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

Artprice's Latest Report

ArtMarket® Insight contents

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Contemporary art auctions in New York reassure the market with 34 records in three days [24 Nov 2002]

In a tense economic climate, contemporary art auctions in New York are proving stronger than modern art and impressionist art sales. The evening auctions may have been unexceptional. But Sotheby’s and Christie’s still managed some reassuring surprises, generally in the less prestigious later sessions, when prices for some artists showed real growth and some of them turned out to be impressive records.

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New faces on the auction scene: Bill Viola is number one [17 Nov 2002]

Bill Viola is one of this year’s revelations. His storming entrance onto the auction scene on 27 June 2002, when his Incrementation sold for GBP40,000, has been followed by an exhibition at the Guggenheim. He tops our ranking of new contemporary artists at auction

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The art market — on the brink of the abyss? [11 Nov 2002]

Artprice Index: down 15% between June and September 2002

For the first time in ten years, all the indicators for fine art auctions find themselves in the red. The unsold rate has never been so high (44% in September), while the number of lots is also in freefall (-46.7%). With prices also tumbling after the summer lull, the signs look bad for the remainder of the season.

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Henri CARTIER-BRESSON: photo-journalism gets its foot in the door of the auction world [06 Nov 2002]

Some of the great photojournalists were able to transform their pictures into works of art. One such pioneer was Henri Cartier Bresson founder of the Magnum Photos press agency. Today, documentary photography is capturing market share in public auctions. Photojournalism at Auction 2002 takes place at the Drouot Hotel on 15 November, in the middle of Paris’s Photography Month and the Paris Photo 2002 fair. 700 prints will be up for auction. But the first steps of documentary photography at auction have not been free of pitfalls.

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Big paintings taking over the market [04 Nov 2002]

Canvasses sold at auction are getting bigger. The trend is not new, but has been exceptionally marked this year, when the average surface area of paintings sold has risen by 5.53%.

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Gerhard Richter: at the peak of contemporary art [29 Oct 2002]

Gerhard RICHTER has been all over the auction rooms lately. Since the exhibition “Gerhard Richter: 40 years of painting” opened, 80 pieces have been offered for auction and prices are still rising (+67% between January and June 2002), although none this year has had the quality to beat the record set 15 May 2001: USD4.9 million for Drei Kerzen (Three Candles).

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Recent trends ahead of the big November auctions of 2002 [23 Oct 2002]

Sommaire :

Major impressionist and modern art auctionsThey have never hit the million dollar markGrowing popularity of the expressionistsModern art takes centre stageAre impressionists still the stuff of dreams?

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The prophets of modernism [20 Oct 2002]

The group of artists known as the Nabis, or prophets, came together in 1888. The best known Nabi artists are Pierre BONNARD, Édouard VUILLARD, Maurice DENIS, Paul SÉRUSIER, Félix VALLOTTON, but the group also includes lesser known artists such as, Henri Gabriel IBELS, Jan VERKADE, Georges LACOMBE, Paul Élie RANSON and Ker Xavier ROUSSEL. To date, however, there has been no auction house sale devoted entirely to the Nabis,

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Speculative bubble forming on market for comic art [15 Oct 2002]

A speculative bubble appears to be forming on the market for original plates of comic art. True, none of the comics sold so far this year have beaten the record price fetched by plate no. 12 of Marsupilami’s nest by André Franquin, but prices are still rising. Up 62% on the end of 2001, the market has never been so bullish.

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Prices still rising at the start of a new season [10 Oct 2002]

Despite a slowing economy in July and August, the threat of another war and uncertainty over the steady decline in the world stock markets, prices are still rising on the art market: on average, EUR100 invested in a work of art in July 2000 had appreciated to EUR118.7 as of September 1, 2002.

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Modern photography in the spotlight 22-23 October [09 Oct 2002]

On 22-23 October, Sotheby’s New York will be auctioning a selection of photographs from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. Following on from the success of its last auction of photographs in April 2001, which generated sales of USD2.15m, Sotheby’s is hoping to raise over USD2m from the 212 lots.

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Paul Gauguin : 110 years of auctions [06 Oct 2002]

As the centenary of Paul Gauguin’s death approaches museums are rushing to hold prestigious retrospectives on one of the most influential painters of his time. The NY Metropolitan’s “Gauguin in New York Collections: The Lure of the Exotic” closes on 28 October 2002, but an exposition opens the following April at the Musée du Luxembourg and runs to June. For the auction houses, this is an opportunity to put up some extra Gauguin pieces.

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Contemporary art makes the running in 2002: auction trends [01 Oct 2002]

After a pause in 2001, contemporary art prices have taken off again. And yet, prices for the big-hitters have not experienced a spectacular explosion. During the first auction season 2002, prices for major league works were down on last year,

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Max Beckmann: a German in Paris [29 Sep 2002]

Paris’s Musée National d’Art Moderne currently has a retrospective show on Max BECKMANN, a German expressionist and lover of Paris. At auction houses, he is more renowned as the holder of the record price for a German painting.

