Scott Reyburn’s ArtBasel preview column focuses on the shifting emphasis in the art market away from trophies and fashionable young artists. (Though no one seems to have told those Adrian Ghenie fans whose work will be featured in London in a few weeks.)
“The previews I’ve received from galleries have been different this year,” said Heather Flow, an art adviser in New York. “They’re bringing more historical material and very little by young artists.”
But Ms. Flow and other art advisers said they saw little evidence that galleries were lowering prices for new works.
“There’s a growing rift between price and value,” she said. “In some cases, gallery prices are higher than the levels at which similar works are being flipped,” meaning resales at auction.
Galleries, which maintain a policy of never lowering list prices but offering a range of time-sensitive discounts, view public price stability as one of their main functions.
But what Reyburn’s column highlights is a continuing rotation from the markets of the preceding few years toward discoveries in different forms, including the re-evaluation or artists previously under-appreciated.
Reyburn got this from dealer James Cohan:
“Today’s art world is confused about the canon,” Mr. Cohan said, explaining the attraction of artists’ estates. “An estate allows a collector to look at an artist’s reputation and sees how it stacks up in the face of art history. It’s not speculative, it’s fresh to the market and leads to artists being reassessed.”
“The ups and downs of the market are event-driven by fairs,” said Mr. Cohan. “But the environment is different now. Works need to be exceptional to gain the interest of the collector.”
Art Market Forecast: A Hazy Summer (The New York Times)