Karolina Prawdzik made some charts of the London Impresionist, Modern and Surrealism Evening sales at Sotheby’s and Christie’s over the last decade. For all of the complaining that Impressionist and Modern is a dead category or one that has more in common with Old Masters because of the dearth of masterpieces available to the market, the sales continue to make substantial gains in both volume and average price.
Look at the last two February sales. These are significant gains in volume. Isolating each season, one can see steady growth even though the seasons themselves are out of balance so that the Winter sales in February have more significant volume than the Summer sales in June. This is a different pattern from the period leading up the global financial crisis where each sale outstripped the previous sale regardless of season. With the exception of the Summer 2010 sale where the Giacometti price, the post-crisis pattern has favored the Winter sales.