Art Info:The Decade in Review

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不管纯粹论者怎么说,古已有之一无所有的故事曾是艺术市场。当它不再是我们可以谈论的,我们曾经谈论的也只是为什么我们总是谈论着它。继俄罗斯与亚洲艺术市场在90年代末潜了次水之后,也是继科技板块直线暴跌之后,在纽约9.11事件后觉醒的时刻之下,艺术市场消沉过,随波逐流过,丧失了90年代中期那大步流星的前进度伐,其后渐渐地从上一次的金融危机中缓过神来。但这坑还不够深,更深的是2003年始料未及的恐怖袭击。紧接着我们看到的是成百上千万的当代艺术;从俄罗斯、亚洲、拉丁美洲涌现出的大批新买家;我们石油大王劫匪的崛起,这群牛逼哄哄、满口胡言的“资产守卫者”。2008年,全球经济的崩溃将艺术市场带向了谷底,但这也不乏为好事。这里列举的是过去十年间我们心中的亮点:

01 杰夫 昆斯Jeff Koons这娃东山再起了 (2000s)

他是80后最活跃的现代主义浪潮gogo 1980s中“自主”沉浮的孩子,当他在纽约东村New York’s East Village展示其作品时,昆斯在90年代的低潮中有点被忽略了。当时低制作成本的艺术盗走了所有的聚光灯。但当其巨型修饰剪裁综合材料雕塑“小狗 Puppy”于1992年首次公开面世后,就有了日前《纽约杂志 New York Magazine 》艺术评论家 Jerry Saltz 笔下的“21世纪独一无二(THE)的艺术品”。昆斯重又回到了聚光灯中,并由此屹立不倒;时至今日,以百万计的美元成交额在其藏家与“粉丝”手中“流动”。

02 泰特摩登美术馆开馆Tate Modern opens (2000)

世纪交替带给伦敦的远不止一座千禧桥Millenium bridge。瑞典建筑师 Herzog & de Meuron 将泰晤士河畔一座废弃了的发电厂改建成如今的城市地标之一:泰特摩登美术馆Tate Modern。随着新兴艺术浪潮的不断涌现,截止2006年其参观者以达到每年200万之巨。

03 佳士得Christie’s 苏富比Sotheby’s 的共谋价丑闻 (2000)

这是过去十年的艺术市场中最值得纪念的一篇故事了——也可能成为整个世纪中最具爆炸性的一条新闻——而其走漏正如千禧年的悄然而至:佳士得Christie’s 与 苏富比Sotheby’s 曾非法合作,通过设置配套费setting matching fees来稳定价格。这起诈骗的细节在其发生后的数月间被披露,随之而来的法律审判以将苏富比主席A. Alfred Taubman关入牢狱而告终。

04 法国允许境外艺术拍卖行进行境内交易 (2001)

法国拍卖市场对境外同行的正式开放急剧促进了整个欧洲艺术市场的发展。巴黎的拍卖交易一直都有德鲁奥拍卖行Drouot垄断经营,这种局面直到2001年两大拍卖巨头进驻法国后方才结束(苏富比注册于11月,佳士得注册于12月)。这一举措对于巴黎艺术市场近年的迅猛发展可谓功不可没;算上去年2月份佳士得伊芙圣洛朗 Yves Saint Laurent的非凡交易量,可能是空前绝后的纪念碑式纪录。

05 巴塞尔迈阿密海滩艺术节Art Basel Miami Beach 开幕,成为美国最重要的现当代艺术盛会,改变一切(2002)

每一位艺术交易商都记得90年代美国最重要的艺术盛会:芝加哥艺博会Art Chicago;而其地位在巴塞尔艺博会Art Basel登录美国海岸的那一天就彻底被改变了。因9.11事件的缘故而延后一年于2002年开幕,在全球艺术市场日历中增加了一个大大的“必去”记号,将国际焦点都聚在迈阿密那生机勃勃的艺术舞台上,并将其市场活动延展远逾过纽约秋拍。

06 达明 赫斯特Hirst 萨奇Saatchi以一千四百万美元高价回购其早期作品 (2003)

21世纪见证着大批艺术巨头的崛起:大名头交易商、大型艺术展会、拍卖行巨头、巨型艺术品,还有能呼风唤雨的明星艺术家们——所谓“商人艺术家”——如村上隆Takashi Murakami、杰夫 昆斯Jeff Koons, 当然也少不了达明 赫斯特Damien Hirst.。他最铤而走险的一步棋是回购自己的艺术作品,以充分掌控其艺术创作的市场行情。通过其代理画廊 白立方 White Cube 回购了总计12件艺术品。据谣言,该成交额达到了数千万美元,而卖家包括一些英国私人藏家,甚至艺术市场著名推手查尔斯 萨奇Charles Saatchi。

