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Posts Tagged ‘art recession’

Kandinsky prize winner Russian artist Alexey Beliavev-Guintovt prices boosted by continuing controversy

Posted by artradar on January 30, 2009


Beliayev-Guintovt Star

Beliayev-Guintovt Star

 

RUSSIAN ART PRIZE

The Art Newspaper reports that Kandinsky Prize prize winner Alexey Beliavev-Guintovt continues to cause controversy and threatens a split amongst the supporters of the Russian contemporary art scene.

“These (art) unprecedented divisions in a community which hitherto has been more-or-less united to promote contemporary art in and outside Russia,” said Matthew Bown, a Russian art dealer based in London.

Artist accused of being fascist, jury member disavows vote

The debacle began on the night of the award ceremony when 2007 winner Anatoli Osmolovsky

stood up and lambasted Beliayev-Guintovt when he was announced the winner. In the days and weeks that followed, prominent dealers, critics and curators readily gave interviews accusing the artist of being a “fascist” and “ultra-nationalist” for his views, and his art style that harks back to Stalinist-era aesthetics.

Friedhelm Hutte, a jury member and representative of Deutsche Bank, the prize’s co-sponsor, retracted his vote for Beliayev-Guintovt in an interview with the German website, Taz.de.

Beliayev-Guintovt prices boosted by controversy

Whatever the state of the argument, and despite the economic downturn, the Kandinsky Prize and all the surrounding controversy have done the winner no harm at all. Triumph Gallery reports that prices of Beliayev-Guintovt’s works are up by 30%.

Source: The Art Newspaper

Related categories: Russian art, prizes, reports from Russia

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Posted in Emerging artists, Moscow, Painting, Prizes, Russia, Russian | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Identify recession survivors with new Survival Rating methodology from ArtTactic

Posted by artradar on January 24, 2009


ART RESEARCH ART MARKET

This month, ArtTactic launched its first version of the Art Market Survival Rating methodology, as part of its US & European Art Market Confidence Survey.

The new measurement captures the likelihood of whether an artist will be of High, Medium or Low importance in 10 years time. ArtTactic says that the rating is particularly useful in the current environment, as the art market attempts to clarify which artists are likely to survive the current downturn, and what importance they will play when the market rebounds.

ArtTactic

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Asian Art Fair in New York cancelled – New York Times, Artinfo

Posted by artradar on December 23, 2008


The New York Times reports:

Reflecting the recent nose dive in confidence in the art and antiquities markets, the International Asian Art Fair held each spring in Manhattan has been canceled. The event’s organizers said the current economic slump was the determining factor. The fair had been scheduled for March 11 to March 15 at the Park Avenue Armory, at 67th Street.

New York Times

“Many of the dealers who had contracted to take part are not in a position to go forward in the current climate,” organizer Haughton International Fairs said on its Web site, “and as such we have decided a fair would put an untenable strain on their resources.”

“We hope to be able to re-launch the fair in 2010 and look forward to working with our exhibitors again,” the statement said.

Artinfo

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Posted in Fairs, New York, Recession, USA | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How Chinese auction house Poly sold spectacular 83% lots in December 2008 art sale

Posted by artradar on December 11, 2008


ART AUCTIONS CHINA

This weekend marked the end of the auction season on the  Chinese mainland and, while spectacular success was had in antiques and antiquity sale categories, contemporary Chinese art shared little of the success…save for Poly Auctions, says Katie Grube in Redbox Review.

In November and December sales

  • Only fifty-four percent of the works offered in Guardian’s “Chinese Oil Painting and Sculpture II” found buyers.
  • Council’s contemporary sales similarly sold only 57%.

Poly provided the only bright spot in the contemporary art category by focussing on emerging artists and slashing estimates at the last minute.

