Colin Gleadell provides his usual sedulous recap of the London Contemporary sales. There’s a lot in there for anyone who follows the market. So be sure to click through and read the whole column.
We would like to point out that it is almost irrelevant to compare early 2008 prices with any other prices because they remain such outliers even in the context of the 2006-2008 take off in Contemporary art prices. Nonetheless, Gleadell homes in on Charles Saatchi’s collection culling sales and sees some strong profits:
There were several works on offer by Jeff Koons, but his current Serpentine Gallery show was not enough to revive past price levels. At Christie’s, a 7ft-tall, stainless-steel cut-out in the shape of a walrus sold for £361,000 – half the price another from the series made a year ago. A smaller stainless-steel sculpture, Mermaid Troll, sold for £241,500 compared to the £512,800 another from the edition had fetched in 2007.
The troll was sold at Phillips de Pury & Co, where Charles Saatchi, who constantly recycles his collection, was disposing of more than £1 million of art. One work by Anselm Reyle, a 39-year-old Berliner whose shimmering silver-foil creations had seen massive price increases during the boom, sold for less than half the price similar works had realised last year. Paintings by Zhang Xiaogang and Wang Guangyi, two of the hottest Chinese artists during the boom, were unsold.
However, there was an upside. A butterfly drawing from the Saatchi collection by the American Mark Grotjahn, whose work is on display at the Gagosian Gallery in London, fetched a record £145,000 for a work on paper by the artist, and a painting by Yue Minjun, which Saatchi acquired three years ago for £249,000, sold for just over £421,000.
Contemporary Art Sales: Is the Plunge Easing? (Telegraph)