07 毕加索Picasso 作品的历史成交价新高:1.04亿美元 (2004)

2004年5月的一个夜晚,苏富比纽约拍卖现场挤满了全球各地的媒体、艺术交易商,以及那些无处不在、一刻不停地拉长脖子四处张望的傻看者,都屏息凝神地期待着:都只因为有谣言称,毕加索创作于1905年的绘画《拿烟斗的男孩 Boy with a Pipe 》将会以超过1亿美金的历史新高价成交。毋庸置疑,加上保证金,它将以实际1.04亿美元成交,并立刻成为了艺术市场中“飞出九天外”的一个象征。

08 纽约现代艺术博物馆MoMA 新馆开幕 (2004)

自从1929年在馆长Alfred Barr的带领下创立至今,纽约现代艺术博物馆Museum of Modern Art 一直就是现代艺术的同义词;那就很好理解,为什么日本建筑师 谷口义雄Yoshio Taniguchi在受邀为其设计新馆时的忐忑不安与责任重大了。当2004年11月新馆开幕时,建筑内外熙熙攘攘的人流,映衬着那流动感十足的外观线条和对MoMA旧馆念念不忘的怀旧派意料之中的絮叨,一起迎接着一个毫无疑问的新的艺术世纪的来到。

09 潮流:大美术馆们 (到处都在扩建)

过去十年间,对于美国来说,问题不在于哪家美术馆扩建了,而恰恰相反,是哪家美术馆没有扩建。从纽约到亚特兰大到芝加哥到洛杉矶,甚至放眼全球,无数新美术馆的巨大形体如雨后春笋般不断冒出地面,当红建筑师Renzo Piano、Herzog & de Meuron和Santiago Calatrava 是这些大建筑的背后功臣。

10 Momart Fire (much YBA(英国艺术家) art lost) (2004)

英国艺术Britart开辟了90年代的全球艺术市场;而2004年5月,正当这股艺术热潮蓬勃而出之际,伦敦主营艺术品贮藏、装配、运输的Momart集团旗下的一座大仓库突然起火。而仓库中贮存的,是大量的英国热门艺术珍品;其中包括了查尔斯 萨奇Charles Saatchi等著名藏家的“心肝宝贝”,如查普曼夫妇Jake and Dinos Chapman 的精品名作《地狱Hell 》,以及Tracey Emin 的代表作《所有和我睡过的人Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 》(1963–1995)。但从某种程度来说,查普曼夫妇笑到了最后:Momart 邀请其设计公司下一年的圣诞礼物,而这对夫妇的最终设计:查普曼灯具,在市场上大卖。

11 谢赫沙特艾尔塔尼Sheikh Saud Al Thani 垮台被捕 (2005)

曾几何时,作为卡塔尔国会文化、艺术与遗产National Council for Culture, Arts and Heritage (NCCAH)部部长,他是一个财大气粗的艺术大师杰作购物狂,如在佳士得伦敦以790万英镑成交的创作于公元2世纪罗马雕塑:詹金斯维纳斯。而如今风光不在,他被起诉挪用公款而沦为阶下囚。

12 趋势:藏家美术馆经营红火

马里兰的米切尔 拉尔斯Mitchell Rales ,卡罗莱纳的罗根夫妇Vicki and Kent Logan ,迈阿密的鲁贝尔家族the RubellsElla CisnerosRosa de la Cruz和 Marty Margulies,威尼斯的弗朗索瓦 皮诺Francois Pinault,不胜枚举。21世纪 私人美术馆成为了众多野心勃勃藏家们的必备之选。如今这些精力旺盛的可人儿带着他们令人目不转睛的丰富藏品与充满雄心壮志、抱负气息的展览可能真会成为传统公共美术馆强劲的竞争伙伴。

13 盖提美术馆Getty 古董策展人 Marion True 与美国古董交易商Robert Hecht Jr. 一同因流通不正当古董的阴谋罪而被意大利政府起诉(2005)

多少个世纪以来,探险家、学者以及美术馆长们都在早期西方社会文化财产的大方流通上达成了共识——但在新千年,这些社会默契逐渐分崩离析。Hecht 与True 在2005年因流通不正当古董被诉阴谋罪的案件标志着持续了数年的调查的高潮,以及淘宝业的崭新纪元:迎接他们的将是希腊和埃及急不可耐地追讨他们流落异乡的文化遗产。

