“Occidental art”

Art market: first signs of instability?

Hong Kong, 4 October 2011, Art Media Agency (AMA). Is the art market escaping the crisis? This week numerous press articles tried to answer this question. Judging from some of the positions taken, we could point out some tendencies that currently could not be qualified as alarming or even disturbing. The recent Asian art auctions held at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, as well as at Christie’s in New York, were victims of commentaries. When talking about these sessions, it is important to note that only the higher market and objects of certain quality are, according to many specialists, insensitive to the financial crisis. A Georgina Adam article, published in Financial Times, makes a recapitulation of American sales that, in her opinion, were successful in the context of the crisis with an average of 70-75% of lots sold. This percentage could go under the bar of 60% in the case of contemporary art, all the while reaching very positive results in the modern and ancient art market. We find the same percentage of unsold lots from the Asian contemporary art auction which took place at Sotheby’s on 3 October in Hong Kong: 176 lots were proposed, 27% of which were unsold. This provoked many analysts of the market who now believe that the demand for Asian contemporary art is dropping rapidly. An article by James Pomfret, published by Reuters clearly announced this with headline “Cracks appear in Asian demand for contemporary art”. For Marion Maneker, from the Artmarketmonitor website, this last affirmation is completely false and the Hong Kong auction was a success. According to him the percentages of unsold pieces is still weak and this manifests the good health of the art market. The last results are going in that direction as Sotheby’s have succeeded in selling 95% of the lots proposed...

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