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Art Agency, Partners comments on the Richter market in their inaugural newsletter. Under the heading ‘Misreadings,’ AAP says:
One of the major stories in 2016 was the looming scepter of art market collapse both in general and for specific artists, which, ultimately, proved exaggerated while the reasons for reticence were misunderstood. Take the Gerhard Richter. In the first half of the year, two mature abstracts of large scale for which there had been substantial financial expectation were withdrawn from auction. Based on this fact, there was widespread talk of a pullback in the Richter market.
AAP goes on to object to the idea that there has been a pullback in Richter’s market calling such a view “premature talk of a nonexistent stall.”
It’s not entirely clear what AAP is trying to say here but AAP does link to our post on the announcement of the third Richter sold by Eric Clapton. So we’re going to assume the writer has conflated our discussion of the market for large Richter abstracts with talk of an art market collapse (which would be very hard to find on these pages.)
Further below, we’ll address AAP’s argument. But to understand the market for large Richter abstracts, let’s look a chart (above.) These are the paintings that have driven much—but far from all—of the interest in the artist over the past few years. More to the point, the abstracts, in general, and the large works of five feet or more, in particular, have accounted for a substantial portion of the artist’s auction volume.
Over the course of two distinct periods, you can see from the chart above, the market for large Richter abstracts grew in price, frequency and volume.Continue Reading