How much difference half a year makes. Last year, 11 of the world’s top 20 best-selling artists were Chinese. Work by just one of those, Zhang Xiaogang, raked in $44 million at auction in 2008 alone.
But in October, as crisis after crisis buffeted Wall Street, Sotheby’s sale of contemporary Chinese art bombed. Just 39 of 110 paintings sold at the auction, which is widely seen as an indicator of the health of the Chinese contemporary art market.
Since then, things have gotten even worse, according to Brian Wallace of Red Gate Gallery in Beijing.
For more on the boom and bust of the Chinese art market, see the following CDT posts: “China’s Art Market: Cold or Maybe Hibernating?” and “Contemporary Chinese Art, One Financial Crisis Later.”