Connect with us

Business

Andy Warhol’s ‘Marilyn’ sells for $195 million, setting record for American art

Published

on

A woman takes a photo of Andy Warhol’s ‘Shot Sage Blue Marilyn’ during Christie’s 20th and 21st Century Art press preview at Christie’s New York on April 29, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Angela Weiss | Afp | Getty Images

Andy Warhol’s 1964 portrait of Marilyn Monroe sold for $195 million at Christie’s Monday night, becoming the most expensive work of American art ever sold.

The price suggests that the art market, at least at the very high end, is largely holding up to the pressures of falling stocks and rising interest rates. Christie’s and Sotheby’s plan to sell more than $2 billion worth of art in the next two weeks, and the historic price for the “Marilyn” could boost the confidence of wealthy buyers for other works.

While slightly below the $200 million estimate, and well below the $250 million to $300 million whisper prices many dealers had been hoping for, the sale is still seen as a vote of confidence for art as a long-term store of value amidst volatile market cycles. The buyer was not identified.

“This shows that quality and scarcity are always going to push the market forward,” Andrew Fabricant, the chief operating officer of Gagosian galleries and a top dealer to the wealthy, told CNBC before the sale. “It will give a bump psychologically to everyone’s thinking.”

The Marilyn, known as “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn,” was one of five versions in different color schemes that Warhol painted in 1964, two years after Marilyn Monroe’s death. With its bright colors and captivating expression, the portraits became some of Warhol’s most iconic and famous images. An orange version recently sold to hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin for over $200 million.

“It’s the Mount Everest of its era,” Fabricant said. “Everyone in the world when these paintings were made knew the story of Marilyn Monroe, the epic loss and the epic achievement. And Warhol himself was beginning to become an icon. So it’s two icons at their height.”

The portraits were based on a promotional photo of Monroe from the film “Niagara.” The portraits became even more famous when, shortly after they were completed, a woman walked into Warhol’s Factory studio with a gun and shot at a stack of four of them. The “sage blue” painting escaped damaged and the others were repaired. But the shooting added to their allure and became part of their titles.

The version sold Monday was owned by a Swiss art dealer family, the Ammanns, who have owned it since the early 1980s. The proceeds will go to charity. The Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation in Zurich said it will use the funds to support health and education programs for children worldwide.

Aside from breaking the record for the most expensive work of American art ever auctioned, it is the second-most expensive work of art ever sold at auction, behind Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” that sold at Christie’s in 2017 for $450 million and ahead of Picasso’s “Les Femmes d’Alger,” which sold for $179 million in 2015.

Unlike most hyper-priced works sold at auction, “Marilyn” was not sold with a guarantee, which is a minimum price at which a third party or the auction house agrees to purchase the work. Dealers say the sellers wanted to maximize the charitable proceeds, and guarantees typically require sellers to give up some of the price upside above the guaranteed amount.

“This was a once-in-a-generation chance,” Fabricant said. “Pieces like this just don’t come around that often.”

This Article was first live here.

Business

Howard Levitt: These are the HR sins that constantly come back to bite employers

Published

on

Many of these may seem superficially counterintuitive, but the consequences can be significant

Article content

Acting as I do for many of the largest companies in the land and many small and medium— and with a firm which acts against many others — I see human resources managers make the same mistakes, over and over. This week and in next Saturday’s column, I’ll look at some of the biggest repeated blunders, from overdocumentation to the inconsistent application of company policies. Many of these may seem superficially counterintuitive, but the consequences can be significant.

Advertisement 2

Article content

Overdocumentation

Years ago, the late, great relocation counsellor Murray Axmith and I went from Halifax to Vancouver twice a year teaching a course called “Rightful Dismissal in the ’90s.” I used to start my portion with, “What are the three most important things for HR managers to do: 1) Document; 2) Document; and 3) Document.”

I was wrong! I have seen and heard of too many employer cases lost over the years because of excessive documentation.

HR managers must remember that, in any piece of litigation, they are required by law to produce to the other side copies of all documents touching upon the matters at issue. So if an HR manager is studiously writing down the good, the bad and the ugly, they are as likely as not recording things which play into the other side’s theory of the case or be devastating to their own.

Advertisement 3

Article content

When recording anything which might relate to future litigation, keep one thing in mind: The other side will see it. In other words, what I have learned since those early seminars is that documentation will kill your case as often as make it, perhaps even more often.

Using standard form warnings

When employers want to terminate an employee for cause the next time she or he commits an infraction, they should say precisely that.

Don’t use the usual human resource verbiage of: “Further such incidents will lead to further discipline, up to and including dismissal.”

What that expression means legally (and in common English) is that the next time the employee does it, they might be dismissed or they might not be. It telegraphs to a judge or arbitrator that even the employer believes that the infraction is not sufficiently serious that its repetition necessarily justifies discharge.

