The New York Times goes for another art takedown with a short piece on Chinese Contemporary art. The story pivots around Zeng Fanzhi:
But just as he and dozens of other artists in Beijing and Shanghai put the finishing touches on lavish studios that proclaim their success, the market for Chinese contemporary art has entered a downward spiral.
A global financial crisis has wiped out vast amounts of personal wealth, prompting a plunge in art prices. Suddenly bereft of visitors, galleries are laying off staff members, and the collectors who patronized them now worry that their art investments may prove a colossal folly.
“It’s been a long, cold winter,” said Zoe Butt, director of international programs at Long March Space, which is closing two of its three Beijing galleries. “The era of Chinese contemporary art commanding such high prices is over.”
Auctions, perhaps the most popular barometer of the recent craze for Chinese contemporary art, have also been hard hit. Sotheby’s autumn auction of Chinese contemporary art in October was dismal by comparison with the October 2007 result, with some works going unsold.
In less than a month, we’ll get to see what the market for Chinese Contemporary art really looks like and whether the strength in average prices seen in Hong Kong in October will re-emerge in April.
China’s Art Market: Cold or Maybe Hibernating? (New York Times)