July 1, 2011

For Sale: Imaginary Art - bidding starts at $160,000

One of the most sought after works at this year's Great Art Basel fair in Switzerland was "conceptual art" - art that either hasn't been created yet or never will be.  One such piece by American artist Lawrence Weiner was called "2 Metal Balls + 2 Metal Rings (Set Down in the Groove)."  It was nothing more than words painted on the ground that described Weiner's idea for a sculpture.  The lucky person to purchase his concept (starting price $160,000) receives a certificate allowing them to write the phrase in a room, or come up with their own sculpture. 

According to one collector of such art, "You may think more about a Weiner [text piece], over time, than about some canvas you've bought...An idea may not be material, but it's powerful."  The argument for wanting such pieces is that "it makes you wonder if it's even art - and therefore might be the art that's breaking new ground."

..Sound Duchamp-ian?  Zoolander-ish, even?  Read more in Blake Gopnik's Newsweek piece "Buying Art You Can't Take Home."

...Or don't read it, but pretend that you have read it, because the idea of reading it may be more powerful than actually reading it....

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