Carol Vogel cuts against the prevailing grain of art market fever by pointing out that sourcing works for auction has become harder as the market roars back to boom-year levels:
Expectations are lower — if something goes for more than $40 million it will be considered a giant price — and auction houses had to work harder to get the best examples they could find by today’s most popular artists. The problem is that few major estates have come up for sale, and that most collectors are reluctant to part with their prized artwork, fearing that the world’s financial markets are far more unstable than the value of the art on their walls.
“It was a challenge from start to finish,” said Conor Jordan, head of Christie’s Impressionist and modern art department in New York. “A-plus material is in small supply, but if something is of good quality and correctly priced, there is no shortage of buyers.”
Of course, Vogel was juxtaposing the Brody Picasso from last year with the Impressionist and Modern sales of next week where few would expect to see another $100-million price.
Art for Sale, No Introduction Needed (New York Times)