It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane…
It’s Another Art Fair!

Think Armory Week is overload? Frieze in May will be yet another gathering place for the global elite.

By Barbara Guggenheim

Brace yourself. Here comes another art fair! This time it’s Frieze. In London’s Regents Park every October for the past nine years, Frieze has gathered nearly 200 galleries that strive to present their most attention-grabbing artists, like Tue Greenfort, whose 2009 entry, Condensation, consisted of viewers’ breath collected in plastic bottles.

O.K., it’s been fun, but why is Frieze coming to New York? Do they think we can’t wait until next October? Or are they looking to grab the captive audience that converges the first week in May for the big contemporary art sales at Sotheby’s and Christie’s? That could expand their franchise as well as their net worth. Since the evening sales are filled with stratospherically priced works most of us can’t afford and the day sale stuff is often a little tired, Frieze, which comes just before those sales, may offer the perfect solution. You can take home something fresh, edgy and modestly priced, rather than leaving New York empty-handed.

Art fairs are mushrooming like film festivals. Remember when there was only Cannes? Now every town has its festival—including Malibu and East Hampton.

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Exit the Deciders: What Will the Recent Disbanding of Authentication Committees Mean for the Art World?

Red-letter day for forgers … or no big deal?

By Barbara Guggenheim

The Warhol Authentication Board is disbanding. So is the Basquiat Authentication Committee.

And there are whisperings that others are not far behind.

You needn’t be a rocket scientist to understand why. The work is interesting and the members enjoy tremendous perks, but the fun is gone. The cost of fighting lawsuits from owners of rejected paintings is sapping funds better spent elsewhere. The Warhol board, for example, spent up to $7 million to out-lawyer the collector Joe Simon, who ran out of funds and had to fold his tent and go home.

But it’s not just about the money. There’s also the criticism and notoriety that comes with the litigation. Think how embarrassed those members of the Dedalus Foundation were who informally accepted a Motherwell with provenance including a Kuwaiti princess, only to have to recant a year later when they determined that the work, among others, was inauthentic only after a year of intense research.

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Estrogen In The Air: A firsthand account of the Women’s Conference

Editor’s Note: Barbara Guggenheim is a partner in Guggenheim, Asher, Associates, one of America’s best known art consultant firms. She’s built collections for Coca-Cola and Sony, Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg, among many others. She holds a doctorate in Art History, has taught on the college level, lectured at the Whitney Museum and worked at Sotheby’s and Christie’s. Barbara has been profiled for Vanity Fair and interviewed on ”Larry King Live.” Her recent book is The Ultimate Organizer: Be Your Own Personal Assistant, written with Nadine Schiff.

I went to the California Women’s Conference for one reason – to test the waters by selling advance copies of a book I have coming out in January. My co-author and I thought it was a great venue for soliciting responses. We sold all the copies we brought, which was thrilling. Yet, I came away with a lot more.

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