In a turbulent economic context, the works of well-known artists have once again become a safe haven for investors.
The art market returns to its pre-pandemic splendor at the Basel Art Gallery despite the war in Ukraine and turbulent markets, and inflation gives wealthy art collectors one more reason to buy a multi-million canvas.
Since the early hours of Art Basel, Switzerland’s premier art fair from June 16-19, the leading galleries have made some very big sales.
Hauser & Wirth, based in Zurich, has set a new spider-American record for French-American sculptor Louise Bourgeois, who earned $40 million (€38 million).
But it also doubled sales to seven figures, notably the sale of a work by Armenian painter Arshili Gorky for 5.5 million and an oil on canvas by Francis Picabia for 4 million. On the first day alone, her sales were around $75 million.
German gallery David Zwerner has sold a piece by conceptual artist Felix Gonzalez Torres for $12.5 million and a painting by South African artist Marlene Dumas for $8.5 million.
“The gallery has an intense energy with so many collectors we haven’t seen in a long time,” welcomed Mark Glimcher, director of the American Pace Gallery, who sold an oil on canvas. to Joan Mitchell for $16.5 million and set several future NFTs for Jeff Koons, which will come with a moon-shaped sculpture, for $2 million each.
Like sales of yachts, luxury cars, luxury watches and jewelry, the art market rebounded strongly in 2021 after the shock of the pandemic in 2020 with the sharp recovery of the stock market last year amplifying the legacy of very large fortunes.
After declining 22% in 2020, the art market recovered 29% in 2021 to rise again to $65.1 billion, according to an estimate by Claire McCandro, author of a report for Art Basel, who noted that collectors’ budgets have also increased dramatically over year round. Last Year.
But meanwhile, the war in Ukraine and the tightening of the central bank’s key interest rates in the face of inflation caused major shocks to financial markets.
An alternative to the stock exchange
At the moment, insurers specializing in the art market have not noticed any breaks in the sums insured since the invasion of Ukraine.
“The art market is booming again,” notes Nicolas Kadish at Hiscox. The return of exhibitions with the lifting of health restrictions prompts collectors to return to purchase. He believes that another important phenomenon that will have a positive impact on the art market is inflation.
“In my opinion, art will be, more than before, a safe haven against accelerating inflation,” he said in an interview with AFP, citing strong demand for all collectibles, such as cars.
Same note in the Axa XL, where Hans Lenin, Customer Director for Asia Pacific and Europe, expects the rally to continue, except for major disruptions “in a situation that could change very quickly”.
With the more volatile stock markets, the art market can be viewed as a more stable investment. This could even attract other investors who will turn to the art business, rather than the stock market,” he believes, especially as high auction prices fuel buyer confidence.
However, periods of economic anxiety tend to favor values that are considered safe, to the detriment of young artists.
“With risk aversion, people tend to focus on the artists they know,” Claire McAndrew admitted in an interview with AFP.
“But I imagine that could change this year,” she predicts, with the return of exhibitions that allow you to go back and discover young artists.
Did you find an error?Please, let us know.