Affairs of the Art

Affairs of the Art

Love, Loss and Power in the Art World

eBook - 2013
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A study of the role and responsibilities entrusted to those who tend to an artist's reputation after he or she dies, this work traverses the strange world of art where power resides with those who hold the best stock, and highlights the heart wrenching ways emotion and duty can intersect in the making of decisions by those left behind. Through interviews with those handling the estates of various artists--including Fred Williams, Brett Whiteley, John Brack, Howard Arkley, Bronwyn Oliver, George Baldessin and Albert Tucker--as well as a raft of art dealers, academics, curators, and auctioneers, Affairs of the Art shows how the reputation and legacy of artists are curious things and often influenced by factors beyond the quality of work.
Publisher: North Sydney : Melbourne University Publishing, 2013
ISBN: 9780522864083
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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Nov 21, 2016

Strickland has written such an interesting book about the art market in Australia. Her focus is on the artist's widows. It is the generation of post war artists such as Fred Williams, John Brack, Brett Whiteey, Arthur Boyd, who she uses to illustrate her points. She is exploring the thesis that the reputation and prices of individual artists can be heavily influenced by the way in which the widows control the Estate of the deceased artist.

More than the basic thesis of control is the role of the artist's wife (even if this is in fact a husband, so I guess we should say partner). Being a gate keeper to allow space and quite for the artist to work in his/her life, makes the wife unpopular, a 'spoilt sport'. Being a wife usually meant running the business side of the art. Being a wife meant dealing with the often difficult business of the Estate.

This book gives an insight into a part of the art world that is less glamorous than an outsider would believe. It is a fascinating glimpse into the world of the artist, the market place for art, and most of all tells us a lot about how the secondary art market works. A good read.

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