The market for serious work
Post #1125 • February 14, 2008, 6:50 AM • 164 Comments
US dealers are admitting to sluggish sales, hesitant clients and cancelled deals amid continuing financial market woes, which last month saw America’s largest bank, Citigroup, post a $9.8bn fourth-quarter loss.
"Nobody wants to say the sky is falling but perception affects every market and clearly, we are entering a new period in the economy," said Martha Fleischman, president of Kennedy Galleries. "The people who see art as part of their portfolio and like to flip will get an education very quickly this year," she added.
"There are more dealers hanging on by their fingernails but no-one will go on the record," said a prominent art world public relations expert who did not want to be named. "Everyone is wondering if the downturn will be just like 9/11," she added.
Further gloomy analysis follows, but then:
Ann Freedman, Knoedler & Company president, said its Olitski exhibition this winter was sold out. "Many of the paintings could have been sold many times, illustrating the depth of the market for serious work," she said.
I hesitate to make too much of this, but what a refreshing alternative to the "Absurd Work Sells for Millions" story to which I have become accustomed. (I saw said Olitski exhibition and a writeup is forthcoming.)