Art Fairs

Next Art Boom Could Be on the West Coast

By | Art Advisory, Art and Design, Art Auctions, Art Collections, Art Fairs, Art Market
iMac - 015, oil and acrylic on canvas, 23 x 25 x 9 inches, $18,000

iMac – 015, oil and acrylic on canvas, 23 x 25 x 9 inches, $18,000

Now head of his own art consultancy, the London-based American observed that attendance at this year’s contemporary art fair proved Hong Kong was now firmly on the map of the art world’s jet set – representatives from a record 78 international art institutions attended the fair, according to Art Basel. But Murphy is also watching keenly watching an emerging market on the other side of the Pacific ocean.

“The next big boom is going to be the west coast USA. The trajectory of what’s happened here in Asia shows that the market potential has always been here. It just took enterprises to see Asia as a coherent, integrated part of their businesses. The same will happen on the west coast,” he says. Read More

How to Assess Contemporary Art

By | Art Advisory, Art and Design, Art Auctions, Art Collections, Art Fairs, Art Market

Porky Chanel_48 x 48 inchesAs a budding collector the choice of artworks available to you at galleries and art fairs is overwhelming. Paintings, sculptures, multi-media work, limited editions, you name it. Here are a couple of tips from our art advisors to get you to start looking at art like a pro. This is not an exhaustive list so if you need more help give us a call.

First, you need to know the difference between emerging, mid-career and established artists. There are no hard-and-fast rules in this regard (for example age is not necessarily relevant here). Emerging artists are just starting out and their first exhibitions tend to be group shows, whereas mid-career artists have achieved a level of recognition through a solid body of work and a number of solo exhibitions and publications. In addition to that, established artists have built a stable career over many years and are well-known internationally. Read More

The Market Is Dictating Art

By | Art Advisory, Art and Design, Art Auctions, Art Collections, Art Fairs, Art Market

Southeast-Gallery copyOn Friday at The Armory Show, a panel of art insiders gave their thoughts on the future of the market to a packed house. Moderator Kelly Crow of the Wall Street Journal was joined by auctioneer Simon de Pury, art advisor Todd Levin, collector Alain Servais, CEO of Athena Art Finance Andrea Danese, and gallerist Dominique Lévy of Lévy Gorvy.

Crow opened the discussion by prompting the audience members to do the near-impossible: truly use their imaginations.

“Close your eyes and try to conjure a color that you have never seen before,” said Crow, admitting that when asked to do the same thing she failed—only familiar colors came to mind. That reflex is “an apt metaphor for trying to understand the art market,” she said, before diving into a conversation that at times tried to conjure the future, but largely consisted of parsing more familiar recent market trends. That’s not to say there weren’t valiant attempts at prognostication, up to and including the use of props: A smiling Levin at one point pulled out a Magic 8-Ball when asked how he decides if a work of art is a good purchase. Read More

New Collectors: How to Discover Your Taste in Art

By | Art Advisory, Art and Design, Art Auctions, Art Collections, Art Fairs, Art Market

douke installation 1Tens of thousands of galleries across the globe, representing hundreds of thousands of artists, deal art everywhere from Düsseldorf to Dallas. You can bid on a painting at auction from your iPad in your PJs. To say there is a lot of art at your fingertips is an understatement.

So while it is perhaps easier than ever to buy a work, navigating the commercial art world is understandably daunting for the inexperienced collector. How does one go about finding their taste? What separates true quality from the hype? What potential pitfalls should one watch for when stepping out into the vast world of collecting? The answer will be different for everyone, but here are a few key points to remember. Read More

Gallerists Have Become Traveling Merchants

By | Art Advisory, Art and Design, Art Auctions, Art Collections, Art Fairs, Art Market

artfairtokyo2008_1Describing what an art fair is seems simple: It is a marketplace where galleries from all over the world congregate under one roof to exhibit and sell artworks. But what’s behind the rising popularity of the fair format, and how has it affected the greater art market?

“One of the things that people point to a lot is the growth of the fairs, the importance of the fairs,” Art Basel director Marc Spiegler said at the Talking Galleries conference in Barcelona last year. “And I think part of that is because the fairs have done a good job of being a place where you can get an overview of a global market at a moment where the art world is internationalizing constantly.”

According to the TEFAF Art Market Report, art fairs made up 40 percent of gallery sales in 2015, compared to 48 percent of sales made in-gallery. The Financial Times estimates that some galleries make up to 70 percent of their annual turnover at the fairs. Read More

By | Art Advisory, Art Auctions, Art Collections, Art Fairs, Art Market
Relay Mailbox with Declarations, acrylic on canvas, composition woods, bondo, and tacks, 51.5 x 27 x 26 inches, $40,000

Relay Mailbox with Declarations, acrylic on canvas, composition woods, bondo, and tacks, 51.5 x 27 x 26 inches, $40,000

A new survey from wealth management firm US Trust points to a deep generational divide between how younger and older art collectors think about their holdings. Among other findings, the “Insights on Wealth and Worth” study suggests that rich millennials might be in for a surprise about the future value of their collections.

