossens is also an internationally renowned curator. His latest project is the exhibition This is the Sound of™, part of the Stadstriënnale Hasselt-Genk in Belgium. From Bjork’s first ever VR music video to the premiere of a visual documentary by the unlikely duo Vanessa Beecroft and Kanye West, Goossens seeks to explore the territory shared by visual art and music through an ambitious gathering of contemporary work from all over the world.

“This is The Sound of™ lets you discover what is happening today, bringing together innovative collaborations that intertwine the human expression with prime technology,” says Goossens. “This can be seen in Bjork’s first ever VR music video for Stonemilker and the premiere of a visual documentary created for the exhibition by the duo Vanessa Beecroft and Kanye West about their 2015 Madison Square Garden extravaganza. There is also a new commission by Es Devlin, renowned for her stage designs.

Explore luxury homes near the exhibit in Belgium

Spread throughout the historical C-mine complex are a multitude of works by Asian Dope Boys, Cibelle Cavallo Bastos, Naama Tsabar, and Rashaad Newsom, each taking inspiration from pop music and pop culture. A screening room on the top floor provides a space for large scale ceiling projections and brings together over a hundred music videos produced since the rise and decline of MTV. The thematic videos were co-curated by New York-based musicians/songwriters/producers and social activists Nomi Ruiz celebrating and tracing the iconic female image in pop culture and DonChristian Jones on queerness in soul and hip-hop music.


Björk’s “Stonemilker” Music Video

This part of the exhibition aims to honor the visual and social-cultural importance of these short-but-impactful videos. The music video represents the direct convergence of music and image as it grew throughout the 20th century, and is an important tool in branding for the music industry. Its importance seems to have found a new breath in recent years with so called ‘visual albums.’ In summer 2016 we saw American R & B star Frank Ocean not only drop a traditional music album but also a separate visual album, taking the importance of the visual culture in pop music to new heights.”

Discover more about This is the Sound of™ at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art

About Sotheby’s Institute of Art3rd

Sotheby’s Institute of Art is The Graduate School of Art and its Markets. Evolving from a small connoisseurship program started by Sotheby’s Auction House in 1969, Sotheby’s Institute is now the foremost leader in art business education and object-based learning. Its global faculty represent the best of almost every facet of the art world, helping students decipher and master the unique forces at play at the intersection of art and commerce.

With campuses in the cultural capitals of London, New York and Los Angeles, Sotheby’s Institute offers graduate level programs that have become more relevant than ever in an art world that is constantly seeking individuals with art historical scholarship and business acumen. Besides Master’s degrees, Sotheby’s Institute offers programs of study such as summer classes, 15-week semester courses, online learning and executive education. Sotheby’s Institute of Art’s programs provide the knowledge and credentials needed to achieve success in today’s worldwide art markets and cultural institutions.

Sotheby’s Institute of Art | Art World Book Recommendations

One of the best ways to learn about the art world is through literature. This month, the faculty at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art recommends some of their favorite books from their personal collections.

Roland Barthes Camera Lucida

Juliet Hacking
Subject Leader in Photography, Sotheby’s Institute of Art – London

Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography. Vintage Classics, 1993 (1980)

(first published in French as La Chambre Claire by Editions de Seuil 1980)

This is a classic of photographic theory. It is accessibly written and yet is full of complex ideas about how photographs act upon us. Set out as an investigation into the nature of photography, Barthes’ theories of the studium and the punctum were central to photographic theory for many years. Although a number of his propositions have now been critiqued (including his understanding of how photographs are made) his ideas provoke trains of thought in the reader that rise above the empirical. Barthes’ last book, Camera Lucida is a meditation not just on photography but on life, love and loss.

The Address Book

Sarah Conley Odenkirk
Associate Director, Sotheby’s Institute of Art – Los Angeles

Sophie Calle, The Address Book. Siglio Press, 2012

In the early 1980s, French artist Sophie Calle found an address book in the streets of Paris which belonged to a man whom she did not know, but referred to as Pierre D. Calle photocopied the book, returned the original to Pierre and then proceeded to call each of the people listed in the address book and ask them questions about Pierre D. Using the information she gathered, Calle began publishing, in serial form, essays detailing the interviews and the information she learned about Pierre D. As soon as Pierre D. realized that the essays were about him, he was understandably furious and demanded that Calle not only stop publishing the weekly essays, but that as an act of recompense, she publish nude photos of herself. As a result of Pierre D.’s demands, Calle agreed not to publish the work until after his death.

