The scythes are really coming out in Britain for Damien Hirst’s tall poppy. The recent Spots-tacular show at Gagosian failed to re-ignite the market for the spots or the rest of his work. Now with the opening of his retrospective at the Tate Modern which launches the run-up to London’s Olympics, the Financial Times publishes this chart from Art Market Research:
“Damien Hirst has underperformed since 2008 as there’s been a fundamental rethink about his work. People have been asking – is it really serious? Was he just very effectively hyped?” said Robin Duthy, managing director of AMR.
In 2008, the peak price for the most expensive 25 per cent of his work was nine times what it was in 2000, but it is now being bought for less than three and a half times the 2000 price.
By contrast, the top 25 per cent of the Contemporary Art 100 index, which includes 100 popular modern artists, did not reach such heights: it peaked at about five and a half times the 2000 price. But it has also enjoyed a stronger and earlier recovery and is now trading at about five times that price.