Dominique Lévy says talk of the Warhol market's decline is premature; TEFAF buys out Artvest from New York fair ownership stake.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.)
Dominique Lévy Defends the Warhol Market
Andy Warhol, Double Elvis [Ferus Type] ($50-70m)Lévy Gorvy gallery has a show opening of “Warhol’s Women.” The works in the show look very good. And one presumes the timing is meant to capitalize on the immense popularity of the Whitney exhibition of Warhol’s work that just closed. One can question whether in this age of female empowerment Warhol’s vision of women is revelatory but there’s no doubt Andy Warhol’s reputation as an artist remains among the very first rank. Warhol’s role in the art market may be a different story. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The most sought after Warhols continue to trade at the very top of the private market but his role in the public markets has been diminished in recent years and fell farther in the first quarter of trading this year. There are many theories about why this might be. A sturdy one is that Warhol’s incredible 15 year flight path atop the Contemporary art market has just run its course. The artist’s prints continue to dominate that market. So we know his imagery remains very appealing. With the middle ground between the print market and the top of the paintings market becoming sparse, it suggests the issue is simply the price level. Buying a Warhol these days is a serious financial commitment. When you make that commitment, it is to the art. You’re not buying a financial opportunity. The market is just too high for that.
Private PricesIt’s worth having all of that in mind if you decide to read Dominque Lévy’s defense of the Warhol market on Artnet. Lévy makes some valid points about the strength of the private Warhol market (though some of her claims have the feeling more of a sales pitch.) But the very existence of the story suggests the gallery has heard some concern from potential buyers and is taking to the press to counter the narrative.
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