Poly opened their four days of auctions with an emerging artist sale, oddly translated as “New and Vigorous Artists,” and would go on to sell over RMB 134 million during the course of their December 5th contemporary sales. The contemporary evening saw the dramatic pre-sale reduction of 14 lots’ estimates, or nearly 1/4 of the sale. Some estimates were reduced by as much as one-third; Wang Guangyi’s “Great Criticism – Motorola” (lot 588) carried a pre-sale estimate of RMB 1,200,000 – 1,800,000, but saleroom notice pointed to a reduction to RMB 800,000 – 1,200,o00. The work earned a hammer price of RMB 800,000. Lowered estimates seemed to encourage buyers and most works sold at or just above the low estimate with 83% of works sold by lot.

Redbox Review

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Posted in Auctions, Beijing, China, Chinese, Emerging artists, Market watch, Recession | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Top price for Oliver Stone’s Zhang Xiaogang, half lots unsold at Christies Hong Kong sale – Bloomberg

Posted by artradar on December 1, 2008


Zhang Xiaogang

Zhang Xiaogang

ASIAN ART AUCTIONS

A painting by Chinese contemporary artist Zhang Xiaogang offered by Hollywood director Oliver Stone fetched HK$26.4 million ($3.4 million) at a Hong Kong art sale where half the lots were unsold, reflecting the prevailing gloom.

Zhang’s “Bloodline: Big Family, No. 2,” from 1995, was the most-expensive lot sold at Christie’s International’s evening sale yesterday. There was less enthusiasm for most other lots: buyers shunned 44 percent of Asian contemporary works and more than half of 20th-century Chinese paintings for a sale that tallied HK$140.6 million.

“You could sense the caution; no one wants to make a rash move,” said Tian Kai, a Beijing-based art dealer who flew in to attend the sale. “It’s a sign of the times.”

Hong Kong’s art market remains in the throes of a slump it heralded in October when Sotheby’s auction in the city missed its target by half. Subsequent major auctions in New York, London and Dubai fell short of estimates, spelling an art-world rout sparked by the Sept. 15 bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and the ensuing global credit and stock-market crisis.

Zhang’s 1.8 meter-by-2.3 meter work shows a pursed-lipped couple with a tuft-haired toddler painted yellow. It went to an anonymous buyer after a 2-minute tussle between phone and salesroom bidders.

Last night’s sale was the most-glamorous part of Christie’s five-day Hong Kong auction (Nov. 29-Dec. 3) of 2,500 antiques, gems and art that the company expects to raise HK$1.75 billion. At least 500 people, some decked in their evening best of chiffon, silks and gems, packed the standing-room-only auction- hall at the Exhibition Center which overlooks the harbor.

‘Price Readjustment’

“Overall, there’s clearly been a price readjustment,” said Jonathan Stone, Christie’s Hong Kong-based international business director, in an interview after the sale. Stone, not related to Oliver, said the company is pleased that it set several artist records at the sale, “economic circumstances notwithstanding.”

Artist record for Zao Wou-ki

“Hommage a Tou-Fou,” a painting by China-born, Paris-based Zao Wou-ki sold for an artist record of HK$45.5 million. Chinese artist Sanyu’s “Potted Chrysanthemums” fetched HK$8.4 million, against the presale top forecast of HK$5 million.

Biggest upset Zeng Fanzhi’s Mao

Last evening’s biggest upset was a 1993 painting of Mao Zedong by China’s most-expensive contemporary artist Zeng Fanzhi, which failed to sell against a presale estimate of HK$30 million.

Bidding on Zeng’s oil-on-canvas “Mao I: From the Masses, to the Masses” was labored, even with auctioneer Andrea Fiuczynskic’s effort at coaxing more bids. The last offer of HK$28 million wasn’t good enough for Fiuczynskic, who rapped the gavel and called in the lot.

“Mao I,” is the twin of a like-sized painting “Chairman Mao II,” also dated 1993, that fetched 2.17 million pounds ($3.3 million) at Phillips de Pury & Co.’s London auction on June 29.

