Chinese Art Prices Show Signs of Stabilizing

From New York Times:

In May 2007, “The Sisters (Grand Family No. 7),” an oil painting by Zhang Xiaogang, sold for $1.16 million at Christie’s New York. Last month, it went under the hammer there again — this time for $722,500.

That sale sent mixed signals. The 27 percent price fall mirrored the overall state of the contemporary art market; still, bidding was active, and the painting came through as the top lot of the afternoon’s offering of postwar and contemporary art, beating works by Damien Hirst, Keith Harding and Richard Prince. After its initial collapse, as the economic crisis struck, the Chinese contemporary market may be bottoming out.

At the Christie’s Hong Kong spring auctions, also last month, 34 of 38 lots offered in an evening sale of Asian contemporary and Chinese 20th-century art sold for a total $19.9 million, more than double the low end of the pre-sale estimate — which was pitched conservatively to avoid scaring off possible bidders.

June 10, 2009 1:45 AM
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