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Contemporary art market: collectors favour local artists at auctions [24 Sep 2002]

The art market is undeniably international. Works are being created and traded world-wide. And increasingly prices are tempting producers and purchasers alike to cross borders.

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European market: Artprice reviews the first half-year 2002 [16 Sep 2002]

In 2001 the US outperformed Europe on the art market. Today, that balance of power has been reversed. European auction sales held up despite the uncertain economic climate in the first half of 2002.

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Can Giacometti take off in 2002? [11 Sep 2002]

Christie’s is to auction 35 bronze sculptures in France from the inheritance of Alberto GIACOMETTI on 28 September 2002. The sale should be very successful, as Giacometti’s price levels have risen 78% in the last six months.

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Sotheby’s or Christie’s? [09 Sep 2002]

As in 2001, Christie’s and Sotheby’s produced similar performances on sales in H1 2002 (EUR 546 million and EUR 522 million respectively between January and July), with similar buy-in ratios (71% of lots at each auction house found a buyer).

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MATISSE-PICASSO : rivals at auctions [07 Sep 2002]

After London it is now Paris’s turn to host the showdown between the giants of modern art as the Matisse-Picasso exhibition arrives in the French capital, juxtaposing 160 works by Pablo PICASSO and Henri MATISSE. But they often come up against each other at auction.

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The rising stars at auction [01 Sep 2002]

Perhaps the best-known of the new generation of artists now selling at public auction are the Young British Artists — »young » in our classification means born after 1960. Having achieved international acclaim, they are now increasingly making an impact on the auction floor.

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US and UK neck and neck in the auctions market [27 Aug 2002]

The US has led the art market for more than 20 years. In the mid-1990s, at the peak of American dominance, it hosted nearly 70% of the world’s fine art sales. Today, this has fallen to 38.7% and the US is on the point of being overtaken by the UK.

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Artists on the rise in Australia [21 Aug 2002]

The art market is traditionally quiet in August. But Australia, the world’s ninth largest market in 2001, has taken advantage of the summer break to hold the first big sales of the coming season. Sale catalogues feature a number of the Aussie artists that have recently been making waves at auctions.

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The Pop Art as its Pop Star [19 Aug 2002]

Barely half a century after they were created, the works of Andy WARHOL, Roy LICHTENSTEIN, Jasper JOHNS and Robert RAUSCHENBERG are already seen as collectors’ masterpieces.

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In the US anything goes, at any price [18 Aug 2002]

In the last two years, the art market has been attracting ever more aficionados in the US. But American collectors are happier to buy than to sell, and the consequence is a host of buyers eager to snap up the few artworks that do come up for auction.

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Photography takes the test of time: +8.1% in six months [06 Aug 2002]

In the mid-1990s, painting was the only segment of the art market that investors considered of speculative interest. But recently, with growing demand and a wave of artistic renewal, other creative formats have proved as, or more, lucrative than paintings.

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The European market strengthens its leadership in first half 2002 [04 Aug 2002]

The European art market is winning its face-off with the US. France, the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and Scandinavia currently account for almost 80% of sales volumes.

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Monthly Benchmark [21 Jul 2002]

High-profile auctions at Sotheby’s and Christie’s in the US usually make May the eagerly awaited highlight of the early year art season. And results at the impressionist and modern sales certainly hit the headlines. No one will forget the all-time record price paid for a sculpture, Brancusi’s « Danaide », which went for USD16.5m on 7 May 2002.

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No speculative bubble in the art market [19 Jul 2002]

The price of artworks continues to climb. Some see this as the result of a speculative mood among investors. In fact it is no such thing. Investors are being highly selective in what they buy and this selectivity underpins the soundness of the market.

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As the world’s stock markets plunge Rubens’ "Massacre of the Innocents" drives the art market through the roof [15 Jul 2002]

On Wednesday 10 July 2002, "The Massacre of the Innocents" by Peter Paul RUBENS became the most expensive old master painting ever sold at auction. It was only recently identified as a Rubens having previously been attributed to the lesser-known Jan van den Hoecke. Once the painting’s authorship was clarified a record price was clearly on the cards, particularly as Peter Paul RUBENS’ index has been in stunning form lately: +540% since 1997.

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Nine contemporary artists make their mark in London [14 Jul 2002]

In the art market history is made every day. Any auction could see an artist’s work sell for a new all-time high. This year, in three days from 26 to 28 June, we saw no less than 71 record prices set for artists around the world. Nine of these were at the sales of contemporary art held by Sotheby’s and Christie’s in London.

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