Crain’s New York decides to plump for New York dealer Eli Klein in a story repeating Artprice.com’s claims that China is the world’s top art market. Though the story never makes it entirely clear why dealers would be keen to sell Chinese Contemporary art in the US when the market is in China:
Eli Klein, who opened his Chinese contemporary art gallery in New York in 2007 and a branch in Beijing last year, said he is astounded that he doesn’t have more company. Eli Klein Fine Art and one other, Chambers Fine Art, are the only two major Chinese art galleries in New York, according to Mr. Klein.
“The mainstream Western art culture has not accepted the boom in Chinese art and has overlooked it vastly,” Mr. Klein said.
Out of 274 galleries at The Armory Show, New York’s largest art fair, there were only two European galleries that focused on Chinese art, said Mr. Klein, who applied to exhibit in the fair himself but was rejected. […] Still, Mr. Klein is laughing all the way to the bank. Business was up a whopping 44% last year as hedge funders have started to tap into the Chinese art market. Demand has been so high that he has begun developing a contemporary Chinese art fund as an investment vehicle for a select group of private clients.
Mr. Klein’s current exhibition of painter Zhang Gong’s work, where prices range from $5,000 to $70,000, is three-quarters sold out after just three weeks, he reports. His other show, the New York premier of painter Wang Yang’s work, which goes for $3,200 to $12,800, is half sold out.
Art World Power Shifts to China (Crain’s New York)