Recent sales of Impressionist and Modernist Art have confirmed two things:
1) Masterpieces sell
2) Big names alone don’t sell
For example a major work by Nabis painter Raoul Dufy fetched £4 mil.
And at same time Ludwig Meidner also achieved new heights with a £1.52 mil sale. On the other hand, Emil Nolde had two of his works go unwanted. Lesson we can take from this: All 3 were Expressionists, but Soutine and Meidner were Jewish, and Nolde joined the Nazi Party. Or simply:
Jewish Painters: Market Strong
Nazi Painters: Market Weak
Also speaking of moribund demand, Egon Schiele’s fallen a long way since his £12.66m for View of Krumau at a sale at Sothebys in 2003. Of course part of the misunderstanding by the market was that that incredible price happened because the painting had been in a public collection in Graz for 50 years, and then restituted to the original heirs. That kind of a setup is bound to produce a record price. Such price pumping exceptions were not present in the three items of Schiele’s that did not sell last week. Two of them were nudes, and some of his nudes…well, frankly, they ain’t the kind of thing you wanna display around nice company. It’s good to hear that folks aren’t wasting money on signatures attached to works that simply cannot be hung around your mother-in-law.