[private_subscriber][private_bundle]When it comes to evening sales, Modern art accounts for 125% more value than Impressionist art. Of the total $7.2 billion grossed at Imp/Mod evening sales since 2005, Modern works have contributed about $5 billion (Fig. 3).
Despite this discrepancy, the two subcategories are comparable when it comes to average prices: The average price for an Impressionist evening sale lot between 2005 and 2009 was $3,249,199—just slightly higher than the average for a Modern lot, $3,055,792. Modern works, however, were quicker to realize their peak during the boom, reaching an average of $3,657,516 in 2006 and hovering near that sum for three years before dropping off in the market downturn of 2009 (Fig. 4).
Impressionist works, meanwhile, rose steadily before peaking at $4,624,625 in 2008. In that year, Impressionist evening sale offerings were scarce, falling 16% from 2007 to a four-year low (Fig. 5).
Modern works, by contrast, rose steadily in number until 2009, increasing by 23% between 2005 and 2008. As a result, the ratio between Modern and Impressionist offerings grew more disproportionate, going from 2 to 1 in 2005 to 2.6 to 1 in 2008. The ballooning presence of Modern works at evening sales has elevated many Modernists—especially Fauves and Expressionists—to the ranks of evening sale regulars.
Take Alexej Jawlensky, an artist whose evening sale lot volume and high prices increased dramatically during the boom (Fig. 6). Other Modern artists whose evening sale appearances spiked by more than 100% during the boom include Alberto Giacometti, Henry Moore, Egon Schiele and Francis Picabia.