US Trust is the private wealth management arm of Bank of America, which sponsors major museum exhibitions, lends money to collectors against their art assets, and handles the finances of various American museums. US Trust has been doing similar studies of very wealthy Americans for several years, but this is the first time they’ve asked their respondents about art. The report is based on a survey of 684 “high net worth and ultra high net worth adults” nationwide, with assets totaling north of $3 million.

Some of the study’s findings might be comforting to those who believe that art’s principal worth is aesthetic, intellectual, or cultural. For example, three-quarters of collectors surveyed say their primary reason for collecting is art’s aesthetic value. Read More

The 10 Most Important Takeaways from the 2016 TEFAF Art Market Report

By | Art Advisory, Art and Design, Art Collections, Art Fairs, Art Market
Photo courtesy: Artsy

Photo courtesy: Artsy

The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF) released the 2016 edition of its annual report on the state of the art market recently. Compiled once again by cultural economist Dr. Clare McAndrew, the report confirms suspicions of a downturn in the international art market. But it also identifies positive indicators for certain sub-sectors of the market. Here are the 10 things you need to know.

In 2015, the art market contracted for the first time since 2011.

Globally, sales of art were down 7% to $63.8 billion in 2015, compared to $68.2 billion in 2014. The amount of art transactions also decreased to 38.1 million, a 2% contraction. This will come as little surprise to anyone who has been watching headlines in recent months—in the art press, the pervading narrative has been one of a slowdown in the art market. Data began to trickle in to confirm this in recent weeks, as Sotheby’s reported a fourth quarter loss of $11.2 million and predicted a significant drop in sales in the first half of 2016 compared to last year. Meanwhile, a downturn in the macroeconomy—especially in key emerging markets like China and Brazil, which began to play out in the second half of last year—has led to jitters about the overall business climate in 2016. Though some headlines might suggest the art market is crumbling before our eyes, one would be advised to take pause. The rocket ship grown in the art market was not sustainable. Cyclical contractions are natural, healthy even, for both the global economy and the art market alike.  Read More

Art Word – Artists Going West, Fleeing Overcrowded N.Y. for L.A.

By | Art Fairs, Art Market, Artists
James Turrell

So. Cal native James Turrell’s installation in Louis Vuitton at the Shops at Crystal, Las Vegas


“Go West: Artists flee exorbitant and over-crowded New York for Los Angeles” written by Veronique Dupont

The Los Angeles art scene is exploding thanks to a wave of artists and galleries escaping New York, which has become over-crowded and too expensive for young creative types.

“An enormous number of artists are coming to set up in LA,” said Philippe Vergne, director of the West Coast city’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), citing exorbitant real estate costs in the Big Apple in particular.

“In art, it is like in real estate: you have to follow the artists, that’s where it’s going to develop,” he said, asserting that LA is “the city with the highest density of artists in the world.”

Read More

Art Word – Is New York’s Art Scene Doomed?

By | Art Advisory, Art and Design, Art Collections, Art Fairs, Art Market, Artists

This is an article about art and gentrification, the inescapable topic. I have something new to add—that I think we may be coming to the end of a period where being an artist was synonymous with being urban, unless we are willing to fight for it—but before I start it, let me say that I have mixed feelings about my own conclusions.

On the one hand, I like New York, and I think that artists should fight for their place in it. I believe that this would take some serious coalition building and some effort to break out of the shoe-gazing, white-guilt bottleneck where the conversation always gets stuck.

It would not be impossible to do so. If you read Rosalyn Deutsche and Cara Gendel Ryan’s “The Fine Art of Gentrification” essay from 1987 about struggles in the East Village, you can see that there was a time when political consciousness was acute enough within the arts community in New York that taking a stand against “artists housing” was actually the commonsense radical thing to do. Artists clearly saw that they were being used by real estate interests to drive out poor communities and communities of color, and put their future with a larger struggle to change urban priorities. (See East Side Story: Remembering the 1980s East Village Art Scene, by Gracie Mansion.) Read More

Art Word – A Year of Record Sales – But at What Cost?

By | Art Advisory, Art and Design, Art Auctions, Art Collections, Art Fairs, Art Market, News, Shows
Jeff Koons' "Balloon Monkey"/Photo courtesy: Christie's

Jeff Koons’ “Balloon Monkey”/Photo courtesy: Christie’s

The art market appeared to be in rude health as 2014 drew to a close. More money was spent on blue-chip and emerging art last year than at any other point in history, and the trade has been in rapid expansion mode. But under the surface, the tectonic plates are shifting, and unease is bubbling up about the effects of the market on the art that fuels it.

“The market has been eating the art,” says Robert Storr, the dean of the Yale University School of Art. “There are still good dealers who understand the danger, and artists who can say no. But we’re in a perilous position and we need to talk about it.”

Buyers spent a staggering $1.66bn on contemporary art in four days of auctions in New York last November, including a record-breaking total of $852.8m at Christie’s. Even so, both houses dropped their chief executives soon after the sales. Sotheby’s has yet to announce a successor to Bill Ruprecht, while Christie’s has replaced Steven Murphy with Patricia Barbizet. She is François Pinault’s long-time and trusted executive but may prove to be an interim head of his auction house. Read More