No. 79: From Auction Week to Art Basel, What’s Happening in the Art Market


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On this episode, we take stock of the state of the art market. May was a frenzied month for the industry, with the Rockefeller and New York auctions providing key litmus tests about the health of the market. There were some objectively massive sales, including works by Picasso and Modigliani. But with big ticket works selling, why didn’t the action on the salesroom floor feel exciting? And what does that tell us about the role that expectations play when it comes to the art market? We also get a firsthand account of the sale that did electrify the art world: the $21.1 million auction of Kerry James Marshall’s Past Times at Sotheby’s. Finally, we look ahead to Art Basel in Basel, which opens to VIPs on June 12th.