Going Crazy for Works on Paper – artmarketblog.com

Going Crazy for Works on Paper – artmarketblog.com

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Tête de femme signed and dated '30 Mars 43 Picasso' (lower right) gouache and wash on paper 25 7/8 x 19 7/8 in. (65.7 x 50.4 cm.) Executed on 30 March 1943

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Tête de femme signed and dated '30 Mars 43 Picasso' (lower right) gouache and wash on paper 25 7/8 x 19 7/8 in. (65.7 x 50.4 cm.) Executed on 30 March 1943

During the major art auctions that have taken place over the last few months in London and New York there has been a particularly noticeable demand for original works on paper. In particular, original works on paper by the most popular modern artists such as Picasso, Calder, Chagall etc. have been particularly popular with prices at auction routinely exceeding the top estimate thanks to highly competitive bidding. Because works on paper are usually the domain of the connoisseurs who have a stronger appreciation for the non-visual aspects, it is unusual for works on paper to be so strongly fought over. However, as the supply of works available for sale by the most famous modern artists continues to dry up, the demand for works by the big names has created a situation where even the works that are usually considered to be far less desirable are being snapped up with unprecedented urgency.

The most fought over pieces have been those with imagery similar to that which is typical of major works from the artists oeuvre, and that have the appearance of finished original works of art as opposed to studies or cartoons (even if they are). It is the larger scale coloured works that give the strongest impression of being original and finished works of art and, as such, are the most sought after. The price of works on paper, by the some of the most desirable big names such as Alexander Calder, have been creeping up in price for some time now as supply of works by such artists becomes inevitably smaller as time progresses. Even though owners of valuable works of art are sitting on their artistic assets while the art market finds its feet thus reducing the supply of works on the market, the level of demand for what is available is way above what most people expected. With demand out-stripping supply to the extent that we are currently seeing one can only conclude that there the market for art is still strong and there is plenty of money available to be spent.

To give you some idea of the sort of demand we are seeing for works on paper here are some recent auction results:

Sale Information:

Sale 2168
post-war and contemporary art morning sale
14 May 2009
New York, Rockefeller Plaza

Lot Description:

Alexander Calder (1898-1976)
Spirally Lady
signed and dated ‘Calder ’44’ (lower right)
ink and gouache on paper
30¾ x 22½ in. (78.1 x 57.1 cm.)
Painted in 1944.

Estimate: $30,000 – $40,000
Price Realised: $188,500 (including premium)

Sale Information:

Sale 7736
impressionist/modern works on paper
24 June 2009
London, King Street

Lot Description:

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Tête de femme
signed and dated ’30 Mars 43 Picasso’ (lower right)
gouache and wash on paper
25 7/8 x 19 7/8 in. (65.7 x 50.4 cm.)
Executed on 30 March 1943

Estimate: £110,000 – £150,000
Price Realised: £313,250 (Including Premium)

Lot Description:

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938)
Mädchenakt am Ofen
signed ‘E L Kirchner 12’ (lower right); with the Nachlass stamp numbered ‘A Be/Bg 1’ (on the reverse)
watercolour and black chalk on paper
14 7/8 x 17¾ in. (37.8 x 45.2 cm.)
Executed in 1914

Price Realized: £181,250 (Including Premium)
Estimate: £40,000 – £60,000

**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.

Catching the Dec Arts Express – artmarketblog.com

Catching the Dec Arts Express – artmarketblog.com

picasso-pitcherThe success of the recent Sculpture Objects and Functional Art fair (SOFA) in New York (April 16-19) is confirmation that the market for design art and decorative arts continues to gain strength. As artists continue to explore the boundaries of artistic production, the acceptance of functional objects and decorative arts as fine art continues to increase. What were once considered to be second rate artistic mediums are now beginning to be recognised as being as equally important and worthy of attention as the mediums that traditionally come under the fine art banner. Although shows such as SOFA focus on contemporary design and decorative arts, fine artists have been dabbling in alternative mediums for centuries the results of which have been considerably under-rated until now.

Picasso is one artist who wasn’t afraid to put down the paint brush and explore alternative mediums as is evident from the extensive variety of ceramics that he produced. Picasso produced thousands of ceramic works throughout his career most of which are just as appealing and unique as his paintings. Take, for example, the limited edition ceramic pitcher titled “Pichet Anse Prise” that Picasso designed in 1953 – one of which is currently being auctioned on igavel. Produced in an edition of 200 by Madoura Pottery, “Pichet Anse Prise” is a fantastic example of Picasso’s ability to adapt his technique and style to an object as mundane as a pitcher. When Picasso does his version of the pitcher, however, mundane is the last word one could use to describe the result.

