Editorial — Art Market

Toe-to-Toe: The Old Master Evening Sales

Posted by Hannah Marks on

When it comes to assessing the outcome of significant auctions of Post-War and Contemporary, or Modern and Impressionist art, a recurring criteria seems be how one house squared up against its opponent: did the results surpass or fall to its rival? With the Old Masters, though, there's a certain tendency to negate this competitiveness; rather, discussions are focused on what the combined results tell us about the state of the market. This in turn leads to a certain dullness surrounding the Old Masters: if the sector wants to drum up the attention it so desperately desires, why not add a little drama? We can do this ourselves by conducting a toe-to-toe analysis to see which auction house came on top in the battle of the Summer Old Master Evening Sales. Ding Ding!

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For the Love of God, Someone Keep Steve Wynn Away From His Picassos

Posted by Hannah Marks on

Having spent the majority of my professional career in the art trade, I’ve become acutely aware of the grim reality, and importance, of the Three D's: death, debt, and divorce. Ask anyone in the art world what the biggest factors are in driving supply and ensuring the consignments keep a’flowing, and the D’s will inevitably be at the top of the list. The 3 D’s also allow the industry to retain a certain buoyancy in the face of global market contractions.

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Month in Review: June in the Art World

Posted by Hannah Marks on

The art market is its own universe in many regards, but nowhere is this clearer than the calendar it has created and adheres to, completely separate to the one that dictates the day to day lives of those outside it. In the art world, the Gregorian calendar is replaced by the collective understanding that specific months in certain seasons are defined by which heavy hitter auction is taking place within it. The month of May, for instance, belongs to the New York offices and their Contemporary/Post-War and Modern/Impressionist sales, while London has traditionally claimed June auctions of those same sectors. With regards to the latter, ‘traditionally’ is the operative word.

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Street Art: Its Commercial Origins and Future Explosion (or Potential Implosion)

Posted by Hannah Marks on

On many surviving buildings in Pompeii, one can find colorful phrases like Suspirium puellam Celadus thraex and Virgula Tertio su: Indecens es, which roughly translate to “Celadus makes the girls moan,” and “Virgula to Teritus: you are a nasty boy.” These scribblings tell us that graffiti in its strictest sense has always been around, and moreover that the wall has historically been an outlet for a type of humor and subversion deemed unsuited for the paper or canvas. Throughout the centuries, graffiti has morphed into an art form in its own right, while maintaining the playful sense of dissidence of...

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The Old Masters Market: In Need of a Revival, or Simply a New Perspective?

Posted by Hannah Marks on

In our conception of the chronology of art, we have collectively come to acknowledge important benchmarks that altered the course of its history. Take the introduction of the contrapposto pose, for instance, which gave new life to the previously rigid statuary of Ancient Greece; or the shift from the traditionally preferred egg tempera in 15th century Europe to the newly popular medium of oil paint. The list goes on, but there is almost always one that stands out: the refinement of a complete linear perspective. Commonly attributed to the 15th century Florentine master Masaccio, the mastery of linear perspective allowed...

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