I have my students in Legal Foundations read this book so that we can discuss the nexus between artistic practice and privacy rights. This book allows us to think about whether there is or should be a limit placed on artistic expression when it comes to using raw material that is personal to the subject matter of the expression. Is the ability of an artist to freely create and comment on anything more important than any one individual’s privacy? Is the fact that the work is created without “Pierre D.’s” knowledge or permission crucial to the concept of the work? These and other questions are not only interesting to ponder from a legal standpoint, but also help us frame the way that we treat conceptual work with human subjects.

Big BucksJos Hackforth-Jones
Director, Sotheby’s Institute of Art – London

Georgina Adam, Big Bucks: The Explosion of the Art Market in the 21st Century. Lund Humphries, 2014

Since the turn of the millennium, and the dramatic shift in the scale and scope of the art market, many publications have sought to consider the impact of this phenomenon on both the art world and the art market – particularly the unparalleled expansion of the contemporary art market.
During this period a number of studies have focused on the art market. Georgina Adam’s book examines the current state of the art market and considers both key players: auction-houses, dealers, artists and ‘taste-makers’ and key determinants in a changing market place with an emphasis on contemporary art and the rise of art fairs, online sales, the impact of emerging markets and new buyers and issues around transparency and market regulation. This book is a terrific and highly readable introduction to what sometimes appears to be an opaque art world and Georgina Adam effectively communicates some of the excitement which those of us lucky fortunate to work in this field experience.

Ten Fundamental Questions of CuratingMarcus Verhagen
MA Contemporary Art Faculty, Sotheby’s Institute of Art – London

Jens Hoffmann ed., Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating. Mousse Publishing, Milan, 2013

Wide-ranging texts by prominent curators on different aspects of their trade. This anthology is a good introduction to current debates around curating, packed as it is with acute observations on recent shifts in both theory and practice. One highlight is Maria Lind’s chapter on the divergent priorities of large and small spaces (on this topic, see also Size Matters by the research collective Common Practice).

Risk and Uncertainty in the Art WorldHeidi Rasmussen
Librarian, Sotheby’s Institute of Art – London

Anna M. Dempster ed., Risk and Uncertainty in the Art World. Bloomsbury, 2014

This is a popular title with our students and was one of our most borrowed books in the library in the last academic year.
It grew from a conference held at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London, in 2011. It contains several essays each written by an expert in their field, and overall they give a broad overview of the risks in the art market. This includes questions of authenticity, risks within the expanding global art market, regulatory risks, investments risks on stamps and violins, and it also looks back into the past such as describing a dealer ring in Paris in the 18th century.

 

About Sotheby’s Institute of Art3rd

Sotheby’s Institute of Art is The Graduate School of Art and its Markets. Evolving from a small connoisseurship program started by Sotheby’s Auction House in 1969, Sotheby’s Institute is now the foremost leader in art business education and object-based learning. Its global faculty represent the best of almost every facet of the art world, helping students decipher and master the unique forces at play at the intersection of art and commerce.

With campuses in the cultural capitals of London, New York and Los Angeles, Sotheby’s Institute offers graduate level programs that have become more relevant than ever in an art world that is constantly seeking individuals with art historical scholarship and business acumen. Besides Master’s degrees, Sotheby’s Institute offers programs of study such as summer classes, 15-week semester courses, online learning and executive education. Sotheby’s Institute of Art’s programs provide the knowledge and credentials needed to achieve success in today’s worldwide art markets and cultural institutions.

Applications are now open for the 2017-2018 Master’s Study

Sotheby’s Institute of Art | Tips for Investing in Art Photography

Photography is bigger than ever—now you’ll find an ever-increasing array of fairs, exhibitions, auction sales and study options all dedicated to the medium. If you’re a collector new to photography, however, deciding what to buy can be daunting. From editioning to provenance, here are five things from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art to think about when buying photography as an investment.

