[intro] There Are Plenty of Deals Around but They’re Smaller and You Can’t See Them.[/intro]
Bloomberg‘s Katya Kazakina surveys the market for private deals and finds plenty of smart speculating as collectors and private dealers make a market in works that must be sold:
Chelsea art dealer Leo Koenig used to negotiate private sales by bringing buyers and sellers together. Now, he has to buy the artwork to make a sale happen.
“The super-deals are there for a second,” said Koenig, who owns a gallery on West 23rd Street in Manhattan. “You need to have a check ready to take advantage of them.”
He recently pounced on a Gerhard Richter painting being sold by a collector at a 30 percent discount to last year’s prices and two early Warhols going for half of the market’s high.
Then he offered them to potential buyers for what he paid, showing his invoices, plus a 5 percent fee. While Koenig isn’t getting rich — the Warhol and Richter prices were all in six figures — the eight deals he closed in this fashion since March helped keep his gallery afloat.
[…] Works by Warhol, Willem de Kooning, Donald Judd, Sigmar Polke, Picasso, Matisse, Richard Serra, Dan Flavin, Bruce Nauman, Jeff Wall, Gilbert and George, Alighiero Boetti and Vija Celmins have changed hands in recent months, according to dealers, art consultants and collectors. […]
Serious and seasoned collectors, who understand the advantages of buying in a depressed market, have filled the gap left by fleeing speculators.
“They want deals,” said Dorsey Waxter, director at Greenberg Van Doren gallery, which recently sold eight works on paper by Jasper Johns, with prices ranging from $12,000 to $350,000. “They typically have in mind a number they want to pay and are very committed to that number.”
“There are many sales taking place up to $1 million,” said Nicholas Maclean, a private art dealer in London and New York. “A $10 million deal is a very big trade today, and very few of those are taking place.”