Jason Chow covers Sotheby’s Hong Kong sales for the Wall Street Journal’s SceneAsia blog. Though he makes the common mistake of thinking that last Spring’s frenzied sales represented either a normal or healthy art market (for some reason health sell-through rates of 70% or more are being used as evidence of weak market rather than a fully-functioning one,) Chow tracked down a few of the buyers from the beginning of the week’s Contemporary and Modern sales, including one woman who bought several of the top lots
- “Blue chip art is the new gold,” said Dutch entrepreneur and collector Herman Heinsbroek. The former politician has around 70 works of Chinese modern art that he’s collected since 2006. “These are relatively young contemporary artists, only in their 50s. Eventually, they’ll all go through the roof.”
- Among the big sales: Zao Wou-Ki’s “10.1.68,” which fetched 69 million Hong Kong dollars (US$8.9 million) on Monday. It was a new record for Mr. Zao, a Chinese-born painter who moved to France in 1948 and is known for his abstract style. (All final prices include the buyer’s premium.) The winning bidder, through the representatives who flanked her, declined to comment. She quickly snapped up two works by Wu Guanzhong, another contemporary painter who trained in France, spending some HK$114 million on three works—in less than 20 minutes.
Blue-Chips Rule at This Fall’s Modern Art Auctions (SceneAsia/Wall Street Journal)