O Gravity, Gravity...Wherefore art Thou?
Led by a record-breaking Jeff Koons sculpture and a $46 million Francis Bacon canvas, Sotheby's roared back from a dismal Impressionist sale to score the highest total in its history at a contemporary and postwar art auction on Wednesday.Methinks the art universe rotates around Mr. Larry. In fact, Men's Vogue's Art Loves Money credited Mr. Gagosian's no-show at Sotheby's recent Impressionist and Modern sale for that evening's awful results:
Bacon's "Second Version of Study for Bullfight No. 1" far exceeded its $35 million-plus pre-sale estimate, while Koons' stainless steel "Hanging Heart (Magenta/Gold) soared to $23,561,000, including commission, obliterating the artist's $11.8 million record set one day earlier by his "Diamond (Blue)" sculpture.
Both works by Koons were bought by the Gagosian Gallery, one of Manhattan's premier contemporary art dealers.
It was a bad sign when Larry Gagosian didn't show up for Sotheby's November 7 sale of Impressionist and modern art and things only got worse from there.Indeed, if his new digs in Moscow and Rome are any indication of how confident he is about the market, gravity isn't being seen as having much effect on contemporary art prices anytime soon. Which, of course, seems ludicrous. As MAO noted in a comment in response to my suggestion that the conventional wisdom says the art market takes about 1.5 years to feel the impact of a major recession:
I think the Fincancial correction has been going on for 6 to 9 months already.. And, Wall Street started taking the big losses in May and June..several hedge funds were already 100% wiped out.
So.. I'd say..if you're right about your 1.5 years... we only have another 8 or 9 months of party left... Yikes!
Well... let's all enjoy Maimi.. while we still can.. cause next year might be VERY different!
Or perhaps, as I suggested back in May, the conventional wisdom is outdated. The new, more global nature of the art market might mean that the tumbling housing market in the US won't have as direct an impact as it might have had two decades ago. Other ecomonies (ones doing very well by all accounts) like those in Europe and Asia now have to be taken into account. It's worth noting, however, that two nights ago,
Even with the weak dollar, Americans led the charge, scooping up 50.8 percent of the lots, followed by Europeans at 26.2 percent, Asians at 6.6 percent, and “other” at 17.3 percent.
The question, of course, is how that compares with who was buying in New York a year ago or five years ago.
Of course, the Contemporary sales are only Part I of the deathwatch test. Miami will be Part II. So far, so good. Fingers crossed.
Labels: art market