Nobody expects the art market to go up in 2016. The common debate is how far it will pullback. After all, Christie’s numbers showed a 5% reduction in topline sales. Sotheby’s did the same numbers as the previous year.
But one thing missed by many of those who assume the art market is in a swoon is that Phillips has been expanding.
Here’s what the Economist published this weekend:
Total auction sales, at $523m (mostly of contemporary art), were 34% higher than in 2014. Mr Dolman expects Phillips to reach $1 billion within three years.
That 34% rise represents $150m or so which is about 60% of the drop at Christie’s. And one of the biggest problems for Christie’s sales numbers was their private sales division.
This doesn’t suggest that the market isn’t pulling in its horns. Or that a drop in sales activity might not be good for the market. Finally, this would be a good place to remind everyone of the work presented by JP Morgan economist Ben Mandel who suggests the big gains in the art market have been made by the entry of the Chinese over the last decade. Going forward, the market is more likely to rise slowly.
House pride (The Economist)