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The photographer’s reputation

Like any work of art acquired in the hope of future returns, rather than simply for your own enjoyment, your primary consideration is the artist. Research them meticulously. A well-known photographer will have auction records, which you can track on sites such as Artnet orArtprice. In purchasing work by a newer name, you’re taking a gamble – but one that could pay off. A recent graduate’s work might not have sold on the secondary market yet but there are plenty of other ways to establish whether they’re on the cusp of success. Find out if they’ve featured in exhibitions and magazines or won awards. Is there a buzz around them? Anonymous vintage photography is popular right now and fun to buy, at street markets, yard sales or online, but —unless you’re lucky enough to stumble on the next Vivian Maier— a risky investment.

The image itself

First off, figure out which series, project or period the picture comes from. Is it a particularly significant set in relation to the photographer’s career, historically or in the development of photography? And within this, is it a key image? The answers to these questions, discovered through good old fashioned research, could well enhance (or diminish) its value. Next, ask: is it visually powerful? To determine this, you’ll need a great eye. If you’re serious about collecting photography, take the time to immerse yourself in pictures — in museums, in galleries, in books, online. In so doing you’ll fine-tune your instinctual understanding of what makes a strong image.

Size of the edition

An artwork is precious because it’s unique. A photographic print is a copy and, provided the original negative or digital file still exists, lots more copies can be made in future. This partly explains why the art world has in the past been wary of photography. Editioning gets around this by setting a limit how many prints will ever be produced of a particular photograph. Editions are designed to cultivate rarity so, as a rule, avoid big ones. With two hundred versions of your print out there in the world, you’re unlikely to see its worth increase astronomically. The number of the print’s place in the edition — from 1/10 to 10/10, say — will normally be included on it, along with the artist’s signature. Further up the edition, fewer prints are available, which can push up the price.

The print as an object

There’s more to a photograph than an image. The print is an object in its own right, sometimes of immense beauty. Beyond the obvious — what size is it? — explore which paper types and printing processes have been used. Are they high quality? Are they especially unusual or rare? Ask the auction specialist or dealer every question you can think of. Try to see a print in person to check it’s been well-looked after. The majority of contemporary digital prints are either c-type (laser) or giclée (inkjet) but historical photographs may have been made a number of interesting techniques. Analogue photography is back in vogue so even a very recent work might have been made in a darkroom by hand. Sometimes photographers alter the print’s surface — Julie Cockburn, for example, embroiders vintage photographs, rendering each one unique.

Provenance

The more evidence you can get hold of about a print’s history, the better. When was it made? Where was it printed? Who’s bought and sold it in the years since? Be aware that the sooner a print was made after the photograph was originally shot, the greater its value. A print was made posthumously it won’t be signed by the artist and this will have an adverse impact. Also, editioning has only been widely practiced since the 70s so an earlier print won’t be numbered but information about how many others exist should be included in paperwork together with other details about the print’s past when you purchase it from an auction house or dealer.

About Sotheby’s Institute of Art3rd

Sotheby’s Institute of Art is The Graduate School of Art and its Markets. Evolving from a small connoisseurship program started by Sotheby’s Auction House in 1969, Sotheby’s Institute is now the foremost leader in art business education and object-based learning. Its global faculty represent the best of almost every facet of the art world, helping students decipher and master the unique forces at play at the intersection of art and commerce.

With campuses in the cultural capitals of London, New York and Los Angeles, Sotheby’s Institute offers graduate level programs that have become more relevant than ever in an art world that is constantly seeking individuals with art historical scholarship and business acumen. Besides Master’s degrees, Sotheby’s Institute offers programs of study such as summer classes, 15-week semester courses, online learning and executive education. Sotheby’s Institute of Art’s programs provide the knowledge and credentials needed to achieve success in today’s worldwide art markets and cultural institutions.

Sotheby’s Institute of Art | What to Look Out for at an Affordable Art Auction

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If you’re new to auctions and unsure where to start, don’t be daunted. Art historian Elizabeth Pergam, who teaches on the Sotheby’s Institute of Art Master’s programs in Art Business and Fine and Decorative Art and Design in New York, shares some advice for auction first-timers on what to look out for when buying a work of art and how to begin building your private art collection from scratch.

I always ask very established collectors, what was the first thing they bought and do they still have it. Most of them do. Art is an investment but, given that this sale is your entrée into collecting, your real reason to buy a work has to be that you love it and want to live with it.