Currently being auctioned on igavel are two ceramic works by Picasso the first of which is the ‘Owl” ceramic glazed pitcher and the second being the ‘Pichet Anse Prise’ pitcher that I mentioned above. My pick of the two is the ‘Pichet Anse Prise’ pitcher which had not received any bids at the time of writing. This object would still be a great buy even if it does reach the $2500-3500 estimate considering the last recorded sale of one of the edition was in November 2006 when Christies sold 128/200 for USD 3,152. With the increased interest in decorative arts and functional art I believe that the value of such objects can only increase

To view and bid on the ‘Pichet Anse Prise’ pitcher being sold on igavel visit:

http://tinyurl.com/ckymyb

Description:
Pablo Picasso, French, 1881-1973, ‘Pichet Anse Prise’ Unglazed Ceramic Pitcher, stamped, marked and stamped with Madoura mark, ‘Edition Picasso’, with impressed marks ‘Edition Picasso 141/200 Madoura’, Madoura plein Feu/Edition, Conceived on 4th April 1953 and executed in an edition of 200.

Image:
‘Pichet Anse Prise’ by Picasso

**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.

Aussie Picasso Sale Overrated – artmarketblog.com

Aussie Picasso Sale Overrated – artmarketblog.com

Here in Australia, the average art auction by one of the major auction houses will usually result in about AU$6,000,000 worth of sales so what do you think would happen if an artwork was sold at auction in Australia that was estimated to sell for AU$7,000,000?. Australian entrepreneur Rodney Menzies who, among other things, is the owner of one of Australia’s most successful auction houses, Deutsher Menzies, is selling a painting by Picasso from his own collection in an auction being held by his own auction house. The painting, titled “Sylvette”, is a particularly appealing portrait of a young Spanish woman by the name of Sylvette Davie who Picasso met in 1953 . As well as being a nice example of Picasso’s work, “Sylvette” also has good provenance which further adds to the appeal of this work. Plenty of people have been questioning the decision by Rodney Menzies to sell his Picasso in Australia through his own auction house but as far as I can see, Menzies has made a smart decision that can benefit both his business and himself. Several media reports on this sale suggest that Menzies would have achieved a better price selling the work overseas but while this may have been the case 20 years ago, modern technology has . The amount of marketing Rodney Menzies has done to promote the sale of this Picasso work will ensure a high level of international interest especially because of the current demand for quality works by Picasso and other modern masters. If Menzies can successfully sell the Picasso through his own auction house he stands to receive considerable international media exposure and a greater reputation for his business which would be of much greater value to Menzies than the slightly higher sale price the work might have achieve if sold overseas.

To suggest that this sale is some great test of the Australian art market, as some people have, would be extremely naive considering that works such as this Picasso are in high demand all over the world and also because of the relatively low value of the work compared to what is being sold in New York and London etc. If a painting worth $30 million was sold in Australia to an Australian buyer then I would certainly be inclined to believe that the Australian art market had evolved but a $6 million work sold to an international buyer doesn’t really get me all that excited. All that the successful sale of this work would suggest to me is that there is still plenty of demand for quality works by blue chip artists such as Picasso. As far as I am concerned, the geographical isolation of Australia will not have as much of an effect on the successful sale of this work as people might think. I am sure that there are plenty of very wealthy people all over the world who are more than willing to pay what would to them would be a relatively insignificant sum of money for a work sold in Australia that they may not have actually seen in the flesh. I would be very surprised if this work is not sold and even more surprised if it is sold to an Australian.

Other people have suggested that the successful sale of such a valuable work in Australia will do wonders for the Australian art market but, once again, I think that an assumption such as this is extremely naive and premature. Even if “Sylvette” does sell to an Australian, I do not think that there will be any change to people’s perception of the Australian art market or any change in people’s perception of Australian art buyers. Once again, all the sale of this work would indicate is that there is still demand for high quality works, nothing more. What do you think?

Update: Piacsso’s “Sylvette” has sold for $6.9 million including buyers premium to what is rumoured to be an international buyer.

image: “Sylvette” by Picasso

**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.