Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Sale ahoy

The Financial Times reveals how the Venice Biennale has long been used by dealers to sell work.

“In 2007, London’s White Cube gallery was openly selling works by the much-contested British selection, Tracey Emin, at prices between £3,000 and £100,000; more than 75 per cent of the works at the British pavilion were sold, the gallery said at the time, before the Biennale officially opened.”

So no surprise to hear the rumour that Te Papa has purchased one of the Francis Upritchard works (no news on Judy Millar) after seeing it installed in Venice. A more interesting question is who won the battle of the commission. New Zealand’s Ivan Anthony or the UK’s Kate MacGarry. Who knows, it may have even been a hands-across-the-ocean operation.
Image: Francis Upritchard with some of the Venice Biennale works