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During the depths of the global financial crisis eight years ago, the art market was severely constrained but did not receive the level of valitudinary scrutiny we see in today's healthy but constrained market. Of course, the constraints today—sellers with a surfeit of assets and cash seemingly unmotivated to part with great works of art, a lack of market direction with no specific artists or categories providing 'leadership'—are different from the constraints of the credit crisis when all assets were correlated and falling and only art owners with no other place to go for cash were selling.
Somehow the focus on the art market's health now is greater as expectations of ever-continuing rise have met another market disruption. Here's the Wall Street Journal obsessively fixating on the market's health:
Market watchers are monitoring these sales of impressionist, modern and contemporary art for signs of a potential art-market turnaround, and collectors say the first week’s results are encouraging.
Sotheby's record sale for an auction in Europe has given the press the false sense that everything has changed when in reality little about the market has shifted on the demand side.
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