Tags: art | market | Stewart | bubble

NYT's Stewart: Art Market Not So Strong Beneath the Surface

By    |   Monday, 09 December 2013 09:22 AM

The art market appears to be rising to dizzying heights, given developments such as last month's $142 million sale of a triptych painting by Francis Bacon.

That constituted a record amount for a piece of work at an art auction. But it's not representative of the market as a whole, says New York Times columnist James Stewart.

The renowned Mei Moses World All Art Index appreciated only 2.2 percent this year through November, even including the record auction.

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If you pull out traditional Chinese art, which has benefited in recent years from strong demand on the part of China's wealthy collectors, the picture would be much bleaker, Stewart maintains.

Meanwhile, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has generated a total return of 29.1 percent so far this year.

"What we’ve seen is that the explosive prices represent only a tiny, tiny subset of lots," David Kusin, who runs Kusin & Co., a consulting firm that specializes in the economics of the art market, tells The Times.

"They get all the press, but we’ve seen relatively stable . . . prices in most categories over the past few years."

Philip Hoffman, chief executive of the Fine Art Fund Group, an investment and advisory firm, doesn't see a bubble for the art market as a whole.

"There are going to be bubbles in certain artists," he tells CNNMoney.

"It's the trophy lots that are making the huge money." He notes that buyers of those pieces "want a show-off picture by a brand name artist."

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The art market appears to be rising to dizzying heights, given developments such as last month's $142 million sale of a triptych painting by Francis Bacon.
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2013-22-09
Monday, 09 December 2013 09:22 AM
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