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Art & Licensing News

  • Two Museum Exhibits, Refracting a Divide
    Posted by SOPAN DEB on January 22, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    Visitors respond in varying ways to exhibits at the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Portrait Gallery. […]

  • Tilt Kids Festival Returns With 8 Premieres
    Posted by JOSHUA BARONE on January 22, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    This event, a collaboration between the French Institute Alliance Française and Cultural Services, will run from March 4 through April 16. […]

  • Lanzarote Journal: Undersea Museum Keeps Fish Feeding and Its Social Commentary Biting
    Posted by RAPHAEL MINDER on January 22, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    An installation of 300 statues off a Spanish island forms an artificial reef and addresses issues like Europe’s migration crisis, and the destruction of ocean reefs. […]

  • New York – Keith Sonnier: “Ebo River and Early Works” at Pace Gallery Through January 21st, 2017
    Posted by Sam on January 22, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Keith Sonnier, Chila (2016), via Art Observed Continuing his work with Pace Gallery, Keith Sonnier has brought a series of both new and historical works to the gallery’s uptown exhibition space.  His fourth solo show with Pace, Ebo River and Early Works features a range of works pieces by the artist, tracing his continued use of […]

  • New York – “Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016″ at the Whitney Museum Through February 5th, 2017
    Posted by Sam on January 22, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Stan VanDerBeek, Movie Mural (1968), via Art Observed If there’s one distinct argument coming out of the Whitney’s expansive exhibition Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, it’s a reinforcement of the expression “the story’s in the telling.”  Drawing on a wide range of artists and collectives practicing in the late 20th Century and early 21st, the exhibition takes […]

  • London – Ken Price: “A Survey of Sculptures and Drawings, 1959 – 2006″ at Hauser & Wirth Through February 4th, 2017
    Posted by Sam on January 21, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Ken Price, McLean (2004), all photos via Hauser & Wirth Spanning the range of Ken Price’s career and formal interests in equal measure, Hauser & Wirth London is currently dedicating an expansive show to the American artist, from his early work in California on through a series of cups, vases and abstracted forms that underscore his relentless formal invention.  Shown in […]

  • Outsider Art 2017: A Top 10
    Posted by ROBERTA SMITH on January 21, 2017 at 1:02 am

    Roberta Smith picks her standouts from this year’s Outsider Art Fair, sticking with old favorites, but also including new discoveries. […]

  • Good News for Indie Card Artists: New Sales Trends
    Posted by noreply@blogger.com (Kate Harper) on January 21, 2017 at 12:08 am

    If you publish your own cards, or design handmade cards, there are some positive trends leaning your way.Since most sales statistics for the card industry are based on figures from large or publicly traded corporations, it is hard to know what is going on in the independent card market.To find out what is happening in the alternative card industry, I interviewed six independently owned gift and card stores in Berkeley.  I talked to ten different people and asked them what trends they are seeing in card sales. Some of the best news was that there is an increase in sales of handmade and hand-embellished cards.Here are the notes from my interviews:SALES TRENDS Here are what the stores reported on sales trends:All stores reported an increase in greeting card sales over the last two years.  When I asked them to respond to negative news articles I'd read on the greeting card industry, they felt those statistics did not apply to their store.   The gift oriented stores reported that cards are a popular item in their store and customers often look at the racks.Most stores are selling more artistic, handmade and local artist's cards. One store manager who had a significant increase in card sales this year attributed it to "people want to touch paper again."  One stationery store reported that it was common for a customer to come to the register with $35-$40 worth of greeting cards. He said that customers will buy a lot of cards because they like a particular art style or theme (and not necessarily because they need greeting cards). One upscale greeting card store is expanding to two local branches.  All the stores said they felt they served a completely different market than chain stores that carry greeting cards.  One store reported "People who buy cards in our store take time to evaluate them.  People who are just running errands or need to buy a card out of an obligation tend to buy cards in drugstore chains."CUSTOMER TRENDSHere are what the stores reported on customer trends:Buyers are now willing to spend $5 per card. Younger "hipster" buyers are coming into the market. Two stores reported that customers will buy cards to keep and frame for inspiration.  One store reported that their customers often ask for help when selecting a card. Some stores reported that customers ask about "the story" behind the card publisher or the artist.  One store clerk said she received special training on learning about the artists, and the different paper qualities of cards. CARD DESIGN TRENDSHere are what the stores reported on card design trends: More cards are now being packaged and protected in individual cellophane bags because they are handmade or have embellishments added. Almost every store strongly emphasized that their customers buy cards for the interesting imagery, and not for text. Text is not as important as it might have been in the past.   One store said trends are moving towards "thought-provoking" imagery.  These are images that make the customer ask "what is this about?"   Here are some examples of images the stores pointed out as being good sellers:A moose riding a bicycle.Mute-colored, over-sized serious clown with a tiny head.A loosely drawn ballerina with glitter sprinkled on it.A geometric-shaped man that only covered a small edge of the card.Green letter press card with a man's exterior head and internal ribs. *Note: None of these cards had words on them. Two stores reported that they make a point of encouraging customers to come up with their own text for the inside.  One store specifically advises customers to search on google if they get stuck.  These stores seem to prefer blank cards.  ADVICE FOR ARTISTSI asked stores what they suggest artists do if they want to succeed in the card business today.  Here are their responses:Pay special attention to your image. It is more important today than it used to be. Witty text isn't as necessary as it used to be. For example, leaving it blank or just saying "happy birthday" can be good enough. Designers should create more cards that can be bought any day of the year (and not limit them to an occasion).  Artists should try to make cards that are curious and unpredictable. If an artist is just starting out, they should focus on creating Birthday, Thank You, Valentine's day and blank cards (no words).   One store said that artists should be very careful about over-investing financially.  She said some of her favorite designers did not display at a recent gift show* and she later found out they had quit the business because they couldn't afford it.*Kate's note: Some gift show fees can range from $5,000-$8000.CONCLUSIONWhile my informal survey was limited to Northern California, the responses are also consistent with the IBIS World Procurement Report on the state of the greeting card industry.  This report stated that overall corporate card sales were down, but that "Areas of growth are likely small geographic areas and niches in the market."  If you are an independent designer or handmade artist, what is your experience?Sign up for monthly free coloring pages: http://kateharperblog.blogspot.com/2016/01/coloring-books-do-you-like-to-color.htm […]

