Adam Lindemann

adam lindemann

One for the Flippers: Buy Now! Liquidate! I’d SellYouLater, but It’s Already Too Late


SellYouLater.com is the best art website to come along in some time. Since starting in early February, it has been rebranded as ArtRank.com, but the old name seems more appropriate. They rank artists as “buy” or “sell” based on a secret mathematical formula (don’t you love that!). They claim to use algorithms to identify “prime emerging artists based on qualitatively weighted metrics, including Web presence (verified social media accounts, inbound links), studio capacity and output, market maker contracts and acquisitions, major collector and museum support, gallery representation, and auction results.” Read More

adam lindemann

Barbarians at Sotheby’s Gate?: Activist Investor Daniel Loeb Is Shaking Up the Centuries-Old Auction House

Loeb. (Courtesy PMC)

Last week, Daniel Loeb’s activist hedge fund, Third Point Partners, which weighs in at a hefty $15 billion, increased to 9.3 percent its share in Sotheby’s (aka BID) stock. Another activist fund, Marcato Capital Management, owns about 6 percent of the auction house, and billionaire Nelson Peltz of Trian Fund Management owns another 3, putting about 19 percent of the company shares in “hostile” hands.

Right on cue, Mr. Loeb wrote one of his classic letters excoriating BID Chairman Bill Ruprecht for his extravagant perks and salary while demanding that he step down in favor of a new management team and a few Third Point appointed directors. Read More

adam lindemann

Art’s Celebrity Obsession: How Many Movie Stars Does It Take to Make a Basquiat Record?

West at Art Design Miami/Basel earlier this year. (The Image Gate/Getty Images)

What’s the hottest thing in the art world today? Forget the artists and the famous dealers. Today, it’s the celebrities.

The art world has officially joined the rest of the world in a maniacal obsession with celebrity culture. Sure, Warhol did it long ago with his 1960s “screen tests” of Warren Beatty and Dylan, and by hosting the likes of Mick Jagger, Jackie O, her son John John and sister Lee Radziwill in Montauk in the ’70s, then hanging with Halston and Liza Minelli throughout the ’80s. But these days, celebrities and art are hooking up in a whole new way. Read More

adam lindemann

Small Time: Revisiting Jeff Koons vs. Paul McCarthy

A work by McCarthy at Frieze New York 2013. (Getty Images)

Is bigger art always better art? Certainly in the age of Instagram, anything monumental is hard to discredit; people are easily impressed and love to obsess over questions like “How did it get here, how was it made and how much does it cost?” Somehow they forget the basic questions: “What is it and why is it?” Wouldn’t you have expected that after the financial crisis of ’08-’09, we would return to that classic art buyer’s rule of thumb: “If it doesn’t fit over the mantel, don’t buy it!” We’ve all felt the shift. The days when private museums were buying up sprawling installations by living artists seem to be behind us; a respected owner of a private Miami museum recently said to me, with a straight face, “If it doesn’t look like an auction lot, I won’t buy it.” The really big art is rarely in the art fairs, and meanwhile living-room-friendly pieces are being offered just about everywhere. Read More

adam lindemann

La Serenissima’s Circus of Art: Milla Jovovich in a Box Took the Tiramisù, but Manet Beat the Biennale

Milla Jovovich with her purchases, in 'Future/Perfect.'

The opening of the 55th Venice Biennale two weeks ago was the third leg of a month-and-a-half-long art marathon that started with the young and fun Frieze New York in early May, followed by Art Basel Hong Kong, which I’ve called “the fortune cookie art fair,” and continuing on through the four-day Art Basel, Switzerland’s well-established mega-art fair (the one that motivates most dealers to finally pull out their good stuff) and the London auctions at the end of June. Venice’s fabled and, this year, ill-timed Biennale welcomed jaded and jet-lagged dealers, collectors and curators with a week of cold and rain and spiffy water taxis that had tripled their regular rates. With a perky “ciao” and “prego,” taxi pilots ferried well-heeled passengers to swanky restaurants like Harry’s Bar for €90 plates of pasta. Read More

adam lindemann

Inside Out, Round and Round…: From Out-of-Whack Values to Artist Defections, This Art World Is Looking Topsy-Turvy

Bidding at Christie's New York. (Emmanuel Dunand/AGP/Getty Images)

Hey, do you feel like the art world is upside down? In her disco standard “Upside Down,” Diana Ross sings about how her boyfriend is unfaithful, but she looks the other way because “no one makes me feel like you do.” Unlike Diana, I’m not comfortable when things are upside down, and I never look the other way. New year, new beginning, time to think about what doesn’t make sense. Here are just a few of the sundry art-market realities that just don’t add up. Read More

art basel miami beach 2012

He’s Baaack! Adam Lindemann Visits Art Basel Miami Beach and Its Satellites


As in years past, my trepidations about Art Basel Miami Beach began days before my departure. This time it started in the waiting room of my uptown doctor’s office, when one patient called out to another: “Hey Freddie, when d-y’a get ta Miami?” Freddie replied, “Can’t make it till Thursday—we’ll rock.” I knew then that the art world had changed irrevocably—there would be no turning back. Read More

adam lindemann

Frieze Has the Art Fair Mastered: The British Brand Hits a Home Run With a New Event for Older Art

Frieze Masters, Regent's Park London. 
Photo by Linda Nylind. 09/10/2012.

Last week, London hosted three major art fairs and several smaller and younger ones, enough to make any sane person wonder: have we reached the point of art fair overkill? I’ve often thought—and written—that the art fair scene has gone overboard, and now I’m not alone. On his Facebook page New York magazine’s art critic Jerry Saltz recently lamented the explosion of art fairs and the new custom among hungry galleries to send out email blasts from them announcing how many works they’ve sold. “We’ve built a worm into the system,” Mr. Saltz wrote. “The system is self-supporting and draws its power from everyone.” The point is timely, because London’s annual Frieze art fair—the highlight of a week of art parties and hobnobbing in British style—has sprouted a second fair, Frieze Masters, for more “historical” artworks. I was there for the opening of Masters, and it forced me to change my tune. And so, in the words of the great Marcel Duchamp, I will now “force myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste.” Read More