Colin Gleadell was paying close attention to the London Contemporary art auctions. He pays particular attention to what well-established dealers are buying. With close ties to the market at the transaction level and a history of making money, these dealers represent a leading indicator for certain artists whose markets may finally be catching up to their academic reputations like, say, Joseph Beuys:
A record £601,000 was paid by Paris and Salzburg dealer Thaddaeus Ropac for a table and battery sculpture by Beuys, laden with hidden meaning and significance that was lost on all but Ropac, who is planning a major Beuys exhibition and smiled as he bought the work against no competition, clearly prepared to spend more.
Others spot opportunities when a market has pulled back. The recent trend has been for sellers to flood the market trying to capitalize on major museum retrospectives in New York and London. Cindy Sherman, John Chamberlain and Jeff Koons have all failed to see their markets jump to a new level in the slipstream of a major retrospective the way Gerhard Richter’s has:
Another bargain may have been the below-estimate £2.6 million given by London dealer Ivor Braka for a shimmering blue stainless-steel Baroque Egg with Bow, by Jeff Koons. Koons’s market has yet to recover from the excesses of the last boom, but almost certainly will at some point.
Sellers banking on a revival in the Hirst market triggered by his Tate retrospective were largely disappointed as half the works offered sold below estimate or not at all.
Art sales: contemporary art wins gold medal (Telegraph)