At the time in the history of the market, prices of contemporary art have never been as high and those of ancient arts have never been lower. An update on the situation.
Historic records in New York
The contemporary art sales in New York organized by the auction houses Sotheby's and Christie's last November were marked by a peak in prices ever recorded since the eighteenth century. In a single sale, Christie's New York in particular sold 81 works for $ 852 million. And within a month, with sales of Impressionist, Modern and contemporary, Sotheby's New York sold for nearly $ 1 billion of works of art.
Indeed, as stated by Judith Benhamou-Huet in Les Echos "contemporary art is now a global investment value" which oppose powerful collectors of world economic powers, Chinese, American and also UAE.
Triple Elvis (left) was sold nearly 50 million at Christie's New York November 12, 2014, the Four Marlons (right) almost £48 million
Low prices in Paris
Meanwhile in Paris, the reality is quite different. In fact the first half of 2014, all auctioneers in Drouot achieved a turnover of 221 million euros in more than 500 sales. It is a sad fact: Paris is no longer the central place of the art market, contemporary art selling today in New York, London or Hong Kong.
Meanwhile also, works and ancient art offered for sale have become difficult to sell, by a lack of amateur or investors. A piece of furniture, a painting or a sculpture of Museum quality has become more and more difficult to sell for € 150,000 and even to € 5,000, and ended often withdrawn from sale for lack of bidder. Buyers have indeed abandoned the ancient arts to focus exclusively on the arts of the twentieth century fashion phenomenon oblige.
Result: a massive destruction of our cultural heritage, which, for example, a solid silver cup, made with a knowledge disappeared today often ends melted for the price of its material.
Images: Matt Dunham / AP