14 Thomas Krens vs. Peter Lewis (现代汉语说不定将VS翻译成PK可以让更多人理解)

在Thomas Krens 执掌古根海姆基金会Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation的20年中,永远与丑闻、非议无缘,在其领导下雄心勃勃的古根海姆扩张项目取得了巨大成功:西班牙毕尔巴鄂分馆Bilbao、美国拉斯维加斯分馆Las Vegas以及还在建中的纽约分馆。此外,其一手策划的诸多特别展览,如:阿玛尼限量版套装、摩托车和大名鼎鼎的马修 巴内 Matthew Barney,也由此挣得了一箩筐或赞赏褒扬、或刁钻恶毒的评论。2005年,在与董事会成员Peter Lewis摊牌时,后者提出美术馆做得有点太“过”了。结果Lewis,这位古根海姆基金会历史上最大的赞助投资人推出了,而Krens也算在众人面前占了上风。三年后,Krens 提出辞呈,说他需要休整,需要时间来好好地精心思考:董事会在其强硬的管理作风下变得越发小心机警。他依然留任古根海姆的艺术顾问,并将见证或许是其艺术生涯中最高成就的到来:总面积达32万平方英尺的古根海姆阿布扎比分馆将于2012年在Krens的亲自监督下开幕。

15 苏富比Sotheby’s 佳士得Christie’s 涉足画廊业 (2006)

2006年,苏富比Sotheby’s 以8250万美金收购了广受敬畏、正处在事业巅峰的荷兰画廊Noortman Master Paintings,这是当年的头条新闻,震惊了众多行家里手。佳士得也不甘示弱,在第二年收购了当代艺术时尚高贵的传播者:Haunch of Venison鹿臀画廊。纵观过往数年,艺术市场在画廊业的无线风光,拍卖双雄的涉足不得不说是聪明之举,而由此的收获也想必颇丰。

16 古斯塔夫克林姆 Klimt归还的《艾蒂儿-布洛赫-鲍尔画像一号》(Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I) 成交价1.35亿美元 (2006)

奥地利当局凑不够那1亿多美金来兑现他们的承诺与责任:将被纳粹分子锁在维也纳望楼Belvedere 的五幅古斯塔夫-克林姆的肖像杰作《艾蒂儿-布洛赫-鲍尔画像(系列)》买下并归还给布洛赫-鲍尔Bloch-Bauer的侄女、时年九旬高龄的继承人Maria Altmann。最终,化妆业巨头Ronald Lauder 插手以1.35亿美金买下了《艾蒂儿-布洛赫-鲍尔画像一号Adele Bloch-Bauer I》。由此,拍卖史上继两年前毕加索《拿烟斗的男孩 Boy with a Pipe 》之后又一逾1亿美元成交价的历史新高诞生了。

17 Salander O’Reilly 被捕入狱 (2007)

这起本来已被断言了的诈骗案如今看来又变得古怪离奇起来。本只是芝麻大的事件,到头来引发出这起震动全球经济巨头 Bernie Madoff 的惊天大案。交易商 Lawrence Salander涉嫌诈骗其客户与委托人的这起案件震惊了2007年的艺术世界。当事情败露,他被起诉超过100项罪行,涉案金额高达880万美元,受害者有26人之众;其家庭与企业当庭宣告破产。

18 Philippe de Montebello 退休了 (2007)

美术馆长总会无中生有地承受着某种身份危机的折磨,尤其是在寻找新任舵主的时候。事实上,艺术史学家或商人打这份几百万企业单子的头阵已如社交礼节般普遍寻常。然而在2007年,大都会美术馆Metropolitan Museum of Art接过其在任逾30年的德高望重的老馆长Philippe de Montebello 递交的“退休申请”时,所有业内旁观者都争相预测谁最有可能接过这位八面玲珑的艺术贵族的接力棒长达数月之久,但最终候选人却令人瞠目(当然不是不悦): 织锦画学者、专家Thomas Campbell

19 大都会美术馆Metropolitan Museum of Art 将欧弗洛尼奥斯陶瓶Euphronios Krater 归还给意大利(2008)

在意大利起诉美国交易商Robert Hecht 与盖提美术馆Getty 古董策展人Marion True案三年后,让所有捍卫从意大利领土非法掠夺古董合法化的丑恶激进派闭嘴、让全球各地业内学者震惊的事件发生了:大都会美术馆the Met在Philippe de Montebello的指挥下,将其镇馆之宝“欧弗洛尼奥斯陶瓶Euphronios krater”及其他数件存有争议的古董归还给了意大利。

20 动向: 日新月异、蓬勃发展的中国当代艺术

方力钧,岳敏君,张晓刚 —他们在21世纪前可能还无人知晓,但如今却成为了家喻户晓的人物,至少是艺术市场行业内人尽皆知的名号。中国当代艺术,尤其是油画领域, 在过去十年间的发展犹如火箭升空,不论是在拍卖或是私人交易中都极为红火。最近,在全球艺术市场的普遍走弱中,他们的价格也开始趋于疲软。但中国,正如众多行业内外人士所相信的那样,才刚开始其艺术发展之路,想必这种“疲软”也必将是短命的。

