September 08, 2006

$135 Million dollars paid for Gustav Klimt portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer <p> The NYT has an interesting article on the acquistion of a portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer which was bought last month by the billionaire collector Ronald S. Lauder and is on display his Neue Galerie for German and Austrian art, on the Upper East Side, NYC. "The art market operates according to its own logic, which may have nothing to do with the quality of the art. Value is not price — whether the issue is a Klimt, or a ballplayer, or a chief executive paid millions of dollars, who runs his company into the ground.... It’s only natural to play the skeptic when the art world is a circus of profligacy, drunk with cash, and when dimwitted speculators make headlines, wasting fortunes on bad art. Who knows what the most money paid in private for a painting really is: maybe $135 million. For that amount, assuming it is what Mr. Lauder paid, his portrait of Adele, a hedonistic masterpiece, will be talked about in terms of how many lives might have been saved or how many lifted from poverty for this sum.... The Met spent more than $45 million two years ago for a tiny Duccio “Madonna and Child” whose modesty seems its most endearing virtue. The tipping point between endearing and hedonistic is evidently somewhere around $100 million.... The Neue Galerie is Christie’s annex now, exhibiting paintings for sale ($15 general admission, no children under 12 allowed), whose display is also a public service. </p>


I live to paint and travel. Let the beauty that you love be the work that you do.

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