This look into the Pablo Picasso market over the last 11 years was prepared with data and charts from our friends at Athena Art Finance. It is available to AMMpro subscribers. Monthly subscriptions begin with the first month free. Feel free to subscribe and cancel before you are billed.
The auction year is still quite young and yet the perennial market leader, Pablo Picasso, is looking like the next big artist. Already in 2018, works by Picasso sold for prices over $1m have totaled almost $236m. More than half of that total came from two works sold in London. The family's small 1937 portrait of Marie-Thérèse made nearly $70m at Sotheby's; and, Phillips was able to get about $58m for its less colorful 1932 work.
That only sets up the Picasso market for what is looking like a spectacular May. The Rockefeller rose-period painting of a young girl already estimated at $90-120m, up from the announced estimate, with plenty of market players talking about the work reaching some more more like $150m or close to the record price for a Picasso of $179m.
Sotheby's has its own small 1932 work Le Repos estimated at $25m or more. Surely there will be more Picasso works included in the sales which means the mid-year total for the artist will be in excess of $400m.
How does that compare to previous years? Remember, Picasso is the overall driver of the art market as the top artist by volume (with the occasional demotion to number 2)
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