Other Oliver Stone owned works sold at near low estimates

Oliver Stone had consigned five Chinese contemporary paintings at this sale, three of which featured at last night’s event. The other two, both Liu Weis, sold for a combined HK$7.5 million, near the low end of estimates. Two last paintings will be offered at Christie’s day sale this afternoon.

“These are challenging times,” said Tian. “Both sellers and buyers are trying to make the best of a difficult situation.”

Southeast Asian art prices eased

Demand for Southeast Asian art, whose prices defied the demand weakness at Sotheby’s October auction, eased at this sale.

A mixed-media painting by the region’s most-expensive painter I Nyoman Masriadi fetched HK$2.1 million, against the work’s top estimate of HK$1.6 million. The priciest lot sold at the Southeast Asian auction was Filipina Juan Luna’s “Roman Maidens,” which fetched HK$4.7 million, against the painting’s low estimate of HK$8 million.

Except for wines, Christie’s charges buyers 25 percent on the first HK$400,000 of the hammer price, 20 percent of the amount above that, up to and including HK$8 million, and 12 percent of subsequent sums.

Posted in Auctions, China, Chinese, Hong Kong, I Nyoman Masriadi, Indonesian, Market watch, Pop Art, Zeng Fanzhi | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Art museums suffer in downturn – Artintern, Wall Street Journal

Posted by artradar on November 7, 2008


MUSEUM NEWS RECESSION

The economy’s swoon is taking a particularly tough toll on art museums, according to artintern.net and the Wall Street Journal.The art boom of the past two decades, and the resulting skyrocketing costs of acquisitions and insurance, led museums to staff their boards with more than a few deep-pocketed executives from real estate firms, financial institutions, and hedge funds-industries that are now among the hardest hit.

Plus, the tough times come at the tail end of a boom in museum expansions, and many of those glamorous buildings and new wings are not yet paid for. A handful of major institutions financed those expansions with bond issues that face the same climbing adjustable interest rates that are plaguing homeowners.

For some time, most museums have been betting that a golden age of giving was soon to end. But even institutions that braced for a downturn say the stock market’s decline, the bankruptcy or disappearance of major investment banks, and the liquidity crisis have made this one unique. “We know from history the bell curve of support goes down,” says Emily Rafferty, president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “But as far as the corporate world is concerned, we’ve never seen anything like this current climate,” she says. “We need to navigate a very, very difficult time.” Read more at Wall Street Journal

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Crisis to impact art prices, number of Asian collectors increases – Business Times

Posted by artradar on November 4, 2008


ART PRICES FINANCIAL CRISIS

With fear at near panic levels recently in the stock market, it would seem almost anomalous that life goes on in some segments of alternative investments. No, we’re not talking about hedge funds or commodities, both of which suffer the whiplash dealt by severe market plunges. Instead, welcome to the rarefied world of art collection and investment. Proponents of the segment argue that art, being a real asset and devoid of the mind-numbing complexity of derivatives, should retain its sheen as a ‘passion’ investment.

Art is tangible with inherent value says Christie’s

Says auction house Christie’s president (Asia) Andrew Foster: ‘We stand in a curious position. Art is a very real and tangible thing. Clients agree that art has inherent value. So you start with the proposition that it’s not a highly leveraged investment. That’s almost refreshing now.

‘That doesn’t mean prices don’t fluctuate, but value is agreed upon and inherent, and it springs from cultural and global trends more than trading multiples.’

Christie’s confident about November Hong Kong sales

Christie’s recently exhibited highlights of its upcoming Fall 2008 auction in Hong Kong, to take place at end-November. ‘Our sales are nearly two months down the road; we’re confident markets will calm down,’ says Mr Foster.

Art, however, isn’t that impervious to the fallout from the evaporation of trillions of dollars in stock market value. Nor is it immune to the belt tightening that has ensued as individuals brace for more difficult economic conditions.

