Could China Become A Major Market For Indian Art?

June 24, 2010

Popularity Of Indian Art Among Indonesian Collectors At HK Auctions, Recent Shows In Beijing Indicate It Could  Catch On In China

An interesting, if subdued, trend currently developing among Chinese art collectors is a more international focus and an interest in beefing up their collections of Chinese art with major global artists. At the recent Christie’s Spring Auctions in Hong Kong, we saw this with the sale of a Warhol “Mao” print, which sold well over the high estimate for HK$6.62 million (US$850,008), and the record-breaking sale of Picasso’s “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust” for $106.4 million to a Chinese buyer in May.

However, another aspect to this that is particularly interesting is that it’s not strictly limited to top historical Western artists like Warhol and Picasso. At recent auctions in Hong Kong and art exhibitions in Beijing, we’re seeing more pieces by artists from neighboring countries like India piquing the interest of Chinese collectors and art lovers…

To read the full article, please visit Jing Daily.


Why the Male Domination at Art Basel?

June 23, 2010

Last Friday, Lindsay Pollock, always a sharp observer of the global art market, noted the discouraging absence of female artists at Art Basel this year. She uncovered what at first glance is a surprising statistic: of the fair’s forty most exhibited artists, not a single woman could be found.

Provocatively and a bit rhetorically, she poses the question, “Is Art Basel a manfest?”

Lately we’ve spent a lot of time finalizing Skate’s Top 5000 – our ranking of the 5,000 most expensive works of art ever sold at auction. After reading Lindsay’s article, we decided to take a closer look to see whether the dealers at Art Basel were exhibiting sexism or whether, as we suspect, they were simply reflecting the state of the global art market with no other aim than to satisfy collectors’ demands and, in the process, make a few bucks (or a few million bucks).

What we found confirmed our suspicions on some levels and surprised us on others. Art Basel does in large measure reflect what thousands of auction records have told us over the past several decades: works by male artists are in far greater supply and sell for far higher prices than works by female artists.

Yet among the forty most exhibited artists, there were eleven whose market performance to date has been mediocre at best. Plenty of females have performed better in the marketplace than these eleven males.

To see the data, please download the Appendix (Adobe reader required).


Louise Bourgeois Dies at 98, Remains 131st Most Valuable Artist in the World, Vacates #16 Ranking Among Living Artists

June 21, 2010

At the time of her death on May 31, Louise Bourgeois was the 16th most valuable living artist based on the combined auction value of her works. Among the 5,000 most valuable works of art ever sold at auction (Skate’s Top 5000), Bourgeois had nine works. It is often the case with important artists that the market value of their artistic legacies grow consistently after their deaths, because of the sudden jolt of interest and the sudden cessation of the artist’s output.

Although the auction houses have yet to publish their fall catalogues, we will watch closely to determine whether the market for Louise Bourgeois’ works steps up during the 2010–2011 season. The fact that more than one gallery at Art Basel exhibited Bourgeois’ works last week—including Xavier Hufkens, Hauser & Wirth Zürich, Carolina Nitsch and Peter Blum Gallery—already gives us grounds to speculate that the upcoming fall auction season may be particularly active for her works…

To read the full article with data, please visit Skate’s Art Market Research.

To read the full article and comment, please visit Art in America.


The Currency of Russian Portraits

June 16, 2010

While much of the art world’s attention this month is focused on Art Basel and the major upcoming Impressionist and Modern sales, last week’s sales of Russian art in London brought impressive results across genres and periods.

Alexander Yakovlev’s Titi and Naranghe, Daughters of Chief Eki Bondo (1926) was the week’s most expensive lot, selling at Sotheby’s on June 7 for £2,505,250 ($3,621,840), or more than three times the pre-auction estimate of £700,000-900,000.

