• 21 Mar 2018

The last international auctions keep on generating millions of dollars. Spanish Artist Pablo Picasso maintains his dominant position in the Fine Arts market partly thanks to a particular interest from Asian buyers. What can we say about the 2018 auctions?

This Pexel image represents a suitcase full of dollar bills.

© Pexels

The Asian market’s vivid interest in the Spanish Artist

The last Sotheby’s auction, second to Christie’s, the biggest auction house, included a series of Artworks by Spanish Artist Pablo Picasso. As a result, the canvas entitled “Femme au béret et à la robe quadrillée” made in 1937 was bought for 49.8 million pounds, meaning 56 million Euros, on February 28th 2018. In the same auction, the “Matador”, Artwork painted in 1970 was auctioned off for 16.6 million pounds even though the day before the”Mousquetaire et nu assis” found a buyer at Christie’s for 13.7 million pounds. Therefore, Keith Gill, Head of Day Sale, Impressionist and Modern Art, at Christie’s King Street told Le Monde: “Picasso is the Artist Asian buyers want first when they look at Western Art. In the February 27th auction, we saw Asian buyers who never bet in Modern Art auctions before.”

This Artwork by Pablo Picasso is entitled Mousquetaire and was made in1967.

Mousquetaire, head, 1967 © Pablo Picasso

Picasso’s latest creative period in the spotlight

The Spanish Old Master’s auction series shows a particular interest in the Artist’s latest production. Indeed, the Artworks that are very colorful and made in the 80s draw more and more attention from the Art collectors. It is very surprising since at the time such Artworks were never sold more than 2 million dollars. To the contrary, nowadays, contemporary Art collectors grow a particular interest in it. It is the case for German collector Frieder Burda who put together a collection of Picassos from that time frame. Such a tendency did not start prior to 2007. It also comes at a time when auctions diversify including with the intensification of the use of the Internet and online selling.

2018 : an “even better” year of auctions?

Sotheby’s President and CEO Tad Smith is very optimistic about the auction house’s future. Indeed, he said: “we had a great 2017 year and we intend on doing even better in 2018.” As a result the net profit had a 60% growth representing 118.8 million dollars. Its Asian clientele greatly contributed to it by representing 29% of the sales. Moreover, the diversification of the sales, including online, adds up to the net profit. In fact, in 2017, Sotheby’s made 36 online sales. However, even though the signs seem positive, only confirmed Artists and collectors manage to play their cards right which casts aside medium collectors who invest in emerging Artists. Also, there is a hidden face of online selling which, once again, only works for a limited amount of Artists as explained in our dedicated article.

This image represents the signature of Spanish Artist Pablo Picasso.

© Pablo Picasso

Read our article about photographer and Art-Trope Artist Gildas de la Monneraye here.

Sources : Le Monde, Sotheby’s et Christie’s