Christie’s

Art World Prepares for a Challenging Year

“Art World Prepares for a Challenging Year”

by Scott Reyburn via “New York Times

So now it’s official: The latest art market boom has peaked, according to figures from Christie’s and Sotheby’s, the two biggest international auction houses.

In late January, the companies released their 2015 results, with each reporting a slight decrease in year-over-year sales. It was the first year since 2010 that both failed to show an increase.

Christie’s, a private company based in London, reported auctions and private sales of 4.8 billion pounds, or about $6.8 billion in 2015, a decline of about 5 percent from 2014. Equivalent sales at Sotheby’s, which is publicly traded and based in New York, were $6.6 billion, about 1 percent less than in 2014.

Those figures do not represent a burst bubble, or even a serious correction, but they do suggest that 2016 is going to be a challenging year for the art market, reflecting the volatility and uncertainty of the wider world.

“The froth has been skimmed off,” said Paul Ress, the chief executive of Right Capital, which provides loans secured by art to dealers and collectors. Mr. Ress said that the collapse in the price of oil has taken “a huge amount of cash” out of the art market.

Photo

Peter Doig’s 1991 canvas ‘‘The The Architect’s Home in the Ravine.’’ CreditPeter Doig. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2015

“There aren’t so many Russians and Brazilians involved now, and the Chinese slowdown has had a knock-on effect on the raw materials and equity markets,” he said. “The potential buyers in the art world won’t be feeling as rich as they did last year.”

An examination of Christie’s results reveals key shifts in the market in 2015. Bolstered by huge one-off prices in New York for trophy works by artists like Picasso and Modigliani , auction sales of Impressionist and modern art were up 57 percent to £1.3 billion, while those of postwar and contemporary art — the main driver of growth from 2009 to 2014 — were down 14 percent to £1.5 billion. Year-over-year sales of old master paintings and 19th-century and Russian art shrank 37 percent to £154.9 million. . . . .

READ MORE

Advertisements

Art auction records shattered in London

“Art auction records shattered in London”

by Motez Bishara via “AlJazeera

It took a breathtaking span of 26 hours in London for more records to fall in the thriving global art market.

Works by Gerhard Richter, Lucio Fontana, and Cy Twombly were among those that set the pace at the post-war and contemporary art sales hosted by Christie’s and Sotheby’s.

The highest priced lot took place on Tuesday when Richter’sAbstraktes Bild surprised the packed auction room on Bond Street with aggressive phone bids coming in at 2 million British pound increments ($3.1m).

The final sale price of 30.4 million pounds ($46.8m) established a new auction record by a living European artist.

The anonymous bidder, reported to be an American, was represented by Sotheby’s

worldwide co-head of contemporary art,

Cheyenne Westphal.

“I think I can genuinely say it went to someone who truly wanted this painting, and he was set on buying it tonight,” Westphal said, noting Richter also happened to be her favourite artist.

A sister painting of the large abstract work was sold by

Eric Clapton in 2012 for a then-record of 21 million pounds ($32m).

The artwork, which measures 3 x 2.5 metres draped with jagged lines of reds and greens, was last sold on auction at Sotheby’s in 1999 for $607,500, generating a return of 32.4 percent annually.

“Richter is not hot all of a sudden, he has always been sought after,” said Arianne Levene Piper,

founder of the New Art World consultancy

.

“There are plenty of ultra-high net worth collectors who are willing to pay for top works.

This explains why a great painting by a great artist will sell for high prices at auction.”

Works by another European artist, Francis Bacon, failed to make headlines this auction season, despite drumming up a buzz prior to the sales.

READ MORE

“How Christie’s Is Winning the Art Auction Wars”

“How Christie’s Is Winning the Art Auction Wars”

by Diane Brady via BloombergBusinessWeek

Untitled, by Martin Kippenberger, sold for $18.6 million, the highest bid at Christie’s May 12 auction

“Christie’s, the 248-year-old auction house, is taking off its suit and putting on some ripped jeans. To promote its May 12 auction, If I Live I’ll See You Tuesday, the company posted a YouTube video of skateboarder Chris Martin careening past multimillion-dollar art to the indie hit Sail by Awolnation. The curator, Loic Gouzer, a handsome contemporary art expert who’s been linked to Mad Men star January Jones, hyped the works on his Instagram feed. Last July, Christie’s held a charity sale hosted by Leonardo DiCaprio (who happens to be a friend of Gouzer’s). And during 2013 it ran 49 Web-only, youth-friendly auctions—prints went for as little as a few hundred dollars. The initiatives have helped bring in a record $7.1 billion in sales in the past year, compared with $6.3 billion at rival Sotheby’s(BID).

All this was dreamed up by Christie’s chief executive officer, Steven Murphy. Unlike his competitors, Murphy has no prior fine art expertise (or noble European lineage) and says that selling artists’ work isn’t that different from his former jobs as president of Angel Records and publishing house Rodale. Soon after he arrived at Christie’s in 2010, he began allowing buyers to bid on works online. It seems obvious, but for a fusty auction house it was a revolutionary tactic. . . . .”

READ MORE

Christie’s Shanghai: The Making of an Auction

 

“Video: Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud”