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Flash News: Daido Moriyama – Marcel Broodthaers – Peter Fischli et David Weiss

[15/01/2016]

Flash News: Daido Moriyama – Marcel Broodthaers – Peter Fischli et David Weiss 

Every fortnight, Artprice provides a short round up of art market news: Daido Moriyama – Marcel Broodthaers – Peter Fischli et David Weiss

Daido Moriyama
Japanese photographer Daido MORIYAMA is returning to Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain in Paris, after first exhibiting there in 2003. This time, Fondation Cartier is highlighting recent works with colour photographs less well-known than his celebrated black and white shots (exhibit from 6 February–29 May 2016). Moriyama gave birth to a new practice of street photography where he works as a prowler, a hunter of snapshots, instantaneous without a preconceived idea. The result is often blurry, saturated images, which have a certain “noise”, a raw “texture” easily recognised.
Born in Osaka in 1938, Daido Moriyama first studied graphic design before learning photography from his first teacher Takeji Iwamiya. Then, he moved to Tokyo in 1961 where he assisted the great photographer Eikoh HOSOE. He began working independently in 1964 and met with success upon his first publication in 1968. His photos quickly circled the globe, notably at MoMA in New York, which presented his work in 1974, in the context of the first group exhibit featuring Japanese photography (New Japanese Photography). Since, Moriyama has exhibited at several major institutions, including the Tate Modern in London (William Klein + Daido Moriyama, 2012), the San Francisco MoMA (Stray Dog, 1999), the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the National Museum of Art in Osaka (On the Road, 2011), and more recently during the Rencontres d’Arles 2015 (annual photo festival in Arles, France).
At auction, his works have long been successful in the international market to the extent that they can be found in the United States, in England, France, Belgium, Austria and Germany as well as Asia (Japan, China, Hong Kong). And the prices rise undeniably for older photos, those from the 1960s and 70s. A new auction record was even set last year for his famous series of 10 photographs titled Kagerou, Mayfly (1972). Sold for double the lower estimate by the Japanese auction house SBI Art Auction (18 April 2015), Kagerou, Mayfly set a new auction record of USD 53,000, with each photograph in the series selling for USD 5,300. A steal when we consider that his silver prints from that period typically sell for USD 5,000–15,000.

Marcel Broodthaers
A first for New York: Belgian artist Marcel BROODTHAERS (1924-1976), the caustic bohemian, will soon be exhibited as part of a large retrospective. News of this exhibit has energised the market during the past few months, with numerous works up for auction in Paris, Berlin, Cologne, New York, Amsterdam, and Brussels.
Plastic artist, poet, writer and master of the absurd, Broodthaers is the only artist known to have created his own fictional museum in his lifetime: the “Museum of Modern Art /Department of Eagles” (1968-1972), named after one of his lines of verse, “Oh, melancholy, Harsh castle of eagles”. Broodthaers was the director until he decided to close the museum in 1972. That same year, he exhibited at Documenta V in Kassel. In 2015, the iconic museum was featured in an exhibit at the Monnaie de Paris museum (18 April–5 July 2015), a place chosen expressly for the installation, as this museum is not only a zany idea, it is part of Marcel Broodthaers’ reflection on the relationship between works of art and their financial value. Indeed, since the 1960s, the artist pointed his finger at the fact that art has become a part of the economy. In 1971, he even created a Finance Department in the museum, comprised of a 1-kilo gold bar stamped with an eagle. This bar was offered for sale at a price double market value, to collect funds to benefit the museum.
But his best-known work in the general public is without doubt Moules Sauce Blanche (White Mussel Sauce) (1968), homage to Magritte. Aware of working by misappropriating things stripped of value (here, a saucepan and mussels), Broodthaers created a work voluntarily deprived of an aesthetic aura, a work bordering Dada and surrealism, whose audacity proves particularly popular with collectors: the sculptures Moules Sauce Blanche, of which several versions exist, can obtain several thousands of dollars, the record being held by a work sold for USD 358,000 in 2000 at Christie’s New York. His iconic works are rarely found on the market, but can be discovered shortly at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, from 14 February–15 May 2016.

Peter Fischli and David Weiss
These two Swiss artists originally from Zurich have worked together since 1979 (Peter & David FISCHLI & WEISS). Their weapon? Humour, above all else, in sculptures, installations, videos and photographs. These Jacks-of-all- trades became known via The Way things Go, an experimental film created in 1987, where small events lead to a merry game of counterweights, pendulums, rocking chairs, various scaffolding and gears, as many makeshift objects as we find in their sculpture. The fragile balance between the ordinary objects in The Way Things Go is a sort of living expansion of their series Quiet Afternoon (1984-1985), precarious installations which they photographed. Today, the duo is among the best-known contemporary Swiss artists in the international scene. For this reason, for more than 10 years their best works are priced at more than USD 100,000 at auction. They even set a record high of USD 1 million in London in 2013 (with Floß, an installation sold for more than USD 962,000 including fees at Phillips), but their market deflated considerably after this peak. It could take off again thanks to an event for the less prestigious, as the incongruous, poetic, and jubilant spirit of their work can soon be discovered at the Guggenheim museum in New York, from 5 February–20 April 2016.

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