Hirst’s naysayers doubt that. They trace his fall to a $200 million auction staged in 2008, on the day Lehman Brothers collapsed. Hirst sold hundreds of works directly to bidders, defying the custom of restricting supply. “Hirst screwed with his market, and it came back to bite him,” says Michael Plummer, principal of the investment advisory firm Artvest Partners. “He broke the economic rules of the industry.”
Incrementally Positive Takes from Citi’s Proprietary 5/9/12 Call on Auction Industry with Artvest LLC — (1) Art market has returned to its pre-crisis size at $64.9mm in 2011 vs. $62-$66 in 2007-2008 with strong potential to increase again in 2012; (2) Sotheby’s has become the most dominant player in NY for Impressionist/Modern; (3) China now the world’s largest consumer of art at 30% vs. US 29%.
Last week’s Contemporary Art auctions in London (Christie’s, Sotheby’s & Phillips) included 25 works by Damien Hirst, the largest number to come to market since his single artist sale at Sotheby’s London on September 15, 2008.
Between 2006 and 2008, Post-War and Contemporary art underwent an extraordinary bull market run. Auction prices for these artworks rose at an unprecedented rate, outperforming every other sector of the art market. By the end of 2008, macroeconomic factors began to cause a price correction. Within a year, Post-War & Contemporary Art had undergone the [...]