While most of the media attention has focused on early 20th century Modern Russian art, Contemporary works also fared well. MacDougall Auctions, a small London-based auction house that specializes in Russian art, hosted the week’s largest sale of contemporary Russian works. Among the highlights was Oleg Tselkov’s Matador and a Bull (1937), which sold for £120,231 ($173,818). At an art investment conference on June 3 hosted by the London Business School, the auction house’s founder, William MacDougall, asserted that “Russian Contemporary art, while recovering from its recent correction, remains a great buying opportunity.”

Still, it was works from the 19th and early 20th centuries that brought the greatest levels of interest and, consequently, the highest bids, signaling a continuing market recovery.

An interesting test of how much the market for Russian fine art has recovered was the sale of Yuri Pavlovich Annenkov’s Portrait of Zinovii Grzhebin (1922), which carried a pre-auction estimate of £800,000-1,200,000 and, according to Sotheby’s catalogue, was “a striking example of Yuri Annenkov’s distinctive style and undoubtedly one of the most important works by the artist ever to appear on the international market.” The work ultimately sold for £1,777,250 ($2,569,370), or more than 70% above the mid-range estimate assigned by Sotheby’s…

To read the full article with data, please visit Skate’s Art Market Research.

To read the full article and comment, please visit Art in America.


Will Art Funds Miss The Benefits Of Global Diversification By Purchasing Only Western Art?

June 15, 2010

Betting Only On Blue-Chip Western Artists Sees Funds Losing Out As Chinese, Southeast Asian Artists Selling Higher And Becoming Scarcer

Last year, in the wake of the global economic crisis that saw asset values plummet across the board, a select number of art funds appeared on the scene, intent on satisfying demand for unique, diverse forms of investment. As the New York Times pointed out last fall, with investors indicating they were ready to get back in the game following signals that the worst of the crunch had passed, several new art funds have popped up in the last couple of years, some of them folding as the worst days of the crisis hit and others just starting up. However, as Jing Daily noted at that time, a weakness shared by some of these art funds was their propensity to overload themselves with Western — primarily American — artists, who are more vulnerable to shifting prices than some would think…

To read the full post, please visit Jing Daily.


A Buyer’s Frenzy In Hong Kong: Highlights From ART HK10, Christie’s And Ravenel

June 1, 2010

Hong Kong Has Established Itself As Asia’s Arts, Wine, Jewelry Hub As New Chinese Collectors Make Strong Impact

Last week, Jing Daily covered the Hong Kong International Art Fair (ART HK10) and the Christie’s Spring Auctions in Hong Kong, both of which we expected to attract an impressive number of participants, artists, galleries and art collectors. Over the course of the weekend, anyone questioning whether the Chinese auction market’s red-hot recovery had any teeth had good reason to put those concerns to rest. Along with the Ravenel Spring Auction, which took place yesterday and took in a grand total of US$8,749,372, the figures that came out of the wide-ranging Christie’s Spring Auctions speak for themselves: – Chinese contemporary photography continuing to impress, with Hai Bo selling for double estimates, showing that Chinese collectors are becoming a force to be reckoned with in Chinese photography. – The “Finest and Rarest Wines” auction 94% sold by lot. (including the “Liquid Gold Collection” of Château d’Yquem, which sold for just over US$1.03 million — making it the most expensive wine lot ever sold by Christie’s globally.) – A large Zeng Fanzhi “Mask Series” piece sold for a whopping US$2.5 million, five times over its 2007 price, and contemporary pieces by artists like Yue Minjun and Zhang Xiaogang (who sold for over 3x high estimates) continued their upward momentum. – Several works by Zao Wou-Ki sold for a combined US$43 million. – The Mary and George Bloch Collection of rare Chinese snuff bottles sold 100% and achieved world record prices. – “String Quartet” by Chinese 20th Century artist Chen Yifei broke a world record, selling for HK$61.1 million/US$7.85 million. – A set of Andy Warhol “Mao” prints sold to a (likely mainland Chinese) phone bidder for almost US$1 million. Hong Kong’s auction market is clearly one of the most active and important in the world at the moment, and its internationalization has been surprisingly rapid and robust, even attracting a growing number of western collectors

To read the full post, please visit Jing Daily.


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