The Wall Street Journal runs Kelly Crow’s interview with David Zwirner in their WSJ magazine. Zwirner offers a mix of the standard dealer line and some unconventional opinions
Damien Hirst and Takashi Murakami are going to get tested, and the jury is out. Andy Warhol’s market collapsed completely in the early 1990s. He withstood his test. Hirst and Murakami—I’ll be curious to see where their careers are in five years.
China is not going to go away. It’s going through its great first art bubble and aftermath, which will leave some careers stranded, and speculators separated from collectors, because there’s no easy money to be made in Chinese art right now. It’s a huge country with enormous potential, but a lot of the Chinese art has been so affirmative—pro-money, pro-products, pro-success—it’s not subversive work. I like art that asks questions.
Some buyers won’t come back. There’s a bunch of Russian collectors who won’t be back. There’s folks in the financial industry that made tons of money and jumped into the art circus and bought without educating themselves. But there will be new ones. They always come.
We have an art market that’s really interesting for buyers that have the guts to step in right now. People are saying art prices dropped 34 percent this year and that sounds correct to me. If you look at auction catalogs from 1992 and 1993, you’ll see incredible masterpieces at bargain prices, so the message to serious collectors is to step in and look hard at what’s there.
I’d be looking into works from the Minimalist era, which are grossly undervalued. Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, John McCracken, Sol LeWitt, Carl Andre—they’re a fraction of the Pop guys and their rediscovery will be exciting. Surrealism isn’t fully valued right now, either. I find it really interesting because it’s completely alive in artists today, whether it’s Cindy Sherman, Neo Rauch, Matthew Barney, Martin Kippenberger—you’re looking at Surrealist strategies. But when I look at Max Ernst or René Magritte, I feel they could have stronger prices.
If you have deep, deep pockets, go buy Early Modernists. They’re the closest thing we have to a blue-chip market. It’s going to be difficult to get a Titian or a Rembrandt because the good ones are already in museums. We’re not quite there yet with Cézanne and Monet.
David Zwirner on the Art Crash (Wall Street Journal)