  • Artists Reckon With Trump’s Inauguration
    Posted by MICHAEL PAULSON and ANDREW R. CHOW on January 20, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    Cultural counterprogramming. An artists’ strike. A museum’s celebration. Dispatches from coast to coast. […]

  • Ars Longa, Except When MoMA Throws It Out
    Posted by RANDY KENNEDY on January 20, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    The artist Pat Lasch thought that her 1979 cake sculpture was part of the museum’s collection. The museum says otherwise. […]

  • Sotheby’s Leads London Sale with Richter Iceberg Painting
    Posted by Sam on January 20, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Sotheby’s will lead its London Contemporary sale with a photorealist work by Gerhard Richter, Eisberg, estimated at £8-£12 million.  The work comes from a period shortly after the artist’s divorce from his first wife Emma, and reflects his mindset during this dark period.“What Richter saw reflected in the painting… was his own state of mind…the photographs he took in Greenland […]

  • Auctionata Paddle8 Files for Insolvency
    Posted by Sam on January 20, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    Auctionata Paddle8 has filed for insolvency, with Paddle8 reportedly finding a buyer for its company in New York.  “Auctionata and Paddle8 have redefined the online auction market for art and luxury goods,” says Thomas Hesse, CEO of the joined company. “This procedure will enable both brands and companies to maximize their potential.”  Read more at Art […]

  • Ruba Katrib Joins Frieze London as Curatorial Advisor
    Posted by Sam on January 20, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    Ruba Katrib, curator of SculptureCenter, will join Frieze London as a curatorial advisor this year, working on the fair’s “Focus” section.  “I tend to begin my journey through Frieze London in the Focus section,” she said. “I’m eager to see who’s there and what they’ve brought, knowing that the galleries in Focus can be counted on to bring […]

  • Trump Administration Pushing to Cut Funding to NEA
    Posted by Sam on January 20, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    The Trump administration has announced plans to cut the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, part of its plan to decrease government spending.  “The Trump Administration needs to reform and cut spending dramatically, and targeting waste like the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would […]

  • New York — Philip Guston: “Laughter in the Dark” at Hauser & Wirth Through January 28th, 2017
    Posted by O. Yerebakan on January 20, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Philip Guston, Alone (1971), all images via Osman Can Yerebakan for Art Observed On view at Hauser & Wirth’s temporary 22nd street location, Laughter in the Dark compiles one hundred and eighty pieces created by artist Philip Guston between 1971 and 1975.  Working feverishly at his Woodstock studio in response to the highly contentious, corruption-filled presidency of Richard Nixon, […]