New York Times

Ultra Violet - Color of 2018

Pantone has announced its color of the year for 2018: Ultra Violet (18-3838).

Recently, the Pantone selection process seems to have acquired more of a socio-political veneer.

“It’s...the most complex of all colors,” Pantone announced, “because it takes two shades that are seemingly diametrically opposed — blue and red — and brings them together to create something new.”

However, this characterization is incorrect. Purple is a combination of red and blue, while Violet has its own place on the UV spectrum.

But then again, the 2017 color of the year, Greenery (15-0343), was supposed to denote "new beginnings"...and we all know how that turned out.

The New York Times Shares a Playlist of Basquiat's Favorite Tunes

Photo courtesy of Maripol

Photo courtesy of Maripol

"Basquiat: Boom for Real" opened last night at the Barbican Center in London. The exhibition examines the artist's relationship to music in depth. Basquiat, who amassed a collection of3,000 albums, was obsessed with music. His devotion to music influenced his painting and drawing in both broad highly-specific, ways (he depicted his jazz heroes an incorporated their names into his works). 

Basquiat had eclectic taste in music, but it was jazz -- specifically Bebop -- that was his prime aural inspiration. 

The attached article from the NYT has a Spotify playlist with some of Basquiat's favorite tracks.

Robin Pogrebin's Honest Filter on Art Auctions


New York Times writer Robin Pogrebin has an interesting piece about her own experiences working the art auction beat for the last two years. Though generally skeptical about the high-end evening sale ecosystem, she does admits to some vicarious thrills while watching the jockeying for record-busting lots, such as the Constantin Brancusi sculpture that sold this week at Christie's for USD $57.4 million.

The most interesting aspect of the article, however, is the contrast between the often prosaic details and boredom and the moments of genuine excitement. With regards to the perpetual challenge of determining who is actually bidding and buying, she notes that "there is a premium on figuring it out, getting to know the backs of important people's heads."

Photograph by Kevin Hagen for The New York Times

Private Collections to Receive Assistance Regarding Nazi-looted Works


The discovery of the notorious trove of 1,200 artworks hidden in the Munich apartment of Cornelius Gurlitt--a collection passed down from his father who was a Nazi-era art dealer--there has been increasing interest in research into the provenance of potentially Nazi-looted works held in private collections. Whereas the international Washington Principles accord mandates restitution of Nazi-looted artworks held by public institutions, no comparable legal frameworks holds sway over private collections. In the wake of the Gurlitt affair, however, individual collectors are increasingly undertaking their own investigations into the provenance of their works, and a new fund has been established by the German government to assist in such efforts.

The Secret Cost of Anonymity

The issue of transparency in art market sales is a recurring subject of debate. However, a series of recent incidents--the 1MDB scandal, the Yves Bouvier contretemps, the Panama Papers reveal and the Knoedler forgery case--have underscored the attendant opportunities for both fraud and financial misdeeds. An additional factor that is not discussed in the New York Times article is the rapid growth of financial services offered by the major auction houses who may essential function as lending institutions. Another point of interest is that, even in some very high value sales, auction houses themselves may not know the true identity of the consignor.