Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What sells art? The importance of the artist's name

(source here) by Philip Hook, The Guardian,
The greater the painting, the higher the price, right? Wrong. As a Bacon goes for £89m, auctioneer Philip Hook reveals what really sells in the world of fine art
Last year a version of Edvard Munch's The Scream fetched $120m (£74m) at auctionin 24 hours last week, a Warhol made $105m (£65m)and a Bacon portrait of Freud reached $143m (£89m). To the outside world, the pricing of art is a mystery. Why does one work sell for £10,000, another for £1m, and yet another for £100m?
Francis Bacon
Obviously, who paints the picture is important. Artists are brands that can go in and out of fashion. As recently as 10 years ago, the highest auction price for Francis Bacon stood at $8.5m. The record $143m that was paid last week is a measure of a shift in taste: whereas 40 years ago the highest prices were achieved by old masters, now huge glamour and demand is focused on modern and contemporary art. It also reflects the greater availability of top-quality modern works than of top-quality old masters, which are increasingly rare.
There are certain eternals who will always be valuable. It is hard to imagine art history ever downgrading the importance of Rembrandt or Rubens, Leonardo or Raphael, Picasso or Matisse. But in recent years artists such as the surrealists and the German expressionists have grown more expensive as their importance in the history of art has been reassessed. Similarly, if an artist has just featured in a major exhibition at the Tate, for example, then that kind of high-profile exposure can also create a spike in their prices

No comments:

Post a Comment