The Art Market in 2012

The Art Newspaper has a good article on the art market and art an an asset class.  It looks back at some of the sales which took place in 2011 and looks forward to 2012 with some concern, especially in the middle markets and outside of the major cities such as New York and London.  The article starts out be noting much of the global economic turmoil but rather defiantly many sectors of the fine art market has performed well.

The question is for 2012, can the resilience continue?

The Art Newspaper reports
But as the results came in, it was clear that some sectors of the art market were almost miraculously walking on water. Sotheby’s 8 November sale in New York fetched extraordinary prices for a group of Clyfford Stills and for works by Gerhard Richter, and its total of $315.8m was its third highest for such a sale, with just $100,000 separating it from its second (the record is still held by Christie’s $384.6m sale in May 2007). The autumn fairs and many other auctions also turned in more than respectable results. Based on almost complete data for 2011, the French site Artprice reported that the year was the best ever for sales of art at auction: $10.7bn, compared with $9.5bn in 2010. This extraordinary result shows that the market was still growing last year, boosted by Chinese buyers.

Art has certainly benefited from being considered by some as a “tangible asset”. “Investors were disappointed in financial assets following the economic crisis and there is growing demand for ‘real assets’ that offer a long-term store of value,” says Randall Willette of Fine Art Wealth Management.

An illustration was the extraordinary results of the New York sales of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewels and memorabilia (total $156.7m) last month, which showed that there is still a massive amount of money available to be splurged on luxury goods—an area into which art is, rightly or wrongly, assimilated by many financial analysts.

The major questions, as we go into this year, are how resilient is the market, and can it continue to operate in an apparently parallel dimension?
Source: The Art Newspaper, click HERE to read the complete article.

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