Katya Kazakina looks at the Hirst market that may be stabilizing but still has not made much of a comeback:
Three auction houses will offer 11 Hirst lots during November postwar and contemporary sales in New York, yet only one work will be included in an evening sale: a 2007 dot painting with a $400,000-to-$600,000 estimate range at Christie’s.
“With Damien, most of his profound work was made early in his career,” said Allan Schwartzman, who advises art collectors. “Those works dealt in the most unsettling ways with the issues of mortality.” […]
“His market has always seemed to be its own being,” said Schwartzman. “It’s a machine that found a way to keep itself alive because there’s so much invested in it.”
Kazakina’s story is built around a new show of Hirst’s early work to be held at L&M Arts:
The L & M Arts show will examine that early period with 18 medicine cabinets, including 12 works inspired by the Sex Pistols’ “Never Mind the Bollocks” and using titles from the 1977 album. The gallery and Hirst’s company Other Criteria published a catalogue raisonne of about 100 medicine cabinets the artist made between 1988 and 2008.
The auction record for a medicine cabinet made between 1988 and 1991 was achieved with the $1.2 million sale of “Never Mind” (1990-91) at Sotheby’s in New York. Privately, they have sold for as much as $2.5 million, said Dominique Levy, partner at L & M Arts who organized the exhibition.