STA, 7 November - A list of Slovenia's top hundred living visual artists has been released by the agency Artindex in a bid to restore trust in the Slovenian art market. Now listed in alphabetical order, the artists will be ranked in a list to be published in June next year.
The first such list has been compiled with the help of 63 Slovenian experts on visual arts, including curators, critics, appraisers, directors of public and private galleries and museums and award-winning artists.
Each of them submitted a selection of 15 best Slovenian living artists. Adding up their votes, Artindex then published the artists in alphabetical order.
The list includes artists of different ages and fields of visual arts, from Nika Autor, Arjan Pregel, Maja Smrekar, the arts collective Irwin and Jasmina Cibic to Marjetica Potrč, Silvester Plotajs Sicoe, Dragan Živadinov, Jože Muhovič to Jakov Brdar and Emerik Bernard.
The final index will be released once data have been collected on the sale of the artists' works. The sum of the works sold will represent a third of the score, while the rest will be based on assessment by experts.
Artindex provides overviews, comparisons and analysis of sales prices of Slovenian visual artists. In cooperation with Artstar, an art certifying and appraising agency, it has set out to tackle anomalies in the Slovenian art market and to make it internationally comparable by 2025.
Damjan Kosec, director of the two agencies and the SLOART gallery and auction house, says art collectors and investors have lost trust in the market as weak legislation has in recent years led to the development of micro markets, which follow various price and sales polices.
The two agencies point to issues such as spread of shadow economy, a lack of transparency in sales prices, tax evasion, high taxes, different prices for comparable works by the same artist or different prices for the same artist at home and abroad, forgeries for forged paperwork.
The flaws make it impossible to track sale of cultural heritage abroad, they say, listing several other problems, including negligence and lack of expertise in appraisals, an absence of national strategy, a poor education system and weak international cooperation.
They would like the state to deal with the legislation and step up oversight to make the art market more transparent. They see the index they have compiled as a step in that direction.