But recent Borobodur and Sotheby’s Asian auctions disappointing

Two auctions of Asian art last weekend, for instance, fell short of pre-sale estimates. Borobudur Auction’s two-day sale of Chinese and South-east Asian art fetched nearly $10 million, compared with pre-sale expectations of $18 million.

The recent Sotheby’s sale of contemporary Asian art in Hong Kong was also disappointing, with a number of works unsold or drawing bids below reserve prices.

Citi Art Advisory – stock market drop causes short term bounce and longer term fall

Citi Private Bank’s art advisory service senior vice-president Suzanne Gyorgy says that a prolonged economic downturn will take its toll. ‘A downturn in the equities markets often initially causes investors to turn to tangible assets. The art market can benefit from this turn to alternative investments with a bounce in the value, counter-cyclical to the equities markets.

‘However, a prolonged economic downturn in the equities markets will first result in a softening of the real estate market which is then followed by a downward adjustment in the art market.’

Asia undergoing structural change: more collectors

Still, the last few years’ robust pace of wealth creation is likely to have expanded the catchment of wealthy individuals globally for whom art is a passion, particularly in Asia. Christie’s own Asian sales are a testament to this. Last year, the firm’s Asian art division reported sales of US$654 million, a 49 per cent rise from 2006. Growth has been at a strong double digit clip since 2004.

Asian art showed broad uptrend even in Asian financial crisis

‘What is interesting about Asian art, from the period which includes the Asian financial crisis and a downturn in the West . . . global Asian art grew every year through that period. The broad trendline is up. This isn’t a surprise, because all the long-term economic indicators and information about this century is that it will be an Asian century,’ says Mr Foster.

He concedes that wealthy individuals may have sustained substantial losses in equities in recent months. ‘People need to recognise the losses in the context of the gains in the last three to four years. We’re talking about a tremendous, unprecedented increase in global wealth. It’s natural to have a correction.’

Citi Art Advisory predicts softening for mid value works

Citi’s Ms Gyorgy agrees. ‘Today, with the vast amount of newly created wealth across the globe, even after this recent economic turmoil, we are likely to continue to see record prices for the remaining top tier master works . . . by sought after artists, but expect to experience a softening in value for mid-level works.’

Art captured second largest share of ‘passion’ dollar of rich

Passion investments merited a highlight in Merrill Lynch and Capgemini’s 2008 World Wealth Report, which found that art captured the second-largest share of the global wealthy’s passion dollar at 15.9 per cent, after luxury collectibles (16.2 per cent). Among the well-heeled in Asia-Pacific, art’s share of their passion dollar was 13 per cent.

The most frequently quoted indicator of art’s investment returns is the Mei Moses Fine Art Index. Its index for all art for 2007 rose 20 per cent, a performance only surpassed by some of the annual returns achieved in the art bubble years of 1984 to 1990, it says on its website. This dramatically outpaced the 5.5 per cent achieved by the S&P 500 total return index. It was, however, outpaced by gold which rose over 30 per cent.

In the most recent five and 10 year periods, art trumped stocks, according to the index. Art returned 16.2 and 10.3 per cent per annum in the respective time periods, compared with stocks’ returns of 12.7 and 5.9 per cent, respectively.

1985 to 1990 art index up 30% per year then shed 65% 1990 to 1995

Yet art, too, has its boom and bust cycles, as Michael Moses, the creator of the index, told Reuters earlier this year. From 1985 to 1990, Western contemporary art values rose at an annual compound rate of 30 per cent, before shedding 65 per cent in the next five years, he said.

Now, one of the most frequently raised questions is whether there is a bubble in contemporary art, particularly by Chinese artists. Ms Gyorgy says: ‘In this economic climate, the portion of the emerging art market that has recently experienced huge jumps in value on the high end are poised to experience the greatest price correction.’

Only some artists survive a pricked bubble

She says that a similar spike in value and dramatic correction occurred in the 1980s and early 1990s for many ‘newly minted art stars’. ‘With the passing of time, a number of the 1980s artists have regained their value and place in the art market, and some have not survived the test of time. I expect we will see art market history repeating itself.’