The first thing to do is see what catches your eye. Listen to your instinct. Ideally you would see the work of art in person, but you can do this online as well. Once you’ve identified an image you’re interested in, then ask yourself, why that one? Look at it in comparison to something similar and identify why you find it more appealing. Say you’re drawn to a landscape – is that because it’s a snowy landscape or because it has figures in it? Once you have that instinctive response, you need to deconstruct it a little more to see why you’re attracted to that work.

Find out as much as you can about the artist who made the work. Take a look at auction result databases such as Artnet or Artprice. You can go to a library like the Frick Art Reference Library in New York that has a subscription, if you don’t yourself. Do your research thoroughly. Check whether these works come up at auction regularly and what prices you should expect. Most estimates are based on past auction records so when artists have a much shorter auction record the cataloguers have a slightly harder time. That always represents an opportunity.

As you accumulate art objects, you learn distinctions between them. The benefit of being a private collector is that even if you have a theme – say you’re a collector of 18th century French drawing – you aren’t confined to that. It might be where the emphasis is but it’s not like you’re answering to a board of trustees at a museum, you are an individual. Be open to letting your tastes develop and change. Collections evolve over time.

About Sotheby’s Institute of Art3rd

Sotheby’s Institute of Art is The Graduate School of Art and its Markets. Evolving from a small connoisseurship program started by Sotheby’s Auction House in 1969, Sotheby’s Institute is now the foremost leader in art business education and object-based learning. Its global faculty represent the best of almost every facet of the art world, helping students decipher and master the unique forces at play at the intersection of art and commerce.

With campuses in the cultural capitals of London, New York and Los Angeles, Sotheby’s Institute offers graduate level programs that have become more relevant than ever in an art world that is constantly seeking individuals with art historical scholarship and business acumen. Besides Master’s degrees, Sotheby’s Institute offers programs of study such as summer classes, 15-week semester courses, online learning and executive education. Sotheby’s Institute of Art’s programs provide the knowledge and credentials needed to achieve success in today’s worldwide art markets and cultural institutions.

Sotheby’s Institute of Art | Art Repatriation in China

Art repatriation is just one example of the key art world issues you can learn about at Sotheby’s Institute. In this exclusive video, Dr Iain Robertson, head of art business at Sotheby’s Institute in London, looks at the cases of the so-called Elgin Marbles and the 1860 looting of Beijing’s Old Summer Palace, charting the journey of two bronze animal heads which, in 2009, made it back to their country of origin.

About Sotheby’s Institute of Art3rd

Sotheby’s Institute of Art is The Graduate School of Art and its Markets. Evolving from a small connoisseurship program started by Sotheby’s Auction House in 1969, Sotheby’s Institute is now the foremost leader in art business education and object-based learning. Its global faculty represent the best of almost every facet of the art world, helping students decipher and master the unique forces at play at the intersection of art and commerce.

With campuses in the cultural capitals of London, New York and Los Angeles, Sotheby’s Institute offers graduate level programs that have become more relevant than ever in an art world that is constantly seeking individuals with art historical scholarship and business acumen. Besides Master’s degrees, Sotheby’s Institute offers programs of study such as summer classes, 15-week semester courses, online learning and executive education. Sotheby’s Institute of Art’s programs provide the knowledge and credentials needed to achieve success in today’s worldwide art markets and cultural institutions.

Sotheby’s Institute of Art | Why 2016 is The Year of Art Photography

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This year a wealth of major exhibitions, fairs and new spaces dedicated to photography are poised to open in the United Kingdom and North America. The increased prominence of photography in the art market means more opportunities for those aspiring to careers with a art photography focus. We spoke to Sotheby’s Institute of Art – London Master’s degree faculty about what’s pushing photography to the top of the agenda in 2016.

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Photo London is back for a second edition

Last year’s inaugural edition of Photo London, in London’s opulent Somerset House, was a great success, with 20,000 people – art business professionals, collectors and members of the public – visiting the commercial fair across four days in May. Seventy galleries from 20 countries showed photographs, from vintage prints to contemporary work. Strong sales were reported, including six prints by the American photographer William Eggleston sold by Rose Gallery for a total of £161,000. Photo London returns to Somerset House in May 2016. More galleries will feature this year, alongside a lively public program, with performances, talks and lectures, and specially commissioned exhibitions, showcasing emerging talent.

