Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Richard Polsky really hates Marlene Dumas

Excerpts from (relatively) recent Richard Polsky Artnet articles mentioning Marlene Dumas -


"entering the realm of the absurd are two Marlene Dumas paintings, each estimated at $800,000-$1.2 million"


"Marlene Dumas -- This year's auction darling. Her outrageous prices for awkwardly painted (to the point of looking unfinished) figures continues to amaze veteran auction watchers. At over a million dollars for a "good" painting, surely collectors have options. Outlook for 2005: Status quo"


"whoever decides to bid on lot 55, the Marlene Dumas painting, in Sotheby’s evening sale on Nov. 9 should think long and hard. With an estimate of $600,000-$800,000, The Taboo (2000) represents a highly risky purchase. Not only is the canvas sloppily painted, which is unfortunately typical of the artist, but it raises an even greater question -- who is Marlene Dumas and why do her pictures routinely carry (and bring) six-figure prices?"

In this article Polsky calls David Hockney "one of our ten finest living painters". I'm really curious as to who he thinks the other nine are but he won't tell - my guess is that he would include Robert Ryman, Jules Olitski, Wayne Thiebaud, and Jasper Johns on his list.


Anonymous said...

He hates that she is a WOMAN!!!!
What an asshole.

We hear barely a murmur when male artists net millions. Just look at the recent Whiteread/Hirst comparason. Both won the big turner prize, both on paper essentially the same. Hirst, being male makes WAY more money.
following entry from "A blog called nowhere"

Greg Allen writes a depressing artical
in todays NYTimes decrying a gender bias in the art market
"Take two contemporary artists, Damien Hirst and Rachel Whiteread, who both came to prominence in the 1990's as so-called Y.B.A.'s: Young British Artists. Both have won the Tate museum's Turner Prize: Ms. Whiteread in 1993 and Mr. Hirst in 1995. And both have made their way into high-profile collections. Next week Christie's is offering an important early sculpture by Ms. Whiteread, a fiberglass and rubber cast of two mattresses from 1991, which has been on extended loan to the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin. Christie's suggests a value of $400,000 to $600,000. Meanwhile, Mr. Hirst's most famous early sculpture, a tiger shark suspended in a glass tank of formaldehyde, from 1992, sold in January for $13.3 million" ..."Whiteread has an extraordinary, esteemed museum exhibition and patronage history, but it's Hirst, which has little such institutional support, which does extremely well in the marketplace."
How do you change a situation like this? Marlane Dumas breaks records for highest price for living female artist with 3 million at auction while a wanker HACK like Hirst is pulling in over 13mil. Of course all of this affects us plebeians down at the bottom of the totem pole too...

Anonymous said...

There are a number of issues here but I agree with the remark about gender bias. Regardless of how enlightened people pretend to be the statistics support the claims.

Polsky is a tout or a stockpicker in the sense that he is suggesting he has knowledge of the dollar value of the artworks. His column on ArtNet is all about the business of buying and selling
artworks. It is interesting if one views this for what it is, raw commerce and just files the information away under "how the business of the artworld works" It has little or nothing top do with the art itself, he might like one work and hate another but it doesn't tell you anything useful.

I saw the recent Dumas show here in NYC, I liked the paintings. I was suprised and very impressed by her drawings. The knock on Dumas is generally focused on the thinness of her painted surfaces. The works I saw were thinly painted very directly. It's risky, but when they work they have a beautiful effortless quality.
Are they worth a million bucks? I don't know, what's a dollar worth to a billionaire? (hint, not much as inflation rises)

Anonymous said...

oh, jules olitski has died since i posted this two+ years ago...

Anonymous said...

Hey there.
I came across this post while I was researching Polsky... he is going to be my guest on the podcast this week.

I think I will ask him about this.


Anonymous said...

oh yes, and ask him about who the ten finest living painters are...

i have some other dumas posts... i think there is a label for her. jerry saltz really doesn't like her either.

i am very much looking forward to the big dumas show coming to nyc... what the various critical reactions will be.