[intro]Frieze Sales Surprise Some; Delight Others[/intro]
Kelly Crow offers some numbers in the Wall Street Journal on this weekend’s Frieze art sales with £33m in art crossing the threshold at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips de Pury. The duopoly’s total was down 51% but scrappy Phillips only saw a 16% haircut from last year. Could this market favor the perennial upstart?
Meanwhile, Bloomberg‘s Scott Reyburn talked to a few buyers about their purchases and prices:
“It’s very difficult to value things at the moment,” said the New York-based art adviser David Nisinson, who bought a 1990 Gerhard Richter abstract for 529,250 pounds at Sotheby’s against a low estimate of 500,000 pounds. “So little has been traded recently that it’s hard to know what things are worth. It’s a market in flux. There’s more confidence than there was, but it’s fragile and depends on the financial markets. At least a lot of people have a lot more money than they did six months ago,” he said.
“There were some good things in the auction and estimates were reasonable,” said New York-based dealer Christophe van de Weghe. “It will give buyers confidence. People are able to see things are selling and there’s no panic in the market.” “Prices are back to the level of 2006 and 2007,” said Van de Weghe.
Crow also button-holed a few buyers to get their take on the market:
Munich collector Ingvild Goetz says she shied away from buying at auction during the “hype years” but decided to attend these sales so she could plug a few artistic holes in her collection. Specifically, she paid Sotheby’s £85,250 for Peter Fischli and David Weiss’s duck sculpture, “Les Repos des Canards (Ducks At Rest),” well over its £70,000 low estimate.
Ms. Goetz also paid the auction house £73,250 for Tal R’s red-and-blue collage “Melody,” surpassing its £60,000 low estimate. “I want masterpieces, just at the right price,” she added.
Signs of Life in the London’s Art Market (Wall Street Journal)