Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Schjeldahl on Klimt

Speaking of critics, I commend to you Peter Schjeldahl's piece in the July 24 New Yorker on Ronald Lauder's purchase of "Adele Block-Bauer I" for the Neue Galerie, New York.

An outtake:

Is she worth the money? Not yet. Paintings this special may not come along for sale often, and the hundred and four million dollars spent for a so-so Picasso, “Boy with a Pipe,” two years ago indicated that irrational exuberance could be the booming art market’s new motto. But Lauder’s outlay predicts a level of cost that must either soon become common or be relegated in history as a bid too far.

And the identity of the artist gives pause. The price paid is four and a half times the previous high (already a stunner, in 2003) for a Klimt; until a few years ago, the artist ranked as a second-tier modern master both at auction and in the estimation of most art critics and historians....The purchase of “Adele” tests the possibility—ever less to be sneezed at, these days—of rewriting art history with a checkbook.

Here's CultureGrrl on the art market's irrational exuberance.

Coming Soon: A further examination of the Neue Galerie and its collection.

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