On The Block: Artflash Launching In LA On December 1st


Scenario: An arts organization (ie. a gallery, music ensemble or an arts residency) asks an artist or photographer to contribute a print or multiple edition to be sold as a fundraiser. The organization covers the cost of production and distribution, but sometimes the entire edition does not sell out. Enter Artflash, the online art auction house founded in 2012 in Berlin is carving a niche for itself in this untapped market. Launching its US website on December 1 and now based in Los Angeles, Artflash mines the unsold inventory of arts organizations, providing fresh and often unknown works to collecorts, and frees up assets locked in an organization’s unsold works. Below, an earlier Artflash offering, Joseph Beuys in Dusseldorf, 1970 by Robert Lebeck.

Founder Katharina Bauckhage says it best: “The idea for Artflash began when I stumbled upon a limited edition lithograph in Bremen,” explains Bauckhage. “I was surprised to see the edition was still available five years after its original release. While the hundreds of not-for-profit art-clubs in Germany and other art institutions around the world give young artists a great platform to show their work, those institutions are usually not equipped to sell their complete inventory. I started searching systematically for astonishing works from today’s most sought after artists sitting in their archives.”  A previous Artflash offering (below) by James Turrell, Sooner Than Later, Roden Crater.

How It Works: Subscribe to Artflash and every other Friday you’ll get an email alert with two new works of art to bid on. Past offerings have included works by emerging artists as well as art world stars like Richard Prince, Jenny Holzer, John Baldessari, Sigmar Polke and Louise Bourgeois, plus Artflash will soon begin collaborating with artists to produce their own editions in-house.

Starting December 1, the first offerings on the new website will be Raymond Pettibon’s etching One More Line from 2005 (at top) and Michelle Jezierski’s ditone print Destellar from 2011-15 (above and below).

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