Archive for July 2007

Print Market Review, Summer 2007

Having just reviewed the Picasso painting market, let’s turn for a moment to see how his prints have been faring. In short, prices have held or gone up, but the most appreciation appears to have occurred among the most valuable prints. The particular winners of the season are the few rare proofs that were offered and, more significantly, the nicer unsigned prints. The season’s highlights include the beautiful, rare and unpublished but smallish aquatint of Françoise (Baer 907, not in Bloch), which sold with all three states for a whopping $588,000. Yet the first two states are not that beautiful in their own right, primarily interesting in depicting the progression of Picasso’s thoughts. And the third and final state last…

Read More

Does Size Matter? (Painting Market Review, Summer 2007)

Now that everyone else has opined about the last auction round, having waited my turn, I can now get in the last word. The art world seems rather pleased with itself in view of the continued price escalation, with no end in sight. Yet the intelligence of the market is still underappreciated. It’s time, it seems to me, that buyers be given their due. And of course I’m just talking about buyers of Picassos, since those are the only works I study in depth. Commentary about the intelligence of the art market in general has not been quite so favorable. For example, note the opening line of Souren Melikian’s essay: “The May sales demonstrated how unpredictable buying patterns have become.…

Read More