When it was announced that Jeff Koons had received a $25million commission for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) it was hailed as the most expensive public art commission ever.  However, Bloomberg have reported today that the project has been postponed, if not cancelled altogether.

The piece which is set to feature a full scale 70 foot long 1944 Baldwin train locomotive suspended over the museum’s entrance from a 161 foot tall crane, which would start up three times a day (12 noon, 3pm and 6pm) moving its wheels, blowing its whistle and letting off steam.


Currently at the exploratory stage, thanks to a $2 million grant from the privately owned Annenberg Fundation, the LACMA needs to raise at least $23 million more to make the project happen.  Originally slated to launch in 2011/12 its now been pushed back to 2014/15 following the recession which has seen the value of the stock market tumble in the last 24 months forcing LACMA to rethink their budget priorities, the museum said. It could be cancelled altogether if the museum doesn’t come up with necessary funding.

“We wouldn’t do it unless someone funds it; someone has to write us a check,” said Barbara Pflaumer, LACMA’s associate VP for communications and marketing. “This is a very tough economy. Everyone has revised timetables.”

Koons is the latest, and possibly most high profile, artist to be hit by the recession with several large public projects being cancelled and contemporary artists seeing the value of their works falling significantly in the last couple of years it doesnt bode well for new and less well artists trying to establish a career in the industry.  This week in the UK the BBC broadcast a documentary which looks at this, entitled “The Great Contemporary Art Bubble Update” it examines if the current art market has peaked, and where it will take art moving forward.  Check out the trailer for it below, and if you are lucky enough to be able to access the BBC’s iPlayer you can view the entire show here.  You can also let us know what you think of the credit crunch’s effect on the current art scene by commenting below?

Source: The Art Collectors