Helping Humble Arts and Supporting MOCP – artmarketblog.com

Help Humble Arts and Support the MOCP – artmarketblog.com

 Stein, Amy $300.00  Hillside from the series Domesticated, 2007 C-print 11 x 13 3/4 inches on 14 x 16.75 inch paper Edition of 50.  Available from the MoCP

Stein, Amy $300.00 Hillside from the series Domesticated, 2007 C-print 11 x 13 3/4 inches on 14 x 16.75 inch paper Edition of 50. Available from the MoCP

The financial crisis has undoubtedly had a significant effect on the arts especially those non-profit organisations that are the backbone of the art world. Many non-profit art organisations have funding programs that involve the sale of works of art so why not help support the arts and take advantage of some of the bargains currently available. The Humble Arts Foundation is a well known not-for-profit organisation that works to advance the careers of emerging fine art photographers. Like many other arts organisations, the Humble Arts Foundation is doing it tough. There are two ways you can help the Humble Arts Foundation. The first involves making a tax deductable donation of $15 or more which, if 3500 people obliged, would give Humble enough funds to continue supporting and exhibiting the work of emerging art photographers through 2012. The second way you can help support Humble is by purchasing one of their fantastic limited edition prints. To sweeten the deal a discount of 30% is available to those who use the code HAF30 which makes the Humble prints even better value.

To make a donation go here:
https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/contribute/donate/1138

or to view the available prints go here:
http://humbleartsfoundation.org/editions/index.html

Another photography related organisation that I’m sure would love your support is the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago. According to their website the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) is the only museum in the Midwest with an exclusive commitment to the medium of photography. By presenting projects and exhibitions that embrace a wide range of contemporary aesthetics and technologies, the Museum strives to communicate the value and significance of photographic images as expressions of human thought, imagination, and creativity. The MoCP recently launched their 2009 series of fine photographic prints which includes works by Amy Stein and Michael Wolf. To see all the fantastic prints available check out:
http://mocp.org/shop/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=11
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

Location Matters for Art Sales- artmarketblog.com

Location Matters for Art Sales- artmarketblog.com

coffee-barAt a recent art auction that I attended here in Australia a couple of prints by Sybil Andrews attracted huge amounts of interest resulting in both selling for well above their estimates. This wasn’t really surprising considering the level of interest that there seems to be in the work of Sybil Andrews at the moment. What was surprising, however, was the estimates given by the auction house for each of the works. The first print auctioned was:

“Coffee Bar”
linocut in 4 colours, 1952
signed, titled and editioned 20/60
8 x 9 in, 20.3 x 22.9 cm
Estimate: AUD $5000 – $7000
Sold for AUD $9000

and the second was:

“Grader”
linocut in 3 colours, 1959
signed, titled and editioned 10/60
11 7/8 x 11 3/4 in, 30.2 x 29.8 cm
Estimate: AUD $7000 – $9000
Sold for AUD $8000

With Andrews being a Canadian artist I did a bit of research into the market for her work in Canada and found some rather interesting information. In November 2008 the same two prints were sold one after the other, just as they were in Australia, at an auction in Canada conducted by Heffel Fine Art Auction House. “Coffee Bar” sold for $17,550.00 CAD ($20,416.48 AUD) against an estimate of $10,000 ~ $15,000 CAD (11,676.89 AUD to 17,515.34 AUD) and then “Grader” sold for $8,775.00 CAD (10,249.81 AUD) against an estimate of $6,000 ~ $8,000 CAD ($7,006.36 AUD to $9,341.81 AUD). What is particularly interesting is that Heffel gave a considerably higher estimate to “Coffee Bar” than they did “Grader” where as here in Australia a slightly higher estimate was given to “Grader” over “Coffee Bar”. Why did this happen?. Well, without having asked the auction houses myself I cannot be 100% certain but I think I have a pretty good idea. Because these two works are inspired by a particular place in Canada where the artist lived it would be safe to assume that these works would have a different significance to Canadians than they would to Australians.

Considering that both prints are of the same edition size and same condition the difference in the estimates between the two prints in the Heffel auction would have to be due to another factor. Size can’t be a factor because “Grader” is larger than “Coffee Bar” which would have meant that the estimate for “Grader” would have been higher than “Coffee Bar” if size was a factor in this auction whereas the opposite was the case. Provenance couldn’t be a factor because neither print has a provenance that would be make the provenance of one print more valuable than the other. Even the year each of these prints was produced is quite close with “Coffee Bar” having been produced in 1952 and “Grader” in 1959. The difference in date may have been a contributing factor to the assigned values considering that the earlier work has a higher estimate but the effect on price would not be that great. Having ruled out the potential for the above factors to have had an effect on the price paid for these works the only real remaining factor is subject matter. There must have been something about the subject of “Coffee Bar” that had a greater significance for Canadian collectors.