Citi advises clients to do their homework, talk to experts and collectors, and to research great collections. Buyers should also learn how to evaluate the condition of art works, visit auctions and learn how to negotiate with private dealers.

New art fund launched to focus on emerging art markets

Art funds are also an option. Meridien Art Partners is working with Calamander Capital to launch the Emerging Art Market to invest in contemporary art, scouring the markets of South-east Asia, Vietnam, Russia and the Middle East. The fund has so far raised about US$10 million and the partners will be gearing up to market the fund to European, Russian and Middle Eastern clients as well.

Ultimately, you must love the piece that you buy. As Citi says in its art advisory material: ‘We do not recommend that clients buy art purely for investment. . . There are many other investment vehicles that give higher or more predictable returns than art.

‘The art market is a fickle place, but art can be a good investment if you take a long-term strategy, do your homework and are well advised.’

This article was first published in The Business Times on October 18, 2008

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Posted in Advisors, Art Funds, Art Index, Auctions, Collectors, Globalisation, Individual, Market watch, Professionals, Recession | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Indian art market confidence falls in latest ArtTactic survey – Indian Art News

Posted by artradar on November 1, 2008


INDIAN ART MARKET CONFIDENCE

The financial markets around the world are gradually recovering from a cardiac arrest, the banking system is being rebooted with help of government intervention and nationalisation. Most Western economies are heading for a recession. Emerging markets such as India and China have not been spared either, and the short-term economic outlook is highly uncertain.

Sentiment shift began May 2008

Now, this is the context in which the art market must be analysed. ArtTactic’s India Confidence survey in May 2008 signaled a shift in the sentiment, as respondents turned negative on the economy – 6 months after, the negative mood has now hit the Indian art market.

Confidence falls 23% May to September 2008

The recent confidence survey conducted in September 2008, showed that the overall ArtTactic Indian Art Market Confidence Indicator fell a further 23% from the last reading in May, which has resulted in a combined fall in the Indian Art Market Confidence of 34% since October 2007.

The ArtTactic Indian Art Market Indicator has been hit by 38% drop in the confidence in the economy, which is a further deterioration from the 54% decrease experienced between October 2007 and May 2008. Hence the economic component of the indicator has fallen 71% since October last year. This has to be viewed in the light of The Bombay Stock exchange (SENSEX) having lost more than 50% of its value between October 2007 and October 2008. With inflation levels at close to 12% and weaker industrial production numbers for August 2008, the Indian economy is feeling the gravity of the global crisis – a sentiment that is now starting to find its way into the heated Indian art market.

Speculation cited as cause

ArtTactic’s recent survey shows a significant fall of 36% in the Indian Contemporary Art Market Confidence Indicator, which reached its height in May 2008. The loss in confidence has been largely caused by speculation (73% of respondents saying this the biggest risk to the contemporary Indian art market), and rapidly rising prices of younger, still unproven contemporary artists, combined with a much weaker and uncertain economic climate.

Future?

So what does this mean for the future of the Indian art market? The changes are likely to take place on different levels. The most immediate; art prices and value of Indian art works will come under scrutiny, which is evident by recent results from auctions in London, New York and Hong Kong.

In the medium term there needs to be a re-assessment of the Indian art market, and questions around artistic, historic and cultural importance need to be debated, discussed and contextualised. The Indian art market desperately needs a non-market/ non-commercial reference frame for which it can questions its validity. The market needs more long-term players, particularly art collectors.

On the positive side, the Indian art market boom has laid the foundation for a healthier, second Indian art market cycle. The emergence of institutions such as the Devi Foundation are necessary, but one needs many more – as a single institution runs the risk of becoming an instrument for another speculative boom. The market needs a wide range of ‘voices’ that can maintain the checks and balances, and ensure that the value of art has a foundation outside the commercial market.

