Journal 2022 | In Exchange

Art in Change | Dr Felix Krämer | NFTs from Three Perspectives

Journal 2022 | Download PDF here

Dear Readers and Friends of Karl & Faber,

Panta rhei. Everything flows and nothing stays the same; there is only perpetual be­coming and change. Founded in 1923, Karl & Faber is now in its one hundredth year. We have stayed the same and become what we are through perpetual change in a world in constant flux. Our efforts to step up our digitalization, for example, were the subject of the last edition of the Journal. As we explained there, we are constantly introducing new forms of communication. Last autumn, therefore, our film format, ‘Karl & Faber in Ex­change, was joined by a new podcast with our Head of Contemporary Art, Dr. Julia Runde. You can read about the idea behind it on p. 58. We have also adapted and broad­ened the scope of our real-­time online auctions introduced in response to the Covid­-19 pandemic. Our Spring Prints Sale in April will therefore be both a live auction with a live audience and an online event (p. 72).

But it is not only Karl & Faber that is changing. The art market as a whole is also in constant flux. The big news here is a new commodity called Non­-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). These have been the talk of the town ever since the digital work Everyday by an artist called Beeple fetched a record price at an online auction last spring. Whether this is a case of the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ or a phenomenon that is here to stay is dis­cussed by the law professor Matthias Leistner, the art historian Annette Doms, and the entrepreneur Magnus Resch on pp. 48 ff. Museums, too, are having to change. Felix Krämer, Director General of the Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, for example, explains in a conver­sation with Rupert Keim why his museum is currently showing Baroque art alongside an exhibition of fashion photography curated by German supermodel Claudia Schiffer (pp. 40 ff.). The interaction of old masters and contemporary art is also an important aspect of the collections of Sophie Neuendorf and Katrin Henkel, whose answers to our ques­tions (pp. 60 ff.) reveal a lot about how they view art and collecting. Similarly persuaded of the necessity of change – in this case a change of heart – is Werner Murrer, whose piece about contemporary framing practices urges us all to move away from opulent gilded frames and towards the bare, frameless work envisaged by the original artist.

With so much in flux, it is good to have at least one constant and for us that is Karl & Faber’s mission, the Art of Collecting. You can read about the success we have had bringing our knowledge of the market and our art expertise to bear on the sale of whole collections on our clients’ behalf on pp. 10 and 66. So whether you are a collector, an art lover, or a newcomer to the market, please get in touch. We are here for you.

Journal 2022 | Download PDF here