The two prints sold in the Australian auction have the same credentials as the two prints sold in Canada with both having come from the same private collection and being of the same condition etc. Here in Australia, however, the estimates provided by the auction house suggest that the Australian market has different priorities and that the significance of each of these works differs to that of the Canadians. First of all, the subject matter appears to be of much less importance to Australian buyers than the Canadian buyers judging by the fact that the estimates provided for “Grader” and “Coffee Bar” are much closer together and do not seem to have been assigned due to the subject matter. In fact, the fact that the larger print has a higher estimate would suggest that the auction house thought that size of the work was of more importance than the subject matter. Date appears not to have been a factor because the later work has a lower estimate which is at odds with the higher value usually given to earlier works.

So, had the person who sold the two Sybil Andrews prints in Australia made arrangements for the works to be sold in Canada or had they marketed the sale of the works in Canada they may have been able to obtain a higher price. The potential for a higher price would be much greater for “Coffee Bar” as this work is obviously considered to be of greater value in Canada than “Grader”. In fact, the top price paid for a copy of “Coffee Bar” was reached in February 2008 in Canada where number 54 of the edition of 60 sold for $27,500 CAD ($31,771.11 AUD) which was, interestingly enough, achieved by an online auction conducted by Heffel auctions. Instead of the $9000 AUD achieved for “Coffee Bar” in Australia, the Australian seller of this work may have been able to get up to three times as much for the same work in Canada.

The amount of money you can get from the sale of a work of art can depends on many different things including the location of the sale. To maximise the potential sale price one needs to take into consideration the best location for the sale as the value of a particular work may be considerably different in different countries. If you aren’t interested in return on return on investment then the hassle of selling in another country may deter you from selling overseas but if maximising the sale price is important to you then the location of the sale should be carefully considered.

image:

Sybil Andrews
CPE 1898 – 1992 Canadian

Coffee Bar
linocut in 4 colours 1952
signed, titled and editioned 20/60
8 x 9 pouces  20.3 x 22.9cm

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com,
writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for
Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

Dissecting Christie’s Feb 09 Art Auction Pt. 2 – artmarketblog.com

Dissecting Christie’s Feb 09 Art Auction Pt. 2 – artmarketblog.com

christies-feb-09A few weeks ago I posted the first half of the results from the Christie’s February 2009 Impressionist and Modern Art auction along with information relating to whether each lot had been sold at auction previously and if it had, when it was sold and how much it sold for. My purpose for doing this is to show that there is always far more to art auction results than the statistics provided by the auction houses will tell you. Just because an auction results in a high hammer total, high percentage of lots sold by value and a high percentage of lost sold by number doesn’t mean that the auction was a complete success. The statistics that the auction houses provides could be masking the fact that a majority of the works sold in the auction had been sold at auction before for a higher amount meaning that the people selling these works were selling at a loss. Although the purpose of the auction house is to sell works of art and not to ensure people make a profit on the works they are selling; the factors that may be beyond the control of the auction house, such as whether a person makes a profit or not, should still be used as a measure of the success of an auction. In the next post in this series I will look at the data I have provided in this and the previous post and provide an analysis of the data.

See part 1 of Dissecting Christie’s Feb 09 Art Auction here:

http://artmarketblog.com/2009/02/17/dissecting-christies-feb-09-art-auction-pt-1-artmarketblogcom/

Continuation of data relating to lots sold at the Christie’s February 09 Impressionist and Modern Art auction:

-Otto Mueller (1874-1930) Sitzender Akt in Landschaft, c.1927: Sold for £769,250 ($1,106,182) against an estimate of £650,000 – £850,000 ($926,250 – $1,211,250). No previous auction sale history

-Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) Dame en face mit plisiertem Kleid (Damenbildnis en face) , c. 1898: Sold for £1,385,250 ($1,991,990) against an estimate of £600,000 – £800,000 ($855,000 – $1,140,000). Previously sold by Christie’s on the 9th of November 2004 for USD$1,000,000 (GBP 524,700) against an estimate of USD$750,000 – 950,000 which represents an increase in price of $991,990

-Marino Marini (1901-1980) Gentiluomo a cavallo, c. 1937: Sold for £769,250 ($1,106,182) against an estimate of £700,000 – £1,000,000 ($997,500 – $1,425,000). No previous auction sale history

-Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967) Torse de femme, c. 1925: Sold for £421,250 ($605,758) against an estimate of £300,000 – £500,000 ($427,500 – $712,500). No previous auction sale history

-Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Les mariés aux deux bouquets, c. 1980: Sold for £541,250 ($778,318) against an estimate of £400,000 – £600,000 ($570,000 – $855,000). No previous auction sale history

-Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Buste d’homme, 1971: Sold for £1,497,250 ($2,153,046) against an estimate of £1,200,000 – £1,800,000 ($1,710,000 – $2,565,000). No previous auction sale history

-Max Ernst (1891-1976) Temptation of St. Anthony, 1945: Sold for £97,250 ($139,846) against an estimate of £100,000 – £150,000 ($142,500 – $213,750). No previous auction sale history

-Julio González (1876-1942) Le rêve (Le baiser) 4/6, c. 1934: Sold for £577,250 ($830,086) against an estimate of £400,000 – £600,000 ($570,000 – $855,000). Number 5 of the edition of 6 was sold by Christie’s in 2002 for GBP 220,000 against an estimate of GBP 250,000 – 350,000 which represents a theoretical increase in value of GBP 377,000.

-André Masson (1896-1987) Le météore, 1939: Sold for £169,250 ($243,382) against an estimate of £120,000 – £180,000 ($171,000 – $256,500). No previous auction sale history.

-Joan Miró (1893-1983) Femme entendant chanter le coq aux éclats violets, 1972: Sold for £892,450 ($1,283,343) against an estimate of £500,000 – £700,000 ($712,500 – $997,500). No previous auction sale history.

-Paul Delvaux (1897-1994) Faubourg, 1956: Sold for £277,250 ($398,686) against an estimate of £200,000 – £300,000 ($285,000 – $427,500). Previously sold by Sotheby’s in 1975 – price unknown

-Francis Picabia (1879-1953) Geminis, 1936: Sold for £385,250 ($553,990) against an estimate of £120,000 – £180,000 ($171,000 – $256,500). Previously offered for sale at Christie’s Paris in May 2008 but failed to on an estimate of EUR 250,000 – 350,000. Previously sold by Sotheby’s in 1975 – price unknown.

-Joan Miró (1893-1983) Personnage, 1976: Sold for £481,250 ($692,038) against an estimate of £280,000 – £380,000 ($399,000 – $541,500). Previously sold by Sotheby’s in February 2004 for GBP 172,000 against an estimate of GBP 150,000 – 200,000 which represents an increase in price of GBP 309,000.

To be continued…..

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

YSL Collection Boosts French Market Share – artmarketblog.com

YSL Auction Boosts French Market Share – artmarketblog.com

yslThe Bergé -YSL sale was a historical sale in more than one sense: the €373.5m total for the three-day auction is the world record for a private collection and the European record for an art sale of any sort. Moreover, the collection’s Fine Art generated a sum equivalent to 66.7% of total 2008 art auction sales in Paris and 53.2% of total French art auction revenue in 2008. Indeed, this total of €206m ($264.9m) for art works (excluding antiques, furniture and objects) could well modify the 2009 global auction revenue ranking by allowing France to recover the third place it has lost to China since 2007.

The first session of Christie’s Bergé – YSL sale opened on 23 February just as Wall Street posted its lowest level for 12 years (S&P 500 at 743.33 points). Despite the economic and financial alarm bells, Artprice’s AMCI suggested strong buy intentions from art market players (70.8% of respondents). These intentions were confirmed on the first day of Impressionist and Modern art sales which generated a total of €182m, a figure substantially higher than the previous world record for a private collection sale: €163,6m from the Victor and Sally Ganz collection in 1997 at Christie’s New York.

By the end of the evening on Monday 23 February, Christie’s had generated a number of new records for works by the grand masters of Modern art. These included €32m for Henri MATISSE’s Les Coucous, €26m (€6m above its estimate) for Constantin BRANCUSI’s sculpture Madame L.R., €7.9m (pulverising its “under-estimate” of €1.5m) for Marcel DUCHAMP’s historic ready-made Belle haleine-Eau de voilette, €19.2m for Piet MONDRIAAN’s Composition avec bleu, rouge, jaune et noir and €4.4m for James ENSOR’s Le Désespoir de Pierrot.

However, the overall prestige of the sale and the ownership history of the works did not trigger a “buy at any price” mood and collectors remained highly selective. Pablo PICASSO’s cubist painting, over-estimated at €25m, and four paintings by Théodore GÉRICAULT with high reservation prices remained unsold. Another Géricault masterpiece, Portrait d’Alfred et d’Elisabeth Dedreux, set a new record for the artist at €8m, refreshing a previous record dating back to 1989 when Portrait de Laure Bro, née de Comères fetched the equivalent of €4.9m at Sotheby’s in Monaco.

