Picasso prints auction

Wuzzon da Block?

There are some nice offerings at the fall auctions in NY, but before we get to the paintings, it is noteworthy that for the first time, at least of which I’m aware, prints have made one of the storied evening sales.  Both their low estimates exceed the million $ barrier, and both are at Christie’s, consisting of an unsigned Minotauromachie and a signed impression of  La Femme qui Pleure, I (Bl.1333), the final (7th) state: What’s even more remarkable, it seems to me, is the unusually large number of really nice paintings, eleven in the Christie’s evening sale alone. At Sotheby’s, there’s the fascinating 1927 Guitare accroché au mur: and the huge late Picasso painting, one of the nicer ones, […]

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Wuzzon on da Block?

1932 was a great year for Picasso.  He had just turned 50, which must have made him want to take stock.  He was also commemorating that birthday by personally curating his first museum show, which took place that year in Zurich and which has now been largely reassembled in an exhibit at the same museum, Kunsthaus Zürich, ending January 30–as far as I know the only artist’s show ever to be revived (a nice catalogue accompanies the show entitled Picasso by Picasso: His First Museum Exhibition 1932).  Picasso had long since emerged as the preeminent artist of his time, but this year, as if to underscore his supremacy, he had revved up into high gear and was cranking out one masterpiece

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The State of the Art: The Picasso Market as of September, 2010

The Picasso print sale of the millennium just came and went (Sotheby’s London), so one would think it might deserve comment, not least of all because it was such a strong auction.   Yeah, I know that’s a pretty bold statement, given that the millennium isn’t even half over.   OK, so it was at least one of the two sales of the millennium.  Depending on which prints you’re most interested in, you might prefer to nominate the Mourlot estate sale at Christie’s NY in 2003 for that honor.   But the auction last week included Picasso’s two most expensive prints, and quite a number of other great works.  It also set some world’s records, especially for the most valuable pieces.

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Art as Investment: The Mei Moses® Fine Art Index

I’m often asked about my opinion of art as investment.  My opinion, whatever it is, is presumably clouded by my love for Picasso.  Better to direct such inquiries to the Mei Moses® Fine Art Index  (artasanasset.com), a statistical database and analysis compiled by two NYU economists.  Quite sensibly, they limit their statistics only to auctioned works (so that the facts of the sale are in the public domain and known beyond any doubt) and further limit their stats to those works that have sold at auction more than once.  That is, they compare only the prices achieved at auction for two or more sales of the same artwork.  The advantage is immediately evident: they’re comparing only like commodities.  More than

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Last week my six-year-old came home from school loaded up with books from the school book fair but nonetheless wanting to Amazon another, How to Read People’s Minds.  Now, among other considerations, I try to evaluate my kids’ “needs” (they always classify their wants as such) through the prism of educational merit.  From that perspective, this request was an easy one to accept.   Much of one’s success in life is supposed to be related to EQ (emotional intelligence), of which understanding other people plays a large part.  (Dubya is supposed to have had it in spades, though, personally, I’d rather have a beer with Barack any day of the week.  And, anyway, if I were imbibing with Dubya, I’d request

THE DOCTORS, THE DENTISTS, & THE DIRTY DEALS: PiCostco, A Slight Return Read More »


There are those collectors who love the art no matter how small, and there are those who won’t look at a piece if it doesn’t reach a certain size.  This “column” is for the former.  Having addressed the merits of collecting small art works before, I would now like to further the discussion by drawing your attention to two highlights of this spring auction season.  They demonstrate both the highs and lows of collecting miniature Picassos.  Well, just the current high, not the real highs—some of those were most recently sold a couple of years ago (see Does Size Matter?). First the low: the 1919 gouache and pencil, Nature morte à la guitare that went for a giveaway 60,000 Euro


The Auction Tango

A collector on whose behalf I am about to bid at auction just posed the following question: how many years back has the art market now retreated? To provide a satisfactory answer, one would have to do a formal statistical analysis, for which I have neither the tools, time, nor inclination.  Shooting from the hip, most people last November were saying 2006, and the market has certainly improved and partially stabilized since then, at least for the time being.  Having just perused representative auction catalogues from years past, I fear that 2005 is closer to the mark on average for Picasso prints.  But, mostly, I find it impossible to generalize in any meaningful way, because Picassos of different media and

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