Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Subscribe to Le Petit Salon by Email BARRY LE VA
Le Va, whose pioneering scatter pieces on the floor, started in 1966, made him 
one of the first of the so-called “Process” artists, started, in 1969, to create 
works with cleavers embedded in the wall or the floor. Three wall pieces will 
be shown, each made by thrusting a cleaver into the wall at intervals equiva- 
lent to a large side step; if located at the top of the wall, the cleaver is pro- 
pelled from the artist’s right-side-up position, if on the bottom of the wall from 
the artist’s downward-facing and back-to-the-wall position. The works are 
clear, direct, unadorned manifestations of a simple physical process, created 
without self-conscious aesthetic intention. Indeed, Le Va has said that these 
and other sculptures similarly fraught with danger and created between 1968 
and 197l, such as Within the Series of Layered Pattern Acts created by shat- 
tering sheets of glass on the floor, were more about exploring mathematical 
givens in relation to time and space than about threat of danger. In the case 
of the Cleaver pieces, those givens are the artist’s height and the fixed radius 
of the arc of his arm’s thrust. Of course, these works were originally created 
during a time of great violence in our culture. 
The configuration of the sculpture is dependent upon the space it is created in.  
Only two Cleaved pieces have previously been seen in New York, one at the 
exhibition space 112 Greene Street in 1969, and one at the Whitney Museum 
of American Art exhibition Contemporary American Sculpture, in 1970. 
The exhibition, at 745 Fifth Avenue, will run through 16 May 2009.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


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Thursday, April 09, 2009
Art Market Trends 2008 2008 was a wild ride for the world art market with the financial crisis catching up with auction sales. called it a year that started with "speculative euphoria" and ended with a "violent contraction." The Art Market Insight by Artprice is an annual publication that looks back at art auction prices for the year. Listed in the report is the top 10 artists, the top 100 auction sales, and a list of the top 500 artists by turnover for the year. Here's a list of the top ten artists by total turnover for 2008. I expect that dead masters like Picasso and Monet would sell $100 million+ over 12 months, but what impresses me are the living artists like Hirst, Richter and Koons that are selling similar amounts. PICASSO Pablo (1881-1973) $262,366,349 from 1764 lots sold at auction BACON Francis (1909-1992) $256,208,073 from 100 lots sold WARHOL Andy (1928-1987) $236,749,034 from 1164 lots sold HIRST Damien (1965) $230,887,159 from 445 lots sold MONET Claude (1840-1926) $174,695,716 from 25 lots sold GIACOMETTI Alberto (1901-1966) $132,631,043 from 111 lots sold RICHTER Gerhard (1932) $122,211,095 from 166 lots sold DEGAS Edgar (1834-1917) $111,835,132 from 81 lots sold FONTANA Lucio (1899-1968) $95,589,589 from 227 lots sold KLEIN Yves (1928-1962) $91,868,098 from 59 lots sold
An introduction to the Art Market Trends report can be found, with the full 37 page Pdf file of the report

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


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TUESDAY, APRIL 7, 2009 IS IT OR ISN'T IT ? Now, you tell me...
All of the hype about "Is it Art?" ... after viewing this exhibition of Lisa Yuskavage at Zwirner it was difficult to say? My own feelings are prejudiced because I abhor women being objectified, however, on the other hand, the artist really knows her craft and paints like a Flemish angel. Yes, there is a niche for this work, and the billionaire Steve Cohen, who is exhibiting part of his fabulous collection "The Women" at Sotheby's has "ONE"! Albeit, a conservative piece at that, but non the less erotic. However, the only cartoon-y reference in Cohen's piece, NIGHT 1999-2000, is the face and the ass, or should I say "cheek-y"comes to mind. LIKE I SAID...this woman can paint...Yuskavage's inclusion in the COHEN COLLECTION is not a surprise, I am sure she has already made her mark on 21st Century art, however one has yet to decide if she is a "keeper" or a member of the flavor of the month club. It is hard to get serious about this work being a female in the 21st Century and to think that this painting NIGHT depicts the modern woman painted by another woman through a man's eyes. To me, not a critic per se, seems "too illustrative and decorative" to be serious art...Helene

Monday, April 6, 2009


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collection of Steve Cohen