Advertisement 4

Article content

Court cases have found that such language means that the next infraction must be at the very top level of the range of serious misconduct in order to warrant dismissal. But that is not what HR managers intend, most of the time, when they use that language. What they mean is “similar misconduct will result in your dismissal for cause.”

Just say that in your letter.

Accepting the word of their ‘favourites’

When an employee makes a serious complaint but it is denied by their supervisor or someone who has more credibility with HR, too many HR reps simply accept the superior’s word for what occurred or enter the investigation already biased. Although that may be, to some extent, psychologically unavoidable, you should never prejudge the outcome of an investigation because of your personal belief in a party’s relative credibility. Not only will that lead to terrible internal morale with allegations of favourtism, but it can give rise to potential legal action by the effected employee for negligence, constructive dismissal or worse. Walk into every investigation or fact-finding session with an open mind and investigate every, even moderately serious, allegation.

Advertisement 5

Article content

Refusing to discharge because of new allegations

Some employees, knowing that they are about to be dismissed, will file allegations of poor treatment (just as they will get doctor’s notes) hoping to bulletproof themselves from any discharge because the company fears being accused of retaliating.

Don’t fall for that. If an employee’s misconduct warrants their dismissal, proceed to do so. If they make allegations of poor conduct by a manager which would not affect the dismissal even if true, you can still conduct the investigation. If the employee has made a good point, you might still need to investigate the person accused and even discipline if warranted. But that does not let the employee off the hook for matters that would warrant dismissal even if the accusations were accurate.

Advertisement 6

Article content

Allowing poor performance or misconduct to linger

If an employer has cause, it must act on it. Not doing so constitutes condonation making it very difficult to terminate that employee later on for the same type of misconduct. At the very least, if they do not wish to terminate the employee at that time, they should provide a warning that the employee will be terminated if such misconduct ever recurs.

Failing to document your practices

If an employee claims that your practices are inconsistent or that they have been arbitrarily deprived of some benefit, it is helpful to have written records to demonstrate that your practice and policies establish a previous consistent practice.

Inconsistent application of policies

Nothing kills the right to enforce a policy like the company having not followed it itself or applying it inconsistently.

Part two of this column will appear in next Saturday’s Financial Post. 

Got a question about employment law? Write to Howard at levitt@levittllp.com.

Howard Levitt is senior partner of Levitt Sheikh, employment and labour lawyers with offices in Toronto and Hamilton. He practices employment law in eight provinces. He is the author of six books including the Law of Dismissal in Canada. 

Advertisement

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

This Article was first live here.

Continue Reading

Business

Welspun’s US arm bags a single order worth ₹5,000 cr

Published

on

Welspun Corp Ltd has received the highest-ever single order worth ₹5,000 crore for supply of pipes in the US.

The order is for supply of 325,000 tonnes of large diameter coated pipes for transporting natural gas from the Permian Basin to Houston. The order executed from the company’s Little Rock plant, and will be executed over 12 months, starting FY23 second half.

The US arm had received a similar order of 26,000 tonne last April from a long-standing customer in North America and another from Australia.

With this, the company’s order book (excluding Saudi) stands at 704,000 tonnes valued at about ₹10,500 crore.

Vipul Mathur, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Welspun Corp, said the single largest order comes out of the understanding of customer’s needs, quality orientation and execution track record coupled with modern technology and innovation.

The pan-global order book and successive wins in a highly competitive environment validate the company’s global leadership position in this segment, he added.

“We are confident that given the prevailing high energy prices and increasing demand scenario, further opportunities are likely to arise over the mid-to-long term in both the global and the US market. This will enable the company converting opportunities into business and profitable order book at Welspun Corp over the next few years,” it said.

The shares of the company gained nearly 17 per cent to close at ₹244.30 on Friday.

Published on

May 20, 2022

This Article was first live here.

Continue Reading

Business

Rupee vs Dollar Today: Latest news here

Published

on

The rupee inched 3 paise higher to close at 77.53 (provisional) against US dollar on Friday, supported by a rebound in domestic equities.

At the interbank forex market, the rupee opened at 77.51 against the greenback and moved in a range of 77.49 to 77.60 in the day’s trade.

The rupee finally ended at 77.53, higher by 3 paise over its previous close of 77.56.

According to Dilip Parmar, Research Analyst, HDFC Securities, the lack of dollar demand and rebound in domestic equities augur well for the rupee.

The dollar is about 2 percent off its recent high, seen last week, as risk-assets rebound after the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) announced a 15 bps cut in the 5-year Loan Prime Rate to support the economy.

The dollar index marked the first weekly decline after six weeks of upward movement, driven by position liquidation and preference for other currencies to emerge at a lower level.

On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex rebounded 1,534.16 points or 2.91 per cent to end at 54,326.39, while the broader NSE Nifty jumped 456.75 points or 2.89 per cent to 16,266.15.

The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.15 percent to 102.88.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Thursday as they offloaded shares worth Rs 4,899.92 crore, as per stock exchange data.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.10 percent to USD 112.15 per barrel. 

This Article was first live here.

Continue Reading

Trending