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ArtMarket® Insight - what's trending on the art market

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ArtMarket® Insight contents

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Art Brut: auction prices going crazy [01 Jun 2004]

The marginal Art Brut movement has been forcing its way into the heart of the art market in recent years. The museums have already got their hands on the best pieces, and now works on offer at auction are starting to be snapped up. Judging from the spectacular price rallies, the finest pieces could well reach USD 1 million one day and effectively rival the best of mainstream art.

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Booming contemporary art auctions [24 May 2004]

The New York contemporary art market has posted strong growth over the last five years. Turnover at Sotheby’s and Christie’s evening auctions has climbed steadily to reach a total of USD 168 million in 2004 compared with USD 100 million in 1999.

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Abstract expressionism, fetching the highest prices at contemporary art auctions [18 May 2004]

Abstract expressionism, the most influential American art movement of the 1960s, is topping the bill at the most prestigious contemporary art auctions. After occupying pride of place at the MoMA (New York) for over fifty years, Number 12 (1949), a “drip painting” on paper by Jackson POLLOCK found a buyer at Christie’s on 11 May 2004 at USD 10 million. The next day, the euphoria continued with more extremely high bids including an artist’s record for Clyfford STILL’s 1960-F which went under the hammer at USD 2.8 million.

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Sotheby’s sets historic record at auction [10 May 2004]

Sotheby’s has just made art market history. As we have been predicting since January (see AMI, 26 January 2004), we now have a new all-time record price for an artwork at auction: USD 93 million thanks to Pablo Picasso. Once taxes and commission are included, this was also the first time a painting has broken USD 100 million.

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Antoni Tapiès (1923) [29 Apr 2004]

The Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art is hosting a major Antoni Tapiès’ retrospective until 9 May 2004, showing more than 200 works spanning all of the artist’s periods. At auctions, the Antoni Tapiès price index has made little headway in the past two years.

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Artprice Index surges in first quarter of 2004 [26 Apr 2004]

The most recent Artprice Index update bears out the strong performance of the market.Having risen in autumn/winter 2003, dollar-denominated canvas prices are continuing to accelerate, up 3% in the first quarter of 2004. Values also improved in euro terms, although less impressively at +1% in the first three months of the year. Figures of this kind are clear confirmation that a sizeable recovery is underway, as already indicated by higher trading volumes and a fall in the number of bought-ins (see AMI of 14 April 2004).

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Lots of multi-million lots! [21 Apr 2004]

The prestigious “Impressionist and Modern Art” evening sales in New York on 4, 5 and 6 May 2004 are some of the most sparkling events on the art calendar.

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Pickup in the market for nineteenth century landscapists [18 Apr 2004]

The break-up of the Pierre Miquel collection, between 29 March and 2 April 2004 at Rossini (Drouot Richelieu, Paris), involved nearly a thousand works, mainly French nineteenth century landscapes. It was a huge success, with a total of EUR 2.7 million changing hands in the five auction sessions.

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Spring brings palpable cheer to the market [13 Apr 2004]

Just a few weeks before the prestigious « impressionism & modern art » sales season gets underway, Sotheby’s and Christie’s have reason to be reassured, with the latest trends confirming that the upturn begun in the final quarter of 2003 continues apace.

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YBA 2003: are the Young British Artists still creating a sensation in the auction rooms? [04 Apr 2004]

When Damien HIRST curated the Young British Artists’ first group exhibition, « Freeze », in London back in 1988, his own work, along with that of Gary HUME, Sarah LUCAS and Fiona RAE, had little market value. At the time, the Young British Artists’ reputation was confined to an inner circle of the London art scene. However, with the group’s main mentors—gallery owner (and advertising mogul) Charles Saatchi, and Jay Jopling, founder of the White Cube Gallery—spreading the faith, global recognition was swift to come.

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Joan Miro (1893 – 1983) [29 Mar 2004]

The National Museum of Modern Art in Paris is currently hosting a major exhibition of Joan Miró’s pre-1934 work, which brings together the artist’s early pieces. Until 2001, shrinking supply at auctions helped support price levels. But since then, demand has also been slowing and in the last two years, prices across all formats have fallen 16%.

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Art market trends 2003 [16 Mar 2004]

Art Martket Trends 2003 Contents 2003: an action packed year Europe leads the art market 2003 higlights The new elite in the contemporary art market How do the art market heavyweights measure up? TOP 100 auction records 2003   14 pages Download the file Download Adobe Acrobat Reader

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French drawing market [24 Feb 2004]

March is an excellent month in France for sales of works on paper. The Salon du Dessin and related events make Paris the drawings capital of the world. The drawings fair provides auction houses with the opportunity to organise prestige sales on a particular theme. This segment grows a little more each year in France, but the drop in prices, particularly for works by home-grown artists, has taken off some of the shine.