V&A expands its photography collection

London’s Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) has recently announced that it will acquire The Royal Photographic Society (RPS) collection of art photography, currently in the National Media Museum in Bradford. This world-renowned collection includes key works by figures such as Alfred Stieglitz, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Paul Strand and Julia Margaret Cameron, and contains some of the earliest photographs ever made. Adding to an already extensive and historically significant collection of photographs at the museum, the transfer of 400,000 objects to the V&A will create the world’s foremost collection of photography, which will be publically accessible through an International Photography Resource Centre.

A new home for the ICP

Changes are also afoot for photography in New York. The International Center for Photography (ICP) closed temporarily in 2014 to allow for relocation to new premises. Moving from its Midtown location, the ICP museum and exhibition space will be housed at 250 Bowery from summer 2016, opposite the New Museum.

Cornell Capa founded the ICP in 1974, on a belief in photography as the most vital means of global communication. He aimed to bring photojournalism and socially concerned imagery to the institutional space of the museum. While staying true to this heritage, the museum will also address contemporary issues, notably how the web, smartphones and social media have revolutionized the way images are disseminated, consumed, and how they function politically in today’s image-saturated, digital era.

SFMOMA opens a photography space

On the West Coast of America, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) will open a new space for photography in 2016, as part of an expansion designed by the architecture firm Snøhetta. The John and Lisa Pritzker Center for Photography is set to become the largest exhibition space for photography in the United States. The 15,500-square-foot center, which will show the growing permanent collection and special temporary exhibitions, triples the current space allocated to photography in the museum.

Totalling around 17,000 works, the collection spans Japanese photography; Surrealist and avant-garde European work; 1970s experimental photography; and documentary photography. Researchers will be able to view photographs in the center’s improved study room, giving them a more direct engagement with the museum’s photography collection.

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FraenkelLAB launches

Also in San Francisco, high-end photography gallery Fraenkel, which opened in 1979, has launched a new venue for experimental photography, film, video, painting, drawing, sculpture, and performance: FraenkelLAB. The space will present work that is important to, but stands outside, the mainly photographic program of the parent gallery, underlining the way photography is often only one form in which artists choose to express themselves. The space is scheduled to open in April 2016 with ‘Home Improvements’, a show featuring 13 contemporary artists curated by the filmmaker John Waters.

Canada gets a national photography institute

The National Gallery of Canada is establishing the Canadian Photography Institute (CPI), a multidisciplinary research center dedicated to photography. Collector and philanthropist David Thomson has donated a series of photographs, books and objects, currently in the region of 12,000 works. A $10 million donation by Scotiabank, the largest corporate financial donation ever made to the gallery, will fund an exhibition space devoted to photography together with an ambitious photography research initiative, forging international partnerships for the study of the growing collection.

Must-see exhibitions in London, LA and Paris

This year also sees important photography exhibitions opening at prestigious venues around the globe: a retrospective of the American modernist photographer and filmmaker Paul Strand at the V&A in London; two exhibitions dedicated to the controversial work of Robert Mapplethorpe at the Getty Museum and LACMA in Los Angeles; and an exhibition of the Czech photographer Josef Sudek at the Jeu de Paume in Paris, to name but a few. There really has been no better time to get out there and see photography first hand.

About Sotheby’s Institute of Art

3rd

Sotheby’s Institute of Art is The Graduate School of Art and its Markets. Evolving from a small connoisseurship program started by Sotheby’s Auction House in 1969, Sotheby’s Institute is now the foremost leader in art business education and object-based learning. Its global faculty represent the best of almost every facet of the art world, helping students decipher and master the unique forces at play at the intersection of art and commerce.

With campuses in the cultural capitals of London, New York and Los Angeles, Sotheby’s Institute offers graduate level programs that have become more relevant than ever in an art world that is constantly seeking individuals with art historical scholarship and business acumen. Besides Master’s degrees, Sotheby’s Institute offers programs of study such as summer classes, 15-week semester courses, online learning and executive education. Sotheby’s Institute of Art’s programs provide the knowledge and credentials needed to achieve success in today’s worldwide art markets and cultural institutions.