Notes On Art And Culture #6

by Darby Bannard

Our last post, which alludes to a recently sold Gerhard Richter painting to show how good money chases bad art, suggests that in the great mass of very expensive very bad art there must be a single art object that best exemplifies the gap between goodness and price.

The Richter is certainly a tough contender, but I have found a painting that may displace it from the top of the heap. It edges out the Richter in auction price, and, in my opinion, outdoes it in sheer awfulness. The Richter is merely dead. This one is dead and partly decomposed.

Le Rose du bleu, by Yves Klein, 1960, dry pigment in synthetic resin, natural sponges and pebbles on board, 78 3/8 x 60 x 6 3/8 in, sold for $36,779,111.00, Christies, London, June 27, 2012

electronic block
Le Rose du bleu, on the electronic block with convenient currency conversions

And here is a worthy up-and-comer, a younger artist with the backing of the Gagosian Gallery. The art is bad enough, but he has a long way to get to the price stratosphere. (The gallery may be supporting the auction price - who knows in the art business - but money is money.)

Happy Accidents, Happy Endings, by Dan Golen, 2010, chewing gum on canvas, 47 5/8 x 35 7/8 in, sold for $232,474.00, Phillips de Pury & Company, London, October 10, 2012

October 21, 2012

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