More Gloom and Doom for the Art Market from ArtTactic
So.. if the huge sell off in stocks worldwide, the loss of almost $8 Billion by a rogue trader in France, the firing of anyone on wall street who could spell CDO, the emergency
panic rate cute by the Federal Reserve, and the paltry Bush stimulus package wasn't enough to get your depressed..
(Photo by Jill Greenberg, Ursine Project, Untitled #5) Here's the story by Bloomberg's Scott Reyburn...
Contemporary Art Market Confidence Slumps 40%, Survey Shows,
2008-01-24 23:51 (New York)
By Scott Reyburn
Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Confidence in the contemporary art
market has dropped 40 percent over the past six months, according
to a survey by ArtTactic, a London-based research company.
The biannual survey, based on the responses of 155 buyers of
contemporary art, mostly international private collectors, said
the decline in confidence followed the credit crisis in the last
quarter of 2007.
The full survey, published on Jan. 23, follows a snap poll in
August that showed contemporary art buyers were increasingly
worried about the prospects for the economy, said ArtTactic.
``It is clear that the respondents no longer think that the
art market can be detached from economic realities,'' ArtTactic
said in the survey. ``Confidence in the primary market is down
only by 10 percent, and is holding up significantly better than
the auction market.''
The ArtTactic Market Confidence Indicator was first published
in November 2005. According to ArtTactic's survey's methodology
statement, data is collected and made available every six months.
Respondents are asked six constant questions on their
perceptions of present and future conditions in the general
economy and the contemporary art market. Answers are in the form
of the response options ``positive,'' ``negative,'' and
The overall November 2007 Art Market Confidence Indicator,
computed from the totality of the received data, fell by 40
percent since the last reading in May 2007, said ArtTactic.
The primary market refers to art offered for the first time
in galleries and by artists in their studios. Prices are often
lower than when the same works reach the secondary market of
auctions and resales by dealers and collectors.
``There are so many collectors in the primary market now and
they want to carry on buying,'' especially works by younger
artists that have relatively low prices, said the London-based
contemporary art dealer Thomas Dane.
ArtTactic's findings come less than two weeks before
Christie's International, Sotheby's and Phillips de Pury hold
Impressionist, modern and contemporary art sales in London that
have a record overall low estimate of 429 million pounds ($838
million), according to figures released on Jan. 22 by the auction
Last July, before the global credit crunch triggered by the
U.S. subprime mortgage crisis, record prices for contemporary
artists such as Damien Hirst, Piero Manzoni, Ilya Kabakov and Yue
Minjun pushed the total for these auctions in London to an
unprecedented 462.5 million pounds, including fees, compared with
a low estimate of 322 million pounds.
Since then, Wall Street banks have declared more than $100
billion of writedowns. On Jan. 21, two days before ArtTactic's
survey was published, London's FTSE 100 stocks index fell 5.5
percent, the biggest drop since Sept. 11, 2001.
Rising concern that a housing slump will damp consumer
spending in the U.S., causing a recession, has dragged down stock
markets around the world this year. London's FTSE 100 index fell
as much as 17 percent this year before recovering part of the
``We'll have to see how the stock-market volatility plays
out before the sales,'' said James Roundell, Impressionist and
modern art specialist at London dealers Simon C. Dickinson Ltd.
``If anything, it should have more effect on the contemporary
auctions. The Impressionist and modern market is much more
Roundell said Russian and Eastern European buyers are
increasingly important at London's Impressionist and modern sales.
``They've been behind quite a few of the stand-out prices in
recent years,'' he said. Sotheby's said clients from the former
Soviet Union bought 9 percent of the lots at its evening sale of
Impressionist and modern art in London a year ago.
The 89 million pound and 82 million pound low estimates for
Christie's and Sotheby's respective February evening
Impressionist and modern art auctions are the highest ever seen in
In July, Christie's and Sotheby's evening contemporary
auctions carried low estimates of 54.5 million pounds and 40.5
million pounds, respectively. Both houses' February sales in
London are expected to fetch at least 72 million pounds.
Christie's Feb. 6 contemporary auction includes a Francis
Bacon triptych with a low estimate of 25 million pounds, a record
for a work of art offered at auction in London. Three weeks later,
Sotheby's will offer a single-panel painting by Bacon with a
guarantee of around 18 million pounds, also a record for London.
At the contemporary art auctions in July in London and in
November in New York, more than 80 percent of lots typically
``I'd expect the general mood of buying everything and
anything to come to an end,'' said art dealer Dane.
According to the ArtTactic November 2007 survey, there has
been a negative mood change toward some of the less established
artists that saw a rapid and significant increase in prices during
2006 and 2007. Marlene Dumas, Neo Rauch, Franz Ackerman, Cecily
Brown and Peter Doig were among the artists that had seen
a ``significant decrease in confidence'' from buyers.
ArtTactic said auction performance is a major influence on
the market's confidence in a particular artist.
``The auctions will be the test of what is happening,'' said
Thomas Dane. ``People are definitely putting off certain decisions
until after the sales.'