SOCI327: 13

Relevant Media:

…it turns out he was really a prophet, the first to see that museums, far from a shelter from the tawdry bustle of commerce and fashion, could traffic in it.

A prized 1963 Andy Warhol painting that captures the immediate aftermath of a car crash has fetched $105m (£65m) at a Sotheby’s auction in New York City on Wednesday, shattering the record for the pop artist amid a spending frenzy at the high end of the art world.

If there were any remaining doubts that “making money is art,” as Andy Warhol famously pronounced in his 1975 book, “The Philosophy of Andy Warhol,” they were surely vanquished on Nov. 12. His silk-screen print “Triple Elvis (Ferus Type),” an image taken from a Hollywood studio publicity shot showing Elvis Presley with a gun, sold for nearly $82 million at a Christie’s auction packed with bankers, hedge fund managers and art dealers.

Picasso’s Women of Algiers has become the most expensive painting to sell at auction, going for $160m (£102.6m) at Christie’s in New York.

(2015 also reportedly saw the most expensive art sale of all time, of Paul Gauguin’s oil painting Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?) (1892) to the State of Qatar for $300 million.)

  • This article outlines the sums involved in bringing the museum super-brands to Saadiyat Island:

In 2007, Abu Dhabi signed a deal with French officials worth over £663m to buy the use of the Louvre’s name, to construct the Jean Nouvel-designed building that will house the art, and to facilitate special exhibitions and cultural loans from French institutions. The museum is scheduled to open next year. The Louvre branding itself is worth over half the value of the total: £344m for a period of 30 years.

A similarly gargantuan sum was promised to the Guggenheim, which will open its outpost in Abu Dhabi in 2017 or later (the project has been much delayed). Curators have been granted a £400m budget for new acquisitions, while the museum designed by Frank Gehry – a medieval jumble of cones and impossible angles – will cost £530m to build.

  • Touching on much of the material from the module, this 2016 radio piece by Will Self discusses Andy Warhol, Marcel Duchamp, Walter Benjamin, Damien Hirst, the role of the wealthy in the art market, modern galleries, tourism and urban development.

Cultural Guide: