BASQUIAT, BRANCUSI AND DOIG: GUARANTEED SUCCESS IN NEW YORK

By | Art Market Snapshot | No Comments

In May and November each year, New York becomes the stage for the auction market’s biggest act; the Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary art sales. These are by far the biggest sales of the year; the two seasons combined can go on to represent about a third of the annual turnover for the major auction houses. When the global art market hit its peak in May 2015, these sales made well over $2.5 billion in a week – a staggering total.
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MODERN & CONTEMPORARY SPRING AUCTIONS

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Just two weeks into May, and without pausing for breath, focus shifts from this week’s previews at the Venice Biennale and returns to New York for next week’s major auctions of Modern and Contemporary art. Just two weeks ago, the city hosted a busy week with Frieze and TEFAF New York, both of which led to reports of a solid, if not frenzied, market in the private market. The auction season will give a much more public bill of health.
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VENICE – THE 57th BIENNALE BEGINS

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This week sees the opening of the 57th Venice Biennale (until 26 November) – the original showcase for international contemporary art, and probably one of the most frenzied art events in the world. The first Biennale took place in 1895, and it soon became a hugely popular showcase of international art, with countries taking national pavilions in the Giardini to showcase works by their best contemporary artists. The list of greats who have shown there include – among so many others – Gustav Klimt, Renoir, Courbet, Pablo Picasso, Lucio Fontana, Henry Moore, Francis Bacon, Edward Hopper, Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, and Lucian Freud.
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK

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It’s all eyes on New York this week as the Frieze art fair once again seizes the attention of the art world. Opening for its sixth edition in the Big Apple this Friday (5 -7 May, Randall’s Park Island), it includes over 200 of the world’s leading galleries for modern and contemporary art.  New this year is a symposium (5 May) in collaboration with the Getty and the Institute of Fine Arts which will examine questions relating to Latin American art and culture, reflecting the more pronounced international focus of this year’s event. Read More

COLLECTING – GROWTH IN THE ONLINE MARKET

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Over the last decade more and more has been written about the impact of the internet on the art market, with varying levels of generalisation and assumption.  A flurry of start-ups has been vying to take the lead in this new area of an age-old market, but a recent report by Hiscox shows that it is Christie’s and Sothebys who are emerging as leaders in the online art market, even though they were initially slow to embrace internet sales. The recent demerger of Auctionata and Paddle8, and subsequent filing for insolvency of Auctionata, reflects continuing challenges for new online players in the market when it comes to gaining a share of the market, and perhaps the trust of customers, something that is impossible to win quickly without the security of a long-running, global brand and reputation.
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BATTLE OF THE BASQUIATS AT AUCTION IN MAY

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Anticipation is building for the major spring auctions in New York in May, one of the biggest market moments of the year. This series of Modern and Contemporary art sales sees Christie’s and Sotheby’s go head to head in the heavyweight stakes, not just during the sales, but from months before when they start gathering works to sell.
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RECOMMENDED EXHIBITIONS – APRIL 2017

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Fans of antiquities should head to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York where they will be greeted by a group of the life-sized terracotta warriors who guarded Emperor Qin Shihuang’s tomb, including one of the rare examples with traces of pigment, as well as more than 160 ancient works of Chinese art.  Another highlight is a smi-hude figure of outstanding anatomical accuracy that shows the influence of Western art.  Ages of Empires: Chinese Art of the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 BC – AD 220) is on view from 3 April – 16 July 2017.
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