Art Market Bracing for an Uncertain Sales Season

LONDON — The international art market is gearing up for a hectic autumn of auctions and fairs. Trading conditions could be challenging. Shanghai’s Composite Index of Shares has lost more than 35 percent of its value since June, destabilizing stock markets across the world. Slowing growth in China has depressed oil and commodity prices, tipping theRussian and Brazilian economies into recession.

At the Frieze and FIAC fairs in October and at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips’s flagship auctions in New York in November, much attention is likely to be focused on whether the ultra-rich still want to spend millions on postwar and contemporary art. Larger or smaller telephone bids at those New York sales will be watched as a definitive indicator of whether the art market is still “booming” or not.


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