Christie’s Jussi Pylkkanen is Confident in Emerging Markets
Bloomberg talks to Christie’s about their Abu Dhabi exhibition and Oct. 30th Dubai sale:
Christie’s International has assembled $350 million of art in Abu Dhabi, combining highlights from its Oct. 30 auction in nearby Dubai with a Rothko, a Bacon and two Monet works as it seeks to woo emerging-market buyers. Christie’s is betting that cash from emerging markets in the Middle East, Asia and Russia will stop the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression from triggering a similar slump in the art market. [ . . . ] Christie’s auction of international modern and contemporary art in Dubai Oct. 30, its fifth in the emirate, will be its first sale in the Middle East since the worst of the financial crisis hit. The last Dubai auction set a record for a Middle Eastern artist when “The Wall (Oh Persepolis),” a nearly 2-meter tall bronze sculpture covered in hieroglyphics by Iranian Parviz Tanavoli, fetched $2.84 million. “I’m very confident that the sale in Dubai, particularly the picture sale, will be very robust,” said Pylkkanen. Christie’s last auction of Islamic and Indian art in London in Oct. 7 ended with 47 percent of lots sold. The auction brought in 77 percent by value, according to Christie’s.
Pylkkanen says he would be “very disappointed” if November’s New York auctions achieved the 40-50 percent that some of the recent London sales earned. “When I started to work in the Impressionist department in 1991, the very first sale I was involved with sold only 17 percent,” he said. “It was a traumatic adjustment. This is a much more measured adjustment.”