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135 million for Klimt painting
ARTinvestment.RU   24 июня 2008

The Times columnist Yanushtsak Waldemar (Waldemar Januszczak) talks about the mysteries of pricing in the market of art

The reason for the discourse columnist The Times Yanushtsaka Waldemar (Waldemar Januszczak) on the causes of unusually high prices for works by Gustav Klimt exhibition was the «Gustav Klimt: Painting, Design and Modern Life in Vienna in early 1900-ies» , which will take office in the Liverpool Tate Gallery, until 31 August.

strong understanding of the prices of works of Gustav Klimt and their investment attractiveness in the market were totally destroyed during the summer of 2006, when it became known that perfumes and cosmetics magnate Ronald S. Lauder paid 135 million dollars for the «Golden Adele» ( Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer) Klimt. This private transaction was conducted with the mediation of the auction house Christie's, made the «Golden Adele» the most expensive painting in history. Even by the standards of the market of art, accustomed to huge amounts buying Lauder seemed madness. By then the exchange rate turns out that he had paid for the Klimt painting more than 70 million pounds. At this point, Klimt entered the «highest league», leaving behind even Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet, who is still the price leaders in the market of art.

The most striking fact that Klimt is an extremely ambiguous figure in the artistic terms. In the case of Picasso, Van Gogh and Monet (and now to add a Francis Bacon), you always know what is attractive to collectors of each of these artists, and why the prices of their products so good. This «first name», «Titans Modernism», which focused on the hundreds of books and exhibitions in the most prestigious museums of the world. The role they played in the history of art, it is difficult to overestimate. But 135 million for the work of Klimt? It was only a Viennese dandy, very popular for its time an artist, but not from those who create a school or a new direction in art. His work has made changes in the artistic process. Until, for his picture had not been paid a gigantic sum, Klimt was a beautiful, but in general, minor Viennese designer - an unexplored era fin de siecle. So why is his work became the most expensive in the history of trades?

Very actual exhibition, partly devoted to this subject, opened a branch in Liverpool Tate Gallery, where she became one of the projects the city in its attempt to become the «cultural capital in 2008». In numerous press releases stating that it would be «the first significant exhibition of Gustav Klimt in the UK». That is why the first, as it must be said - that the exhibition was the first comprehensive exhibition of the artist. And not because before that there were other (willing to believe that it was not) but because in its essence it is not a personal exhibition of Klimt.

In this case more appropriately to say that the exhibition presents major works by the artist and his work as a whole becomes the main theme of the exposition. The main but not only. The exhibition represents an early attempt to recreate the astonishing artistic situation in Vienna at the turn of XIX and XX centuries. During this period in the Austrian capital, while working several brilliant artist who was destined to become not only the founders of Al Nouveau, but also play a significant role in the history of design. At this interpretation of loyalty, rather than positioning it as монографической exhibition of Gustav Klimt, and its subtitle indicates - «Art, Design and Modern Life in Vienna in early 1900-ies».

Still, not that it was very important. Tate Gallery in Liverpool, you can only thank for the fact that his show, she has shown us that the artistic environment in which Klimt worked, and not just a compilation of his works, as might be expected. The pictures themselves do not explain. You can see why collectors are willing to pay fantastic sums for his work. You can assess how well he plays around the world, several stilizuya him, and he managed to captivate the audience. But whether it can be titanium, or is it just a pygmy, seen in the microscope?

After the show remains the impression that the latter assumption is correct. Chief talent Klimt revealed that he managed to become one of the landmark pieces of national symbolism, his works, a decorated stairs and plafonds best houses of Vienna have been designed to demonstrate the importance of Vienna as one of the artistic capitals of the early twentieth century. This artist is so well managed that in 1883 he was awarded the main prize imperial accessible Austrian artists - Golden Order of Merit (with crown), which he handed to the Emperor Franz Joseph I.

This is when the artist created a beautiful allegory to mawkishness naked goddess, walking in the garden of paradise with sleeping lions - so «classic», that this picture could easily be written not in 1883 but, for example, in 1530 one of the epigone Tizian.

This innate conservatism has always been characteristic of Klimt. First of all, for this reason he never became a true modernists. If we compare what did Toulouse-Lautrec and Gauguin, with a picture of Klimt Nuda Veritas ( «Naked Truth») - the image of naked girl in tow mirror in their hands, whose «piercing» view compels the viewer to assume that she has just hlebnula blood dragon - the latter seems outdated, but also stupid. The film is accompanied by an inscription made in gold on the frame, a quotation from Schiller: «If you can not please all of their actions and their art, then try like a small number of people, because like many bad» (If thou canst not please all men by thine actions and by thine art, then please the few; it is bad to please the many). Undoubtedly, this is the best advice at all times, but the use of outdated language in the quote, like the whole style images, a false Teutonic «medieval» seem to be redundant in order to convey a simple message.

Guided by some self motivation, Klimt has decided to break with the official art institutions and in 1897 became the first president of the Viennese Secession, a group of ambitious young artists and designers that are configured together to break with the past and lay the foundation for a new national art, the relevant European trends in the early twentieth century. Part of the exhibition devoted to this phase, it is most interesting, but the most outstanding works that detect the current pace, it does not belong to Klimt. Their author - Joseph Hoffman, a true inspirer of Secession. Perhaps it is and was to become the hero of the exhibition.

Hoffman, all knew how to: design a spectacular contemporary architecture (eg, a sanatorium in Purkersdorfe), invent a new system of functioning art gallery and rehash objective world (he was the inventor of many modern household items, including the cutting edge of the holder for a toilet paper). Instinctively felt the prospects of minimalism, Hoffman was far ahead of his time. Thus, at a reproduction of interior design cabinet Emily FLEG, which became the subject of a multi-year platonic love Gustav Klimt. This facility is as easy to style, as everything that can be purchased today at IKEA.

At the same time, at all times emphasized the centrality of Klimt and his involvement in dekoratorskim searches and new techniques, laid the foundation of modern design. In line with the curators, Gustav Klimt paintings should be seen as one of the pillars of the so-called Gesamt-kunstwerk (in Russian best friends, although not completely accurate analogue may be considered the notion of «synthesis of the arts»). Indeed, the combination and unity of style of architecture, painting and decorative arts and has become a hallmark of the Viennese Secession, but this does not mean that the art of Klimt equally involved in the revolutionary achievements of the Austrian design of the period. On the contrary, his art has always been aesthetically removed from the mainstream of the Viennese Secession and farther left in the area of erotic fantasies.

Most likely, it is this propensity to erotica, and at the same time, the ability to give a masterly decorative elegance of the most disturbing and obscene pozam in which he depicted his model and makes the artist so popular nowadays. However, Klimt was a very in demand and in the life: he is often given orders for portraits of beautiful wives and lovers tycoons of Jewish origin. Perhaps the mixture of eroticism, psychology and new money and is the most accurate reflection of the atmosphere of Vienna the turn of the century.

You can, however, whether the painter Klimt, infiltrated into the overall quality of human nature, which have been van Gogh or Bacon? Did it turn over our culture with the force like Vesuvius eruption, as did Picasso? No, not Gustav Klimt was an artist of this type. And only an era, for which no apparent notion of «celebrity» and «genius», which confuses the «good» and «grandeur», so obvious to mix and to overestimate the merits and achievements of Klimt ...

Sources: www.timesonline . ,

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