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Posts Tagged ‘financial crisis art’

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 »

Pop goes bubble for Chinese Indian artists – Businessweek

Posted by artradar on October 8, 2008


SOTHEBYS HONG KONG AUTUMN AUCTIONS
While much of Hong Kong hunkered down just hours before the arrival of a typhoon on Oct. 4, the start of Sotheby’s three-day auction of modern and contemporary Asian art was buffeted by the financial storm on Wall Street. Of the 47 works that went under the hammer, more than 40% were unsold. What’s more, earnings for Sotheby’s (BID), including the auctioneer’s commission known as the “buyer’s premium,” were a paltry $15 million, accounting for just 41% of the auction house’s estimated takings for the night. Among the biggest upsets was the unsold work by India’s hot-selling artist Subodh Gupta, Untitled, which had an estimated price of $1.55 million to $2.05 million. Another big surprise: Chinese cynical realist painter Liu Wei’s triptych, The Revolutionary Family Series, failed to find a bidder willing to meet the $1.55 million suggested minimum.

As the weather deteriorated on Sunday morning, so did events in the auction hall. Only 39 out of 110 paintings from the 20th Century Chinese Art Sale found buyers, while 71 had to be packed up and shipped back to their sellers. By the afternoon session, the usual buzz at Hong Kong’s contemporary Chinese art auctions was sorely absent. At one point during the sale, the auctioneer mistook a woman covering her mouth to stifle a yawn for her wishing to bid, prompting a valiant attempt to inject some levity into the proceedings as he asked if “anyone else is yawning in the room.”

Yawns gave way to disbelief a little later when two works by white-hot Chinese artist Zhang Xiaogang went unsold. That’s a huge reversal for the Beijing-based artist, whose paintings have routinely fetched millions of dollars, well in excess of auction estimates. (His painting Bloodline: Big Family No. 1 was one of the few top lots that sold on Saturday, though the $2.97 million price was below the expected maximum.) Yue Minjun and Zeng Fanzhi, two others among the hottest-selling Chinese contemporary artists, did manage to sell, although well within the estimates.

Wall Street Fallout
You connect the dots: Wall Street goes into meltdown, and Sotheby’s auction bombs in Hong Kong. Kevin Ching, Sotheby’s CEO for Asia, tries to be optimistic about whether the two are connected. “I hope there is no immediate direct correlation between the financial market and the art market,” he says, pointing to the widely successful auction of enfant terrible Damien Hirst’s works in London within days of the collapse of Lehman Brothers. The problem with some of the Hong Kong auction, he adds, stems from overly ambitious owners trying for unreasonably high prices. “When we have [sellers] who want aggressive estimates over and above what [the] market can accept, they would have to occasionally accept the consequences, and I think that’s what happened here [Saturday] night,” Ching explains.

Still, others in Asia’s art business are certain the fallout from Wall Street is already hurting Chinese and Indian markets. In both countries, newly wealthy investment bankers and hedge fund managers helped inflate bubbles in works by local artists. For instance, in the last four years a booming Indian economy and buoyant stock market encouraged many private banks to offer fee-based services to assist clients in building portfolios of artworks sourced from galleries, auctions, and even direct sales. Fund managers say that investment bankers with their hefty bonuses helped inflate art prices by 30% to 60% above their real value, according to a gallery owner in Mumbai.

Bright Spots
Now with Wall Street in turmoil, most of the bankers who were regulars at art shows and auctions have moved out, says avid art collector Harsh Goenka, chairman of India’s diversified RPG Enterprises, which has interests in tires, power, and retail. He claims that in the last few years, around 60% to 70% of art sold in auctions and shows in India went to the new breed of investor rather than art connoisseurs. “They looked at art as a brand and made money by trading in it,” says Goenka. In the past few months, he says, painters and art dealers have been calling him up to offer their unsold works at a 30% to 40% discount.

The picture isn’t all grim, though. The mood was positively ebullient at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on Oct. 6 as buyers crammed the room for the auction of Southeast Asian contemporary paintings. Sotheby’s employees manned the phones to handle enthusiastic overseas bidding. For instance, Indonesian painter I Nyoman Masriadi had already set a personal record on the first day of the Sotheby’s auction when his huge canvas featuring Batman and Superman sitting on adjacent toilets sold for $620,000. He then surpassed that with a painting of boxers that seems part Botero, part Léger; it fetched a high $833,000. A bit later, during furious bidding for yet another Masriadi, the auctioneer exclaimed “This is really, really fun.” The room broke into applause when the work finally sold for a very respectable $307,000.

The reason for this sea change in sentiment? The prices were far more affordable than the works from China and India on sale during the weekend, and collectors seem to have finally cottoned onto the notion that Indonesian, Vietnamese, and Filipino artists represent opportunities for collectors to own great art. One work by up-and-coming Filipino painter Geraldine Javier sold for $32,000, more than three times the high estimate. An intimate portrait of a woman and child by Vietnamese painter Mai Trung Thu also sold for triple the estimate, fetching $23,000.

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Posted in China, Chinese, Emerging artists, Filipino, Hong Kong, Indian, Indonesian, Painting, Southeast Asian, Vietnamese | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a 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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Financial meltdown impact on the art market – Time, Artinfo

Posted by artradar on September 22, 2008


ART MARKET RECESSION

At least for now, the US has managed to avert a complete collapse of the banking system permitting the press breathing space to ponder the potential impact of the financial crisis on businesses and individuals around the world.

