Arts & Culture: Once again this past month's sales results have shown that fresh works, with a high degree of quality and reasonable estimates, are still selling for exceptional prices. What we have also witnessed are those less than stellar works (issues with condition, period, quality, etc.) are having problems finding buyers. The lesson to be learned: when the art market is in full swing again do yourself a favor and try to acquire those works that are among an artist's best. Be choosy. Do not give into the temptation to buy a work just because a certain artist painted it; and do your homework so you don't overpay for a work because the artist is one of the "hot" ones -- many of those previous "hot" artists spent their winter season in the Antarctic waiting for a serious summer thaw! And some of us are wondering in what future decade that might happen.
As for the Big Picture, I do believe that the art markets will survive this current economic Tsunami far better than most markets. That being said, some of the sub art markets are going to be harder hit than others. I have been saying for some time that the Contemporary auction market was due for a correction -- well, that correction is upon us and for some it has been a rough ride. Results for the 19th century and Impressionist auctions have also been a little weak, but then again so have the offerings; however, the few good paintings that have come on the market made very impressive prices.
Howard L. Rehs
Rehs Galleries, Inc., New York City