French Art Market Growing in Leaps and Bounds – artmarketblog.com

spider French Art Market Growing in Leaps and Bounds   artmarketblog.comThe French art market seems to have taken a turn for the best in 2012 with the Parisian gallery scene exhibiting a renewed vitality and vigour.  The announcement that Larry Gagosian would be opening a second Paris space at Le Bourget airport and the opening of powerhouse gallerist Thaddeus Ropac’s new space on the outskirts of Paris made headlines in 2012 as did Design Miami 2012 which was reported as being “owned by the French”.

2011 was a big year for French art dealers who collectively realised a total turnover of 2.38 billion euros, an increase of 8.6% over 2010.  Among the biggest sales of 2011 were two paintings sold by Artcurial, France’s top auction house. A Nu couché (Reclining Nude) dating from 1954 by Nicolas de Staël, sold for 7 million euros in December 2011, and Hafen von Swinemünde (Swinemünde Harbour) by Lyonel Feininger, a German-American Expressionist painter, sold for 5.7 million euros.

Building on the success of 2011, 2012 saw Paris play host to another highly successful edition of the international contemporary art fair FIAC (Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain).  Major sales included an $8 million Joan Miro painting, an Anish Kapoor wall sculpture priced at 500,000 pounds, Paul McCarthy’s $1.75 million White Snow Dwarf Head 3 and the punctured red canvas by Lucio Fontana titled Concetto Spaziale, Attese which was priced at 2 million euros.

January 2013 will see the Los Angeles art fair season take on a distinctly French vibe with Art Los Angeles Contemporary partnering with Ceci n’est pas… Art Between France and Los Angeles, a five-month arts and culture exchange program between France and Los Angeles. Art Los Angeles Contemporary will take part by hosting a special section of the fair dedicated to visiting French galleries and their exhibiting artists. The fair will also highlight the relationship between these two cultural hubs through extensive programming of talks, lectures, and screenings.

Following the success of the 2012 edition of the Paris Photo fair, an American edition of the fair will be launched in 2013 in Los Angeles.  The first edition of Paris Photo Los Angeles will be held in Los Angeles from April 24 to 28, 2013 and will bring together a selection of 80 international galleries at the heart of the iconic site of the Paramount Pictures Studios.

Christie’s 3rd December Art Contemporain sale in Paris was evidence of the strength of the French art market.  The Art Contemporain sale realised  €18,420,200/14,942,466/$23,995,995 with 82% sold by lot and 92% by value. The top lot was Louise Bourgeois ‘s Spider by which sold for €3,425,000/2,778,360/$4,461,748 against an estimate of €1,000,000-1,500,000 to an anonymous buyer present in the auction room, realising the highest result for a contemporary art work sold at auction this year in France. A world auction record was established for a work of art by Karel Appel:  Two birds and a Flower was sold for €841,000/£682,219/$1,095,571 against an estimate of €300,000-500,000 to a European private collector.

Sotheby’s also found success with their 4th December Paris Art Contemporain sale which realised €11.6 million. Particularly impressive was the performance of François-Xavier Lalanne’s last monumental sculpture, LeTrès Grand Singe Avisé, which soared past its €700,000 upper estimate to €936,750. One of an edition of eight, its superb black patina proved highly desirable. “Each auction was greeted enthusiastically by international collectors,” noted Stefano Moreni, Head of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s France, “confirming Paris as a strong international market for contemporary works.”

*Nicholas Forrest is a Sydney/London based art market analyst, art consultant and writer.  He is the founder of the Art Market Blog (artmarketblog.com) which offers independent commentaries as well as research and analysis on the current art market, and has recently been published in Fabrik magazine, Verve magazine, Visual Art Beat magazine, Australian Art Collector magazine, Art & Investment magazine and many others.  Nic has made several radio appearances (both nationally and internationally) as an art market expert and has received press from the likes of the New York Times, Conde Nast Portfolio and Times of London.

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  • Joseph Ridgwell

    is it any wonder fish turn to art michael fitzgerald 

  • khushi Sharma

    I imagine the smaller-cap, broader Russell 2000 vs S&P 500 is more about the argument for USA vs Global outlook… So market more bullish for the US’s prospects relative to the world (and the US $, given overseas earnings will fall as $ rises). Which as an unfortunate European I have to agree on. http://www.etradingacademy.in/

    • Dimple Sharma

      i liked this

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