The Economist pointed the finger at Philippe Ségalot last auction season by suggesting that he and Phillips de Pury had somehow rigged the successful sale of Warhol’s The Men in Her Life. This season, the magazine returns with more dark intimations about the same art market players, the Mugrabi family, Phillips de Pury and Warhol.
This time, however, Gagosian gallery is thrown into the mix:
Mr Gagosian occupies a slightly different place than the other Warhol aficionados. During this past week, 52% of all lots in Christie’s evening sale consisted of artists exhibited by Gagosian Gallery. At Sotheby’s this number was exactly half, whereas at Phillips the overlap with Gagosian was 46%.
It isn’t clear what the writer is trying to suggest here. But it is worth pointing out that two forces might be at play. One is that Gagosian Gallery’s large footprint among international collectors and flexible attitude toward showing in demand artists who might not be represented solely by Gagosian accounts for the startlingly high numbers.
The other is that Gagosian makes an active market in the artists that he represents. Gagosian’s willingness to buy works that come up for auction can only act as an added incentive for sellers to try their luck on the block.
The Wizards of the Warhol Market (Economist)