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Europe leads the art market [15 Feb 2004]

In the first half of 1999, US auctioneers handled more than 64% of art market turnover. Three years later, in 2002, after some excellent London sales in July—including Sotheby’s GBP 45 million for The Massacre of the Innocents by Peter Paul Rubens on the 10th—the UK and US were running neck and neck in terms of turnover. At the time, this exceptional state of affairs was put down to a few spectacular sales in Britain and a chill economic climate in America. But the exception now seems to have become the rule

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2003: an action-packed year [28 Jan 2004]

The price of artworks rose by 1.5% in 2003.

The talk in 2003 was all about crisis—impending, overstated or avoided. This lent the market a jittery tone that was not helped when the war in Iraq revived painful memories of the 1990-1991 crash.The post-Gulf War period in 1991 was marked by an absence of records. Investors at the time read this as meaning the market had run out of steam, and promptly jumped ship. Worse still, 1991 was no short-lived blip. Instead the market went into an agonising downward spiral that lasted almost five years. So what happened this time around?

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Could we see a USD 70 million Picasso? Dream or reality? [25 Jan 2004]

A mood of optimism has been sweeping through the market since the beginning of the season. The most astonishing forecast for 2004 is that Picasso’s Garçon à la pipe is expected to set a new record of USD 70 million on 5 May at Sotheby’s.What could possibly justify such a high estimate?

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Painting: highlights of 2003 [20 Jan 2004]

2003 was a bad year for the art market’s most prestigious medium. Average prices for paintings fell substantially, particularly in the most popular segments (modern and 19th century paintings), while sales volumes also declined — even at the top end of the market.

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Marc Chagall (1887 – 1985): works on paper [18 Jan 2004]

Thanks to his massive output, Marc Chagall has more works sold at auction than any artist except Pablo Picasso. The most developed segment remains his works on paper representing almost 95% of the lots sold.

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Animal sculptures stampede upward [14 Jan 2004]

The booming sculpture market of 1997-2003 brought an explosion in the prices of certain sculptors, including Rembrandt BUGATTI (+317%), Charles VALTON (+217%) and Édouard Marcel SANDOZ (+93%). Their gains were typical of the renewed market interest in animal sculpture.

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Photographs: highlights of 2003 [13 Jan 2004]

After making spectacular gains in the 1990s, the photography market is now facing an unprecedented crisis. The areas suffering the most are those previously most successful, i.e. old and contemporary works. The speculative bubble that buoyed them for five years has just burst and only quality pieces are now finding a buyer.

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Sculpture: highlights of 2003 [12 Jan 2004]

Three-dimensional works escaped the slump in sales that afflicted most of the art market in 2002 but are now suffering from a lack of liquidity. Fewer big name pieces seem to be coming onto the market. That said, prices are soaring.

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What estimates mean to the market [12 Jan 2004]

The success of an auction depends, of course, on the selection of works for sale, but also on a correct price estimate for each lot. In practice, however, only one out of every five lots sold at auction is knocked down within its estimated range. This suggests that for consignors, auctions usually bring either pleasant surprises or dashed hopes.

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Chuck Close (1940) [06 Jan 2004]

This year the Metropolitan Museum of Art will house a major travelling exhibition of his prints, entitled “Chuck Close Prints: process and collaboration”. The artist’s new record has helped stimulate the uptrend, and print prices are also heading up again.

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A spate of records among English drawings and watercolourists [22 Dec 2003]

Drawings have always been a sound first step for budding collectors in the UK and they look a particularly good bet now, with British works showing spectacular price gains at auction on the back of big price rises for the lesser known artists.

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American Impressionism in decline in 2003 [18 Dec 2003]

An offshoot of French Impressionism, American Impressionism emerged in the 1880s with the works of Charles Curran and Ben Foster. The movement numbers some 60 artists. Its most celebrated exponents include Childe HASSAM of Boston, who was inspired by urban subjects, and the portraitists Mary CASSATT and John Singer SARGENT.

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The greenback’s slide saves the US art market [15 Dec 2003]

The dollar’s value has fallen by 17% against the euro and 8.6% against sterling since December 2002, in a slide generally attributed to the yawning deficit in the US balance of payments. The effect has been to stimulate American exports while limiting imports and this has had a big impact on the US art market. Trends and turnover on the global art market tend to correlate closely with exchange rates.

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The Nouveaux Réalistes: auction prices take off [10 Dec 2003]

The artists lauded by critic Pierre Restany were in great demand at Piasa on 4 December 2003. All lots were sold, often going for more than their estimates, which was good news after several lacklustre weeks for the French market and confirms that many growth segments of the market remain strong.

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Christie’s rounds off 2003 with auctions of old master drawings in Paris and Rome [09 Dec 2003]

If the price of an old master drawing depends mainly on its origin and state of preservation, then investors are in for a treat. Christie’s is putting up drawings from the collection of one of the great 18th century collectors, the Marquis of Calvière, in Paris on 17 December.

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Alexander Calder (1898-1976) [04 Dec 2003]

Christie’s has just set a new record for a sculpture by Alexander Calder. However, it is his works on paper that are the main focus of the price surge.

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DELACROIX, Eugène (1798-1863) [30 Nov 2003]

The market is still teeming with Délacroix drawings and sketches, mostly from his travels in Morocco and Algeria.

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