Welcome back to NewsFile, our bi-weekly round-up of newsy tidbits and happenings from the world of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics. We’re launching this edition New York Times article highlighting the struggles of small galleries in the age of mega galleries and art fairs, a devastating fire at Brazil’s National Museum, and on a lighter note, the Loewe Foundation announced its 2018 Loewe Craft Prize winner.
Small Galleries Struggle in Age of Mega Galleries
Gallery closings are nothing new in the art world, but as the New York Times reports citing an Art Basel and UBS art market annual report, for the first time in 10 years, closings outnumber openings. But what’s causing this phenomenon? The Times points to one explanation being that collectors are time-poor and are opting for aggregate art fairs, which tend to be less intimidating, more social and convenient. And, they allow mega-galleries to take up prime showroom floor real estate outshining smaller galleries.
The Art Basel and UBS report estimated that more than $15 billion of sales were made at art fairs in 2017, representing about 46 percent of total dealer transactions. International collectors flock to destination events such as the three Art Basel fairs and the two (soon to be three) Friezes, where the booths of mega-galleries like Gagosian, Hauser & Wirth, Pace and David Zwirner occupy the prime positions.
You can read the rest of the New York Times article here.
Artifacts Lost in Brazil Museum Fire
The art world and a nation is mourning a huge loss of collection items destroyed during a fire at Brazil’s 200-year-old National Museum earlier this month, The Guardian writes.
As much as 90% of the collection at Brazil’s National Museum was destroyed in a devastating fire on Sunday and––compounding the disaster––the building was not insured.
It’s still unknown how much of the collection escaped the flames, but it’s estimated as much as 20-percent may have survived.
Comparing the devastation to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Times reports, many of the items are irreplaceable to science, as well as to the country’s national memory.
You can read more about the fire and collections lost here.
Loewe Craft Prize Winner Announced
Lee is known for utilising traditional techniques, but has developed her own method of colouring by mixing metallic oxides into clay. The hand-coiled vessel that scooped her the prize features planetary bands of these oxidised pigments, some coloured decades before creation – to capture ‘a sense of frozen time’.
The work of the 30 global finalists were displayed in an exhibition at London’s Design Museum as part of London Craft Week. Works on show include a Japanese straw wallhanging, Belgian folded ceramics glazed with red Ferrari paint, a shingled wooden screen from the United Kingdom and intricately engraved Singaporean paper.
Loewe also presented a series of ‘Craft Conversations’ with the museum, in an exploration of how today’s digital-focused world is affecting the concept of craft.
Submissions for the 2019 Loewe Craft Prize are open until October 31.
Read more here.
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