James Tarmy does an excellent job charting Anselm Reyle’s fall from grace. And there were very real problems with Reyle’s production volume. Nonetheless, as Tarmy shows in his discussion of Tom Sachs’s market, art will only be an asset (sorry, Adam) when buyers accept that prices can—and should—go down from time to time. For Sachs, Tarmy suggests a 60% sell-through rate is anathema. And it is in today’s current heavily managed markets.
“People don’t like artists whose price goes down,” says gallery owner and collector Adam Lindemann, who owns a work by Reyle. “The art market died in 2009 for about a year, and there were some casualties. Reyle was a noteworthy one, and so the art market selected him as a pariah.”
[Peter] Marino and Lindemann blame Reyle’s decline on overproduction and fickle speculators. Westreich has a harsher take. “Let’s get to the real issue: Sooner or later, the art world comes to its senses,” she says. “Some artists look interesting for a period, maybe it’s a month or maybe it’s a year, but what happens is that things sort themselves out.” […]
Marino still owns 14 Reyles, which he calls beautiful. “The art market is, unfortunately, closely allied with the fashion market,” he says. “Just like handbags are in style, and then two years later they’re not, an artist’s in, then he’s out. But I don’t follow that. Now that I’m 65, I go, ‘Who cares?’ ”
Someone shares Marino’s point of view because Tarmy offers these numbers:
At the most recent sale of his artwork, in December 2014 at Phillips in London, an untitled 2006 purple crinkle work sold for about $66,000—$30,000 less than the same piece fetched four years ago.
The striking thing here is that the work sold at all, let alone for $66k. Reyle’s market may be a shadow of the pre-crisis boom. But there’s still a market.
The Dangers of Investing in Art: Anselm Reyle’s Decline (Bloomberg Business)