However, one should remain positive. Whilst the market will go up and down, artists and art will not cease to exist. Contrary, a difficult environment is likely to be more conducive for art production and creativity. It is in this new cycle, where the real, long term value of Indian art will be established.

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Posted in Art Index, Collectors, Indian, Market watch | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Chinese, Indian leading artists fail to sell at Sotheby’s Asian Art evening sale October 2008

Posted by artradar on October 5, 2008


Kang Hyung-Koo

Kang Hyung-Koo

 

 

 

REPORT FROM THE AUCTION ROOM

Big name Chinese and Indian artists and several premium lot artworks failed to sell at Sotheby’s October 2008 evening sale of contemporary and modern Asian art but the sale pointed to a new trend of enthusiastic collecting interest in South East Asian art.

Sotheby’s presented its first evening sale of Asian art in Hong Kong 4 October 2008 following Christie’s lead in the Spring auctions. Although Sotheby’s was more aggressive in the number of lots offered (Sotheby’s 47, Christie’s 32), Sotheby’s sale was generally a more diverse cautious offering compared with Christie’s. Sotheby’s presented:

  • artworks covering more time periods (Sotheby’s contemporary and modern, Christie’s contemporary only)
  • artworks from more geographical markets ( Both: Chinese, Indian, Korean, Japanese, Sotheby’s added Filipino and Indonesian)
  • a greater price range at Sothebys with given estimates ranging from US$13,000 to more than US$3.85 million (Christie’s lowest given estimate was US$64,100 and ranged up to US$3.2m).

The results however could not have been more different. While Christie’s sale was a resounding success Sotheby’s sold only 28 of the 47 lots on offer.

The auction room was packed with all of the 200 or so seats taken and though more seats were brought in 30-40 people had to remain standing at the back. There were two rows of Sothebys staff (30-40 people) taking telephone bids. The auction room hummed with anticipation and got off to a roaring start with the first two lots. Filipino artist Ronald Ventura’s ‘Pinamumugaran’ attracted furious bidding and achieved a price of US$230,000 ex premium compared with estimates in the range US$13,000 to US$23,000. The next lot Indonesian artist Handiwirman Saputra’s ‘Mental Series No 8’ estimated at US$25,000- US$40,000 was also successful and eventually sold for US$140,000 ex premium.

Enthusiasm quickly waned during the next two lots of Indian art: lot 3 by  Thukral and Tagra just exceeded the estimate and lot 4 by Jagannath Panda missed its estimate.

The first big upset was lot 5 Subodh Gupta’s ‘Untitled’ estimated at US$1.5 – 2million. Known as the leading Indian contemporary artist Gupta was the first Indian contemporary artist to be included in international auction sales. Sotheby’s had high hopes for this lot but it failed to meet the reserve and went unsold. This set the tone for the next 7 lots; although the works were by  big name Indian and Chinese contemporary artists only 2 (Zhang Xiaogang and Feng Zhengjie) sold just scraping the bottom end of the estimates.

I Nyoman Masriadi

I Nyoman Masriadi

The remainder of the sale was slow and bidding was sticky apart from a couple of bright spots. Indonesian artist I Nyoman Masriadi’s ‘Sorry Hero, Saya Lupa’ estimated at US$48 – 75,000 attracted wide bidding from the room and phones and was finally sold for over US$500,000. Other artists who attracted several bidders and sold above estimates included Korean artists Lee Bul and Kang Hyung-Koo and Indonesian artists Agus Suwage and Affandi.

Contemporary Chinese artists who failed to sell any works in the sale included Liu Wei, Wang Guangyi, Tang Zhigang, Zeng Fanzhi, Yan Pei-ming, Feng Lijun. Chinese Moderns were not spared and lots by Liao Jichun, Chang Yu, Zhu Dequn were not sold. Other Asian artists who were not successful included Indians Subodh Gupta, Justin Ponmany, Japanese artist Takashi Murakami and founder of new media art Nam June Paik.

