Beyond Supply and Demand: How Artworks are Priced?

The pricing of artworks is not a simple matter. And while the basic economic principles of supply and demand do still apply to the art market, the factors that contribute to an artist’s “supply,” or the availability of their art for sale, and an artist’s “demand,” or how many collectors are willing to buy their […]

How the Artist Adrian Ghenie Became an Auction Star

Many say it was the 2011 exhibition at the Palazzo Grassi museum in Venice that first ignited art buyers’ interest in a young Romanian artist named Adrian Ghenie, whose heavy palette-knife paintings are haunted by historical figures like Stalin, Hitler and the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele. Then, in 2015, Mr. Ghenie drew more attention when […]

The Art Market: now what?

This week saw the first post-Brexit art auctions in London, and they brought considerable cheer to a market predominantly dismayed at the Leave decision. To a backdrop of a declining exchange rate for the pound and Britain losing its AAA rating status, on Monday Phillips turned in a modest total of £9.8m hammer (£11.9m with […]

Richard Serra’s 10 Most Expensive Artworks at Auction

Iconoclastic American artist Richard Serra launched an exhibition of his latest steel behemoths at Gagosian Gallery in New York this past Saturday, featuring four new works: Above Below Betwixt Between,Every Which Way, Silence (for John Cage), and Through. It’s the thirtieth big show at the gallery for the artist, who splits his time between New York and Nova Scotia. Suffice it to say, the […]

Stieglitz, Steichen & Weston — how photography became a modern art form

The first decades of the 20th century were among the most fruitful periods of artistic production of the modern era, especially for the still-fledgling art of photography. In New York, just after the turn of the century, a small circle of photographic visionaries revolved around the magnetic figure of Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946), whose influence as […]

Sotheby’s Shares Rise on its Acquisition of Art Agency, Partners

In a dramatic development for the auction industry, Sotheby’s announced on Monday that it had acquired Art Agency, Partners, a two-year old, New York-based art advisory company, for $50 million plus built-in performance fees that could elevate that number to $85 million over the next four years. “AAP’s profitable business helps drive initiatives that are […]

Sotheby’s Acquires Art Advisory Firm Art Agency, Partners

In a somewhat surprising move, Sotheby’s announced today it will pay $50 million in cash to acquire the art advisory firm Art Agency, Partners and create a new Fine Art Division run by AAP’s Amy Cappellazzo and Allan Schwartzman. The deal could reportedly total $85 million if the performance benchmarks over the next five years. The left-field […]

Top 10 Most Expensive Living European Artists at Auction in 2015

Although modern European artists were the big performers at auction in 2015, contemporary art remains the most profitable market segment by far. Buoyed by increased participation of international collectors from emerging markets, media attention driven by large price tags, and the perception of glamour generated by events such as Art Basel Miami Beach, the market […]

Gerhard Richter Says He’s Shocked by the State of the Art Market

The most expensive living artist in Europe, Gerhard Richter, criticized the art market and denounced the hype surrounding contemporary artists, including himself, as a “cult of personality.” Speaking to the German weekly Die Zeit, the 83-year-old painter said the exorbitant prices his artworks achieve at auction were proof of how “insanely the art market has developed,” […]

Top 10 Most Expensive Living Female Artists

It is beyond a doubt that female artists have had a strong year, both in the studio and at auction. Compared to our look over the past ten years, 2015 brings some new faces into the mix, as conceptual wunderkind Tauba Auerbach joins painters Paula Rego and Beatriz Milhazes on the hallowed list of heavy hitters at […]

Sotheby’s Reassuring $294M Contemporary Evening Sale

The contemporary art market settled down to a steadier pace at Sotheby’s New York Wednesday evening, turning in a solid and respectable $294,850,000 sale for the 44 lots that sold. Ten of the 54 lots offered failed to sell for a trim buy-in rate by lot of 18.5 percent. Five works sold for more than $15 […]

CHRISTIE’S ‘ARTIST MUSE’ SALE NETS $491.4 M., LED BY A $170.4 M. MODIGLIANI, THE SECOND-HIGHEST PRICE EVER REALIZED AT AUCTION

Amedeo Modigliani’s Nu Couché (1917–18) soared past its already astronomical $100 million on-request estimate en route to a record-smashing price of $170.4 million at Christie’s Monday night, making the magnificent nude portrait the second-most-expensive painting ever sold at auction—and, in a twist, a high point in an otherwise surprisingly tepid evening. The Artist’s Muse, the auction house’s […]

Paddle8, Online Auction House Aims to Give Big Houses a Run for Their Money

Think of an auction house, and centuries-old institutions like Sotheby’s and Christie’s probably spring to mind.  But a four-year-old start-up believes that it can become something of an online equivalent to those companies — and it has drawn big-name backers from the art world along the way. The venture, Paddle8, plans to announce on Wednesday […]

Auction Houses Jockey to Lead Sales in First Big Market Test

Art auctions used to be a gentlemen’s business. Now the gloves are off. As art sales face their first major test since the August financial market rout, auction houses are jockeying not only for trophy artworks but also for the best positions to highlight them at the November auctions in New York. The result is […]

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 […]

Art, Not Sotheby’s Profit, at Records in Fight for Works

The art market is going from record to record, so why aren’t the auction houses making more money? Sotheby’s reported an unexpected second-quarter decline Friday in part because it lost money on a painting that sold for less than anticipated. The news sent its shares down 7.5 percent to $37.49 in New York on Friday, […]

A Fearful Frenzy: The Art Market Now

Life has been happier for many of us in the art world since we stopped caring about runaway commerce in art, which has seemed—but only seemed—to reduce all measures of aesthetic value to raw price. Sure, the billion-plus dollars shaken loose, since May, at three New York and London auctions of modern and contemporary works—with […]

Stroke of genius: Peter Doig’s eerie art whisks the mind to enchanted places

Amid the impostures that sometimes pass for 21st-century art, Doig’s record-breaking compositions are jewels of imagination and haunting vision. It must be the most expensive canoe in history. This week in Manhattan a painting by Edinburgh-born Peter Doig of a small white boat lost in a tangle of weeds and tree stumps in some remote […]

Phillips Opens Massive New Flagship in London

Phillips announced the opening of a new auction house and exhibition space in the exclusive address of Berkeley Square, London, on Monday. The official opening will take place during October’s buzzing Frieze Art Fair week. The relocation is part of an ambitious plan to propel Phillip beyond its long-standing third-place position in the auctioneering game (“Ostrowski […]