The FT’s Lex column gets it wrong when the savants write:
The popular explanation is a coterie of new, wealthy buyers from Asia, Russia and the Middle East, who tend to prefer recent work. Their presence is said to have accounted for some of the headline-snatching sale results seen lately, and, in the trophy slice of the market, their influence shows few signs of waning. Key lots in Christie’s May event, where nine items fetched $10m-plus, went to people who had never bought there before, according to the auction house. This factor may also explain why sale results have been more sedate at lower price levels. There is always an element of trickle-down (because differentials are watched carefully), but cheaper works have shown none of the giddy swings seen at the top end.
Cheaper works have been where some of the most active trading takes place in the contemporary art market over the last year. This week’s Frieze sales will be interesting for their general lower price points and focus on newer names. But the day sales will be especially interesting and active as real buyers seem to prefer the action in five- and six-figure ranges.
Art Market: Painting By Numbers (Lex/Financial Times)