Some commentators suggest that this sale has been less successful because it coincides with a structural turning point in buyers’ tastes which are speculative and fad-led by nature and that interest in Chinese contemporary art has been replaced with a new enthusiasm for Korean and South East Asian art.

Fads aside, the correlation between prices of works and demand is certainly striking demonstrating a new price sensitivity by buyers of Asian art. September’s financial meltdown is no doubt the leading cause of the many failures in this sale but other factors may also be involved. The number of auctions and fairs has exploded in the last two years providing excess supply of art just when demand is reducing. This Sotheby’s auction competes with the concurrent Hong Kong International Art and Antiques Fair in which art is shown by over 80 galleries in 5000 sq metres of space on the floor above Sotheby’s sale at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Sotheby’s sale also overlaps with Korea’s leading auction house Seoul Auction’s first auction in Hong Kong which is offering high quality Korean Japanese Chinese and Western modern and contemporary works.

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Posted in Auctions, China, Chinese, Filipino, Globalisation, Hong Kong, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Market watch, Painting, Recession, Southeast Asian | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Mei Moses art index founder talks about financial crisis and art – Artnet

Posted by artradar on September 28, 2008


FINANCIAL CRISIS IMPACT ART

Michael Moses, a finance professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, may well be the art-world’s most famous academic expert on art prices. With his colleague Jianping Mei, Moses co-developed the Mei Moses Index, a fine-art price index that widely made news for showing that artworks sold at auction over the past 50 years had a compound annual growth rate better than that of bonds and close to that of the Standard & Poor 500 index. With U.S. financial markets facing the biggest crisis since the Great Depression, Artnet Magazine Germany contacted Moses for a telephone interview on the role that art investments might play in the ongoing fiscal-market drama.

Artnet Magazine: The finance world has not experienced such turbulence for decades. Will there be repercussions for the art market?

Michael Moses: Historically speaking, the art market has tended to lag downturns in the financial market by 6-18 months. But the art market is also dependent upon worldwide wealth creation. So a downturn in a single market may not affect the art market, but a downturn in world markets will most likely affect the art market. But it’s driven more by global accumulated wealth than by short incremental changes.

AM: Could art become a substitute investment? In times like these, do investors move their funds not only to gold, but if necessary also to artworks?

MM: When individuals sell equities, they need to put the proceeds somewhere, whether it’s gold, cash or art. Historically, art has been basically an asset class, and money flows to it during good times and bad times. The question is how much is flowing. And when people are disposing of other assets, there may be an opportunity for some of those assets to flow into the art market.

AM: Can the loss of capital on the financial markets lead to “emergency selling” in private art collections?

MM: Yes. We’ve seen it before when the dotcom bubble burst. There were executives who had to sell works that they had just recently bought during the glory days, and that’s true with any asset. [Editor’s note: It has just been reported that Richard Fuld, chairman of the now-bankrupt Lehman Brothers banking firm, has consigned $20 million in art to Christie’s auction house.]

AM: Is the gallery market invisibly linked to the finance market? Will New York lose influence as a marketplace?

MM: Again, this is a question of ups and downs. It would stand to reason that, due to changes in Wall Street and changes in some American companies, the people who were long in all of these markets will stand to lose money. The people who were short in all of these markets will tend to make money. On balance, most likely in the short run, there probably will be more losers than winners. But in the long run, there’s nothing that I see that shows that things won’t rebound over time — they always have in the past. But I don’t have a crystal ball.

AM: The market has many different sectors, like contemporary art, or classic modernism, or 20th-century design. Will this financial crisis effect sub-sectors of the art market differently?

MM: Currently I think that we’re finding that new money seems to go after new art, and this tendency might be one of the reasons that post-war art has done so well over the last five years, so potentially, this category might be more susceptible to downturns in new wealth creation. But we have to remember that wealth creation is a worldwide phenomenon now more than it has been in the past, so it may be that the world market picks up now where the American or European markets may slow down.

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Posted in Art Index, Individual, Market watch, Recession, Uncategorised | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »