First major action sales, for Post-War & Contemporary art, were much-anticipated in order to verify how well the Art Market survives the decline of the world economy.
In the light of Sotheby’s and Phillips results, the Art Market has proved that it perfectly escaped the general woes. Although the unsold rate is slightly higher than usual for this prestigious sales (19%) and a few more sellers have withdrawn artworks, this does not disclose any troubling situation. At most, one can remark the Art Market is more reasonable than ever.
Moreover, the Art Market’s great prudence is likely its strength as Ed Dolman, Phillips’ Chief Executor, explained to the Art Newspaper : This doesn’t feel like a crash; this is actually a more discerning market.
As a matter of fact, the Art Market pursues its path. Great performances by Fontana, Dubuffet or Colzolari, observed in 2015, are confirmed. Even young artists such as Adrian Ghenie (1977) recorded tremendous bids : while estimates valued the artwork between £400,000 and £600,000, it was sold for £ 3.1m ! Another optimist evidence : Sotheby’s evening highlight, a painting by Lucian Freud, also largely overtook the estimates.
Tonight, results at Christie’s and Bonhams will provide further insights of the actual reaction of the Art Market to stock market troubles.
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