What Do the Numbers Say About the Contemporary Market?
At first glance, the aggregated numbers for the Mid-Season Contemporary/First Open sales don’t paint a promising picture for the Contemporary art market. The totals for both houses were down. And the number of lots was reduced: both how many were offered, and, even moreso, how many were sold.
But a closer look at the comparison chart to the left shows that the average lot value was only down 5.47% suggesting that while buyers purchased fewer pieces, the price level has not dropped significantly. This would suggest collectors are still in the market for Contemporary art, often buying works that are considered increasingly desirable or fresh to the market, but they are becoming much more selective in what they will buy.
An historical analysis of the the Mid-Season/First Open sales should be available next week.