Monday, May 08, 2006

MCA Gets Gursky Photo the Hard Way

Andreas Gursky • Avenue of the Americas • 2001

The famed photography collection of the now defunct Refco Inc. is being auctioned off in pieces. One piece on the block was Andreas Gursky’s Avenue of the Americas (2001). The piece had been acquired by Refco in 2002 from Matthew Marks Gallery for a low low price due to an institutional discount. The deal had been that the Museum of Contemporary Art here in Chicago would immediately get a 10% stake in the piece with the promise of getting the whole thing by 2008. When Refco went belly up, this whole plan was thrown up in the air. Reports on the Refco auctions listed the piece going for $374,400. We contacted the MCA today and learned that the museum was indeed able to win the piece. According to a Tribune article we were also directed to, the MCA is believed to have paid around $340,00 for the mammoth photographic work it was once supposed to have acquired as a gift.

Commenting on the Friday night sale, Pritzker Director Robert Fitzpatrick, said that the Gursky "is an iconic work that is now back where it belongs, in the MCA collection, where it can be shared with the public." Avenue of the Americas joins another important work by the German artist in the collection, Chicago Board of Trade II (1999).

• artnet's info on Avenue of the Americas HERE

Art or Idiocy?s original post on the story from February 1st HERE

Thank you to the MCA's Karla Loring

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