Das ist einer der Tage, an die ich mich erinnere.
On the value of art or What remains and some historical trivia.
It is common knowledge amongst us art professionals: There are different categories of artists. Just to name a few: There are those well established artists of a distinguished quality. There are artists of a high quality, who are a lesser established. There are very good, very expensive artists. And there are very good, lesser expensive, yes almost reasonably priced and - would the word not be misleading - inexpensive artists.
Katherine Porter is one of the latter.
She has an impressive list of exhibitions. Born 1941 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Katherine Porter participated in the Whitney Biennale in 1973 and 1981. MOMA NY showed her works in the exhibition Recent Acquisitions in 1983. She had solo exhibitions in renowned galleries such as David McKee, Andre Emmerich, Sidney Janis and Salander O'Reilly.
The quality of her works is consistently high and impressive. Why doesn´t she belong to the first category of very famous, very expensive artists?
This is not a polemic and the contemporary situation will be recessed. But there are some historical examples to illustrate (and illuminate) this:
When Sir Richard Wallace agreed to buy Friedland, a painting by Ernest Meissonier, in 1872 for the ludicrous price of 200 000 Francs, the French State paid 207 500 Francs for a fresco by Raffael for the collection of the Musée du Louvre at the same time.
A few years later, in February 1884, a friend of Édouard Manet's bought the work Un bar aux Folies-Bergère at the artist's estate auction for 5850 Francs. While Meissonier is abandoned in the museum storages, Manet's work Un bar aux Folies-Bergère is now one of the centrepiece at the Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery, London.
In 1935, the Kunstmuseum Luzern hosted the epochal exhibition Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis. Almost all of the 95 works by 22 artists were for sale, 76 remained unsold despite the moderate prices. The six works by Picasso were between 4000 and 20 000 Swiss Francs, whereas a small painting by Mondrian was only 800 Francs. Everything unsold.
Katherine Porter's exhibition is a sales exhibition, with paintings and works on paper mostly from the 1970ies. It is her second exhibition at Galerie Hubert Winter. In the first exhibition, two exquisite paper works were sold.