Monday, September 21, 2015

Fine Art Multiple

Last year the Swiss-based FineArtMultiple site asked me to contribute a monthly column on the subject of artists' multiples. The site is now active, and my first text is about how a newspaper strike helped introduce the idea of artists' editions to New York City:

"The European origins of the published artist multiple are typically traced back to Daniel Spoerri's Edition MAT from 1959, a mail-order business offering artworks by Arman, Christo, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Dieter Roth, Jean Tinguely, and others. The works were produced in an edition of 100 each and sold at a uniform price, regardless of the stature of the particular artist.

In North America, it was the result of a newspaper strike. The natural pairing of Pop artists and retail commerce had begun a year prior. In December 1961, Claes Oldenburg opened 'The Store' in the Lower East Side, with an inventory list of 107 items, ranging in price from $21.79 to $399.98. Andy Warhol soon after produced his first silk-screens and began signing soup cans. But it took an extended hiatus from newspaper publication to kickstart artists multiples as a viable business model."

Read the full article, here.

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