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Painting is Still A Strong Medium in the Art Market

Wednesday 03rd November 2010

There is always debate about the relevancy of different artistic mediums or modes of creation. A good example would be the Tate recently running a debate on Facebook, in relation to the Rachel Whiteread exhibition at Tate Britain, about how relevant drawing still is to the artist and how highly we value that as a skill. It's an interesting subject to look at, especially with contemporary art where we are used to seeing the weird and wonderful. If an artist that works in conceptual art, or sculpture or performance; do we think of them less if they are unable to draw to a high standard?Or can we accept their own individual contribution to the art world, without a need to verify their drawing talents?
 
The same discussion comes up about painting and how relevant it is to be a painter in today's art world. With types of media and modes of production being more various than ever before, should an artist have to rely on a key skill such as painting, or is it unnecessary? Video art, performance and installation are certainly more commonplace in museums and galleries than they have ever been, but does that mean that there is less room for paintings?
 
I think the recent sales reports from the auction houses say otherwise. There is a huge scope for paintings in the hearts of art lovers and collectors all around the world. This week alone Sotheby's managed to set a new auction record for painter, Amedeo Modiglioni, whose Nu Assis Sur un Divan (La Belle Romaine) sold for a massive $68,962,500. It's reported that 5 bidders pushed the paintings price to over $40 million more than had been expected. If that doesn't stand as a vote for painterly efforts everywhere, I don't know what does. 
 
Whether it be painting or drawing, there is plenty of space in the art market for these more traditional modes of artistic practice, with a fair number of bidders willing to put up vast amounts of cash to get their hands on a piece of the action. 
 
As for the question of whether we think an artist should be able to draw in order to considered a true artist, or whether we have moved to a new period of artistic creation where drawing is a limited means of expression, view the discussion on Facebook, and have your say.
 

Posted on November 03rd 2010 on 10:25pm

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