This commentary by Marion Maneker is available to AMMpro subscribers. (The first month of AMMpro is free and subscribers are welcome to sign up for the first month and cancel before they are billed.)
After New York's auction cycle, a lot of commentators are wondering if the market has reached its limit
There’s was a lot of talk last week of the art market having reached its limit.
Sotheby’s in-house art advisor, Allan Schwartzman, complained after the sales that “it seems like the passion has piddled away.” The New York Times’s art market reporter likened reporting on the sales to the drudgery of house work. To him, the sales are “as predictable as a washing machine” where “the cycle remains the same.”
Looking for fresh fields to plow, the Financial Times’s Melanie Gerlis turned toward other sales and found too many falling short of low estimates. “There were high points,” she wrote of the workman-like day sales, “but many of these auctions came in below expectations, suggesting that the art market—much like the US stock market—has found its limit.”
Even the ever voluble Kenny Schachter is beginning to question the art market’s ability to provide continuing entertainment. “Snowballing guarantees have had a dulling effect on bidding,” Schachter writes, “but serve to anchor the market—contributing to stability, if not confidence.”
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