The exceptional quality of the collection attracted the attention of the French State which exercised its pre-emption rights three times on the first day, acquiring Giorgio CHIRICO de’s Ritornante for the Centre Pompidou, Édouard VUILLARD’s Les Lilas and James ENSOR’s Au conservatoire for the Musée d’Orsay. Total bill: €10.6m, excluding fees. Over the following two days, it intervened twice acquiring a miniature portrait of Louis XIV by Petitot and some XVI century wall plates in Limoges enamel for the Louvre.

This sale suggests that the art market is showing remarkable resistance to the financial crisis and the global economic recession… as long as the works offered are of exceptional quality.

Copyright@Artprice.com

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

The YSL Art Collection Sale – artmarketblog.com

The YSL Art Collection Sale – artmarketblog.com

For at least six months, the sale of the Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent collection has been the focus of much media attention, described as the “sale of the century”. At a time when The Art Market Confidence Index (AMCI) is firmly in the red, the means allocated to the sale of some 691 lots are commensurate with the works being presented: exceptional.

Pierre Bergé has chosen Christie’s to officiate and the Grand Palais de Paris as the stage for this prestigious sale. Under the monumental glass dome, this auction marathon will last three days (from 23 to 25 February 2009) with pieces from the Far-East, others dating back to Antiquity, numerous sculptures and works of art, works in gold and silver, enamels from the 16th century, drawings from the 19th century, works signed by the major names in Art Deco and numerous Old and Modern masterpieces. Some signatures seldom seen at public auctions will be offered including Ingres, Franz Hals, Jacques-Louis David and Géricault. Among the five Théodore GÉRICAULT works on offer is one of the most famous double portraits in the entire history of painting: that of Alfred and Elisabeth Dedreux. Christie’s is expecting €6m for this work, a figure that would refresh the previous Géricault record held since 1989 by Portrait de Laure Bro, née de Comères which fetched €4.9m at Sotheby’s in Monaco.

In the Modern Art category, there is a whole series of star names: Giacometti, Juan Gris, Vuillard, Paul Klee, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Amedeo Modigliani, Edward Munch, Odilon Redon, the Douanier Rousseau, Seurat, Manet, Gustav Klimt, and more. The collection contains some truly historic pieces including an oak wood sculpture by Constantin BRANCUSI entitled Madame L.R. (Portrait de Mme L.R.). This rarity could well fetch more than Brancusi’s current record for Oiseau dans l’espace ($24.5m in 2005 at Christie’s) if it reaches its high estimate of €20m. Before it joined the Bergé / Saint Laurent collection (where Pierre Bergé like to show it alongside a Sénoufo sculpture), Madame L.R. belonged to Fernand Léger. Apart from its artistic qualities, the ownership background of this piece is an undoubted bonus. No less than six works by Fernand LÉGER will be offered for sale, including the impressive painting La tasse de thé, a hymn to 1921 modernity. Should the work reach its €15m target, it will be among the artist’s four most expensive hammer prices. The art market, which rarely sees Piet MONDRIAAN paintings at auctions nowadays, will be offered three “neoplastic” Compositions by the artist on the same day (estimated at between €5m and €10m). The paintings are large formats. Nothing larger than 50 cm has been seen at auction for five years. The most recently sold large format Mondrian painting, New York, Boogie Woogie (95.2 x 92 cm) fetched $18.75m (€14.6m) at Sotheby’s NY in 2004. Christie’s expects to generate even more from a superb cubist work by Pablo PICASSO, Musical Instruments on a Pedestal Table (estimated at €25m to €30m).

Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent did not collect works of contemporary art, preferring to focus on historical works that represent the opening of the 20th century to contemporary art. One such work is Belle haleine – Eau de voilette, a ready-made bottle on which Marcel DUCHAMP appears dressed up as Rrose Sélavy from a photograph by Man Ray. This emblematic work is estimated at €1m to 1.5m.

Copyright@Artprice.com

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

Evaluating Art Auction Results Pt. 2 – artmarketblog.com

Evaluating Art Auction Results Pt. 2 – artmarketblog.com

auctionIn Evaluating Art Auction Results Pt. 1 (see here) I began to take an in depth look at how people interpret auction results and exactly what it is that determines whether an art auction has been a success or not. Continuing on from that post I want to take a closer look at the different statistics that are used to determine whether an art auction has been a success or not and exactly what each of those statistics can tell us. I will conduct this analysis over several posts as the whole subject of art auction statistics is rather more complex and complicated than it would appear to be.

