Sunday, Feb. 24, 2 p.m., $7
North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh
Last month, The New York Times published a juicy tell-all detailing the divorce of art-world moguls David and Libbie Mugrabi, known for their extensive collection of Warhols and their complicated offshore-asset structure. Their highly public divorce threw the spotlight on the financial scaffolding of the art world, which often functions as a woolly Wild West peppered with tax breaks. (Once, I went on a date with a guy who leaned close to tell me that he got a great deal on rent; the only catch was that he had to buy a $700 painting from his landlord every month.)
With such mysterious trades going down—some high-profile, some less so—what really determines the value of the beautiful and meaningful? Enter, in Nathaniel Kahn’s documentary The Price of Everything, nonagenarian collector Stefan Edlis, who delivers the titular line at the heart of the film, “There’s a lot of people who know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”
Released last October, the documentary holds a close lens to the obsessive contemporary art market, a world populated by curators, collectors, dealers, and even artists. Kahn has previously taken an interest in the relationship between insiders and outsiders: His 2003 documentary, My Architect, was a posthumous tribute to his father, Louis Kahn, an architectural luminary who fell on hard times.
The Price of Everything is also an intimate catalog of conversations about creativity and the mercurial essence of value, with interviews subjects ranging from Jerry Saltz to abstractionist and art-world recluse Larry Poons, who offers many of the most delightful zingers from his snowy upstate cabin. This screening at The North Carolina Museum of Art features a discussion with NCMA director Valerie Hillings and area college students.