Thursday, March 17, 2011

Grantpirrie editions opening - 17 March

Grantpirrie cleverly hired out a space on Oxford street to launch their first suite of editions - all the better to waylay the punters en route home after work. It worked with me as I doubt I would've detoured via Redfern on a Thursday night with the prospect of rain. Editioning seems to be the flavour of the month over at Grantpirrie - even if the AFR reported today in the saleroom section that one Aussie collector decided to gift his vast collection of editions to the MCA and AGNSW so as to focus on 'unique pieces'. This suite has work from five of the Grantpirrie stable with plans of eventually rolling this program out to cover all their artists. Of the five I was interested to see what Ben Quilty and Michael Zavros had contributed (their website still blocked at the office so it was all first time seeing it when I got there). You can check the rest online (if you aren't blocked!).

Ben's edition of 22 (2 artist proofs included) runs at $3,500 for a set of 6 pretty smallish prints. Now it is not that I am against editions per se, as there are a few in the Big Lamington collection (mainly the Peter Norton christmas non-numbered gifts, more on them later, and a nifty Hirst, D) but this is a pretty pricey way to get on the Quilty train. I guess when his rorschach paintings go for $30k (well over my budget) then this might seem okay. Interesting to see how these sketches play out with the punters. Michael's edition of 55 (5 artist proofs included) was essentially a 45cm square silk scarf. I preferred it to the Quilty on looks alone but size was important (wall space being rare at big lamington HQ). Also let's not forget a budget friendly $400 which is a nice touch given the next most affordable was $1,900 - I mean these are editions right? Aren't they meant to be inexpensive? In this day and age I don't really think there is any real physical limitation in cranking out a few more so these are conscious pricing decisions.

Points: 3 to Zavros (pictured), 2 to Quilty and 1 to the folk at GP for coming up with the idea to do this, just make sure the Cardoso and Bawden are a little cheaper when their turns come!

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