1. Percentage of lots sold by number:

The total number of works sold compared to the total number of works offered for sale is a widely used statistic that can be useful when analysing an auction but only when compared with statistics from similar auctions or, when the difference between the two auctions being compared is taken into account. By a similar auction I mean an auction that has a similar number of lots, the same type of art, estimates of a similar range and works of a similar price range. Just looking at the sold by lot percentage of a single auction doesn’t really tell us much about how successful an auction was because there are a number of factors that are able to be manipulated by an auction house to alter the chances of selling a higher percentage of offered lots.  There are also other statistics that can result in two auctions with the same sold by lot percentage having different levels of success (or failure). As an example of the problems related to the use of the sold by lot percentage as a sole indicator of an auction’s success, if someone were to reach a conclusion that an auction which took place that had the following statistics (auction 1) was a huge success because of the high percentage of lots sold:

Statistics for auction 1 (2009)

Number of lots: 20
Sold by lot: 80%
Sold by value: 80%
Total value: $20,000,000

but this person had failed to look at the statistics for the same sale by the same auctioneer for the previous year (auction 2) which had the following statistics:

Statistics for auction 2 (2008)

Number of lots: 80
Sold by lot: 80%
Sold by value: 80%
Total value: $120,000,000

the person’s conclusion that auction one was a huge success would be questionable to say the least because although the percentage of lots sold is the same for both sales the previous year’s sale had a higher total and a higher average sale price. The significance of this is that an auction house is a business that has to make a certain amount of profit to continue operating and achieve a certain level of financial success to retain people’s confidence in the business. The auction house would have made more profit from the previous year’s sale even though the sold by lot rates were the same which means that from the auction houses point of view, the previous year’s sale would have been more successful because it made them more money.

By reducing the number of total lots being sold at an auction, reducing the estimates and limiting the works that are included in the auction to those that are most likely to sell, an auction house can reduce the likelihood of a low sold by lot percentage. This is exactly what has happened with the auctions that have taken place so far in 2009 as auction houses attempt to keep up appearances in a much more conservative and challenging market. So far this year there have been several sales that have achieved very good sold by lot percentages as a result of changes made by the auction houses to their auctions which I will discuss in more detail as this series of posts progresses.

The fact that it is virtually impossible to analyse one of the statistics without referring to another statistic suggests that there is an important relationship between the various different art auction statistics. Each of the different statistics can tell us something different about an auction but only when each of those statistics are analysed together and the results of that analysis viewed in the wide context of past results with the current market conditions taken into consideration.

There is no doubt that achieving a high sold by lot percentage is a positive achievement regardless of whether or not an auction house has altered a sale to increase the chances of better figures and regardless of whether the results from a comparable sale are better overall. It is important, however, to recognise that a high sold by lot percentage doesn’t necessarily mean that an auction was a massive success.  As I have shown above, art auction results are not as simple or as clear-cut as they may appear.

to be continued……

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

Photography Auction at iGavel – artmarkeblog.com

Photography Auction at iGavel – artmarkeblog.com

William Eggleston, Untitled (Reflectors), c. 1970's

William Eggleston, Untitled (Reflectors), c. 1970's

As I have mentioned before, the great thing about iGavel auctions is that all the sellers are professionals and all the objects offered on the iGavel site are guaranteed for authenticity and condition. The only way anyone other than the a registered associate of iGavel can sell an item on the site is by consigning items through one of the iGavel associates. This means that the items being sold on iGavel are all sold by industry professionals. Founded by Lark Mason, the former director of online auctions at Sothebys, iGavel is a fantastic source of top quality fine art at reasonable prices.

One of the most popular sellers on iGavel is Daniel Cooney Fine Art, a Brooklyn based gallery specialising in photographs and works on paper. Daniel Cooney Fine Art hold auctions on iGavel three times a year and always have fantastic range of works to choose from at very good prices. The current auction which ends on the 18th of February offers some beautiful images by long time luminaries such as William Eggleston, Joel Meyerowitz and Garry Winogrand. The auction also features a group of portfolios and books by Dorothy Norman, Ralph Gibson and Jerome Liebling among others.

See the works available and bid here:
http://auction.igavel.com/ClientInfo.taf?_function=info&id=2846&skip=1

All lots available for viewing at Daniel Cooney Fine Art during regular business hours and by appointment.

Daniel Cooney Fine Art
511 West 25th Street, #506
New York, NY 10001,
212 255 8158
dan@danielcooneyfineart.com
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11 – 6 and by appointment.

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.