How will the art market fare? The views are mixed.

From Indian art galleries to billionaire art collectors noone in the art market will be immune from the fallout claim some observers. Prices will alter, collections will change hands, art businesses will consolidate, change strategy or move. Others point out that art indices such as the Mei Moses index show that art has a low correlation with stock indices. But can you rely on art indices when art as an asset class is so illiquid and non homogenous compared with stocks goes the counterargument. According to Philip Hoffman of the Fine Art Fund a third of investible art assets is in the hands of just 20 or so very wealthy collectors providing some price protection. However others point out that the market is splitting and the upper end may have a different outlook to the lower end. 

Time will tell how events will unfold but in the meantime some press sources have started to report stories hinting at what they expect ahead.

Impact on Indian galleries – Time

It is easy to be dazzled and forget for a moment that India’s markets, like those around the globe, are in the throes of financial turmoil. But even here, worries are starting to surface reports Time. Mumbai is India’s financial capital, but it’s also the center of the country’s booming fashion industry and contemporary-arts community. Those three worlds feed each other here, just as they do in London, Tokyo and New York. As the markets plunge – the main Mumbai index, the Sensex, is down 36% since January – many of Mumbai’s wealthy financiers are beginning to spend less in the city’s galleries and luxury boutiques. “I’m extremely worried,” says Jai Bhandarkar, owner of an art gallery in Colaba, one of Mumbai’s toniest neighborhoods. “The spending power of the people who collect art is going to be affected. The art market has already gone down so much.”

The fate of Lehman’s art collection – Artinfo

Artinfo : When Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday, it left out Neuberger Berman, its giant asset management unit and, according to Artnet, one of its “few profit-making divisions in recent months.” The investment bank is now taking bids for the unit – which includes an impressive corporate art collection – with five private equity firms reported as possible buyers: Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Hellman & Friedman, Clayton Dubilier & Rice, Bain Capital, and CVC Capital Partners.

Neuberger Berman was cofounded in 1939 by Roy Neuberger, whose name also graces the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, New York, established with the help of Nelson Rockefeller in 1974 so Neuberger could show off his collection. Neuberger Berman has had a fund since 1990 to buy works from “emerging to mid-career artists, with an emphasis on the former,” according to a press release for a 2004 touring show. That exhibition, “Crosscurrents at Century’s End: Selections from the Neuberger Berman Art Collection,” included pieces by such artists as Marlene Dumas, Andreas Gursky, Takashi Murakami, Neo Rauch, and Sam Taylor-Wood.

The firm is now reported to have some 600 works in its collection, which is displayed in its offices worldwide. It remains to be seen whether the new owner will keep the collection intact or sell the pieces off while the art market is strong.

Billionaire art collectors not immune – uTV

It is unlikely that art will retain its value in the current slump, despite the record-breaking Damien Hirst sale earlier this week says UTV Business News. This will come as a shock to Donald and Doris Fisher, the founders of the Gap clothing chain who returned to the Forbes Rich list in joint 377th place – on $1.3bn – thanks to their $1bn art collection which includes pieces by Chuck Close, Richard Serra and Alexander Calder.

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Global downturn will not affect art market says Hoffman, The Fine Art Fund – Business Standard

Posted by artradar on September 15, 2008


MARKET WATCH The art market will not be affected by the vicissitudes of the global economy Philip Hoffmann chief executive of The Fine Art Fund said to the Business Standard at the August 2008 Indian Art Summit. “The trading in art only looks to the economy of the super-rich,” he cites the example of Russian billionaire Abramovich spending close to $100 million just this year to pick up a few Freuds and Bacons (at record-breaking prices) to furnish his new house. “The total art market is worth around $30-50 billion, of which only about $15-20 billion is investible. And of this, only 20 individuals account for $2-4 billion worth of art.”

Nevertheless, Hoffman feels, that art investment is best left to the super rich. “Our minimum investor typically puts in around a quarter of a million dollars; and our typical investor is usually one who’s put in a million to five million dollars. I don’t advise anyone with modest wealth to invest in art. Unless he’s putting in less than 5 per cent of his money into art, he shouldn’t do it.”

Hoffman does annual trade of $120-130 million every year through the five funds he manages.  Fine Art Fund I – the first of these that he announced in 2003 to invest in museum quality art – is the longest-running and most successful art fund globally, having announced last year an average annualised returns on assets sold of 44 per cent. 

Hoffman claims that he never buys any art for himself though. “I trained as a chartered accountant. I was working with KPMG [in their audit practice] when I was recommended as finance director of Christie’s. I had no interest in the arts whatsoever.” He went on to become deputy managing director of the auction house’s European business and later, managing the old masters’ division. At 33, he was member of Christie’s International Managing Board, the youngest ever.

So what makes the art world go round? What is it that determines whether a painting will sell for $1,000 or for $1 million? “It’s simple economics – rarity and some amount of marketing, even if it happened hundreds of years ago. Take Canaletto. He was commissioned by the Queen to paint important British monuments. The queen herself had 20 or so of them and the rich men decided that if the queen had something they wanted it as well, and so on. It’s the same today, you hang a Gupta on the wall and it’s like hanging bank-notes on the wall or putting your bank statement on the table. I’m worth millions, it says.”

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