Thursday, February 12, 2015
Contemporary Art: Why A New Record For A "Richter" Is Something to Celebrate
Gerhard Richter´s painting "Abstraktes Bild" (abstract picture) was sold for £30.4 million ($46.3 million) at this week`s contemporary art evening auction at Sotheby’s in London (artnews). This was the highest price for a "Richter" and also for a living European artist.
I think this is a sign that art can still be beautiful and be sought-after. This is also a significant countermotion to the current trend on the art market. Art writer Don Thompson claims in his book about the "peculiar economics from the world of contemporary art (here my review driveby): "Beautiful or not, the central characteristic of twenty-first-century contemporary art is that traditional artists skills of composition and coloration have become secondary to originality, innovation, and shock-hovwever achieved".
Damien Hirst for instance produced several versions of a conserved shark in a formaldehyd tank, called "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living" and "Beautiful Inside My Head Forever", which got sold each for at least $8 million (wikipedia).
Congratulations, Gerhard Richter!