Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Latest from Pink Line Project

Art Market

...we look at the effect the credit crunch is having on the art world as the new year begins. In the art market, there have been a few early victims of the crisis, including the 18 employees sacked by PaceWildenstein in New York, and the 17 “fabricators” of pill cabinets, butterfly paintings and pickled animals axed by Damien Hirst. “I want to make sure that we are the best swimmers on the block. The luxury of carrying under-performing employees is now a thing of the past,” warned Mr Gagosian, in a similar vein, in the same memo to his staff.

In Miami, the trendy French dealer Emmanuel Perrotin has shuttered his gallery, and now will only reopen it for Art Basel Miami Beach next December. Sotheby’s is also trimming its workforce, and has announced it has abandoned guarantees for the foreseeable future. The firm, and its arch-rival Christie’s, were badly hit by the collapse in art prices during New York’s sales of impressionist, modern and contemporary art in November, which garnered only half the expected totals. Those sales were prepared before the autumn, when art prices were still riding high. Some works sold in November for half their low estimates, and up to 75% of the works in some sales were bought in.
Read Georgina Adam at the Art Newspaper here.