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Keep Houston Press Free
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One Upside Of A Bad Economy: Cheap Art

Hair Balls got a notice for a "corporate de-acquisitions sale" at Nau-haus Art Space. Basically, a corporation was kind of "renting to own" its art collection and decided not to bother with the ownership part, and now it's available at a discount.

As the notice explains, "Works included in this group are offered for sale at an amount equal to their value less the amount already paid out by the client's lease agreement over the past 5 years. In some cases allowances have been made also for damages to the frames caused by installation and removal as well as discoloration due to constant exposure to florescent lighting."

The official sale was last weekend, but there's still some works left and they're being offered at around 60 percent off.

Nau-Haus's Dan Allison tells Hair Balls this weekend the gallery did a "pretty brisk little business" on the work, which is by artists including Terry Elkins, Casey Williams, Carol Summers and Allison himself and features everything from mixed-media to oil paintings to conceptual pieces to printmaking. About half of it is still available.

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Allison says he does these sales from time to time when a corporation is sold or is "moving on in one way or another and there's all this art." In this case, he says, "It was a leased purchase, and if they wanted to keep it they could have...They're not collectors, they're not holding it for the value of the work."     

He declined to say where the art had been hanging but did say that it's possible the de-acquisitions are the result of the failing economy.

-- Cathy Matusow 

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