The sale of Peter Doig’s Reflection was the highlight of the auction season for 24 hours. Though it was eclipsed by the Warhol sale, both paintings tell an interesting story about the art market and prices. Not a soul would argue that either painting could have achieved a higher price during the height of the credit bubble. In fact, because of the relative weakness of the British pound today versus two years ago, the Doig actually sold for a higher price in sterling. The expert who brought the painting in says Doig’s market continues to grow during the recession in the Economist:
Francis Outred, Christie’s European head of post-war and contemporary art who brought in the Doig consignment with his New York-based colleague, Andy Massad, said: “Some people saw ‘White Canoe’, which commanded £5.7m ($11.2m) in February 2007, as a symbol of the art market bubble, but three of the four highest prices for Doig have been made this year. Doig’s market has continued to grow throughout the recession. It’s a reflection of quality and a testament to the way Peter has moved forward the boundaries of painting.” Many assume that Russians have made the Doig market, but Mr Outred asserts that the four main contestants for the work included an American, an Asian and a European (which could include those from the former Soviet Union).
Dollars, Cents and Sensibility (Economist)