It is always difficult to write about the progress of a complex market like the art one.
The art market sector is certainly becoming more selective, solid, and often no masterpieces are found.
The post Brexit certainly led to a setback after years of growth in the contemporary sector.
The Italian art of the twentieth century in 2017 has achieved inconsistent and rather erratic results, so much so that there has been talk of the crisis in the sector expected for the current year, 2018.
Casamonti, owner of Tornabuoni Art based in London and Paris, states on the contrary that he does not see significant setbacks.
Two Sotheby’s auctions between London and Milan in 2017 have not been very successful, but rather than seeing a crisis, the fact must be interpreted as an increase in selectivity in the sector.
2017 saw record values for Italian artists such as Alberto Burri and Michelangelo Pistoletto, but also Alighiero Boetti, Franco Angeli and Salvatore Scarpitta.
A 1963 Burri Plastic Black was sold by Sotheby’s New York in the fall for $ 10.9 million. Mirror of Pistoletto of 1967 was beaten by Christie’s London in October for 3.1 million dollars.
There were also lots of the same authors who remained unsold.
Each work is unique, despite the excellent market of an author, its prestige and the general trend of auctions and markets.
The new generation of collectors is certainly more experienced, documented, demanding; or choose the masterpiece from an absolute record or, on the contrary, expect a less spectacular work but which has much more reasonable prices.
Sometimes an auction does not ‘work’ because there are high-sounding names but maybe not an excellent quality of pieces; because the market grows, you need masterpieces. We need extraordinary works.
Not being able to find exceptional quality works and allocate them to bimonthly auctions is a fact.
In the most important Fairs, from Fiac Paris to Miami Basel, the quotations with respect to the previous year have registered a + 15%.
For example, Boetti is an artist who has achieved a stable international reputation, but in addition to offering exceptional works at important prices, he offers a series of embroidery and minor works at prices that are more accessible.
Burri in recent years has oddly dichotomous trends: the masterpieces that pass the market reach amazing peaks, while more recent works have much lower values when they are not even unsold.
The whole of the twentieth century market, which has had a downturn in recent years, is undergoing a reversal of the trend: De Chirico, Carrà, Morandi, Severini, Balla are increasing.
Important exhibitions dedicated to these artists will certainly contribute to an increase in value and quotations in the auctions of future auctions.
The market of the future promises to be increasingly selective and attentive *.
* Stefano Cosenz, La Stampa, 12 Feb. 2014