The internet has spawned a plethora of websites dedicated to wooing contemporary art buyers. Some, however, can feel a little overwhelming, offering visual clamour akin to loud music. A calm new addition – and one of the more pleasurable to visit – is Artuner, whose innovative approach to selling gallery-quality works focuses on expertly curated online exhibitions by established and emerging artists. These thematic shows run for a limited period, following which any unsold artworks may still be purchased but at a less favourable price and only offline.
Founded by prolific collector Eugenio Re Rebaudengo, who is a director of his family’s Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo and also a member of the Tate Young Patrons’ ambassador committee and Whitechapel First Futures committee, the site also offers essays and advice ranging from art-market analysis or the care of fine-art photography to interviews with art-world insiders.
Artuner kicks off this week with a solo show (until Tuesday December 31) of vintage and modern prints by the late Italian photographer Luigi Ghirri, who is generally credited with pioneering a new era of photography in which colour printing was established as an accepted artistic practice. Renewed interest in Ghirri has been piqued by displays of his work in the 2011 and 2013 Venice Biennales and a retrospective currently showing at Rome’s Fondazione Maxxi (until Sunday October 27), while his photographs are held in permanent collections at New York’s MoMA, Fonds National d’Art Contemporain in Paris and Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum.
Curated by photography expert Filippo Maggia, the rare vintage photographs Artuner is displaying are among the largest Ghirri produced. They include Comacchio, Argine Agosta (1989; first picture, £17,000), a stunningly atmospheric image of flooded fields inhabited by a single dwelling. Further sensory meditations on the Italian landscape include the painterly Cadecoppi Dalla Strada Per Finale Emilia (1986; second picture, £16,000) and Suzzara (1987; third picture, £16,000), a mysterious, snowy, woodland scene. In Brescello Capanna Di Pesca (1989; fourth picture, £14,000) Ghirri uses the inside of a fisherman’s hut to frame a beckoning woodland, while the intimate interior of Legnago, Museo Fioroni (1989; fifth picture, £13,000) is reminiscent of Manet and other impressionist artists.
It’s easy to engage with the works on sale, which are clearly displayed along with their provenance and exhibition history. And, with a rolling programme of curated shows coming up, this is certainly a site to revisit regularly.