21 雷曼兄弟倒闭后,达明 赫斯特Damien Hirst2亿美金创下拍卖新高(2008)

2008年9月15日那个非凡的上午,正值艺术市场受到全球金融业巨头雷曼兄弟垮台的影响开始举步维艰之际,“英国坏男孩”在苏富比售出了一件从其工作室新鲜出炉的艺术作品,将令人咋舌、见所未见的天文数字:£111,576,800 ($200,953,342) 收入囊中。

22 伊芙圣洛朗Yves Saint Laurent的藏品在佳士得收获交易总额达5亿美金 (2009)

在雷曼兄弟倒闭及其带动的无数次余震发生5个月后,艺术市场憧憬着能有些好消息。于是,好消息来了:为其三天、总计六场、多达600余件来自伊芙圣洛朗Yves Saint Laurent具有鲜明个人品味私人收藏的艺术大师珍宝拍品在佳士得巴黎开锣,并以惊人的€373.9 million ($483.8 million)天价落槌。无疑证明了藏家们的钱包还是会为“对的”艺术品倾情挥洒、义无反顾的。

 

The Decade in Review

By Sarah Douglas, Kris Wilton, Andrew Russeth

Say what you will, purists: the story of the aughts was the art market. When it wasn’t all we could talk about, we were talking about why it was all we could talk about. After the Russian and Asian markets took a dive in the late ’90s and tech stocks plummeted, and in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York, the art market sagged a bit, breaking the stride it had slipped into in the mid-’90s, when it began to recover from the last recession. But that was a short dip, and by 2003 it was moving into uncharted territory. Soon we were looking at tens of millions of dollars for works of contemporary art; new buyers from Russia, Asia, and Latin America; and the rise of our robber barons, the vaunted “hedge fund guys.” In 2008, the crash of the global economy brought the art market back to earth, but that was quite a run. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the decade’s highlights.

Jeff Koons is the comeback kid (2000s)

A poster child for the gogo 1980s, when he began showing his work in New York’s EastVillage, Koons was less visible during the ’90s recession, when low-production-value art stole the spotlight. But with the gargantuan topiary sculpture Puppy, first produced in 1992 and recently declared by New York Magazine art critic Jerry Saltz to be THE artwork of the 2000s, Koons popped back into the limelight, and has remained there, for the omnipresence of his work, and the million-dollar prices for which it’s been traded.

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Tate Modern opens (2000)

The turn of the century didn’t just bring Londonthe Millenium bridge. Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron transformed a former power plant on theThames into the city’s iconic museum for modern and contemporary art, Tate Modern, and, in a sign of the attendance figures new art could rack up, by 2006 the visitor count was up to 2 million a year.

Christie’s and Sotheby’s collusion/price fixing scandal (2000)

It was the art-market story of the decade – it could turn out to be one of the most explosive of the century – and it broke just as the 2000s began: Christie’s and Sotheby’s had been illegally cooperating to fix prices by setting matching fees. The details of the shenanigans were revealed in the ensuing months, and legal proceedings culminated in a prison sentence for Sotheby’s chairman A. Alfred Taubman.

France allows foreign art auction houses to conduct sales (2001)

The opening up of the French auction world to foreign competition was a major leap forward for the European art market. Parisian sales had been monopolized for centuries by Drouot, but the big two houses started conducting sales there in 2001 (Sotheby’s in November, Christie’s the following month). This has arguably been one factor in Paris’s recent art-market rise; consider that the stunning Yves Saint Laurentsale, conducted by Christie’s last February, might otherwise not have taken place.

Art Basel Miami Beach launches, becomes the most important modern and contemporary art fair in U.S., changes everything (2002)

Many an art dealer will remember when, in the 1990s, the dominant fair in theUnited Stateswas Art Chicago. All that changed when Art Basel landed onU.S.shores. Delayed a year by the events of September 11, it hit the ground running in 2002, and effected a major shift in the art market’s calendar, throwing an international spotlight on a burgeoning art scene in Miami, and extending the market action well beyond the November auctions in New York.

Hirst buys his work back from Saatchi for $14 million (2003)

The 2000s saw the rise of big art: big art dealers, big art fairs, big auctions, big artworks. They also saw the ascendance of the big artist — the businessman-artist — in the form of Takashi Murakami, Jeff Koons, and, of course, Damien Hirst. Hirst made one of his boldest moves in controlling his own work when he bought back, through his gallery, White Cube, a cache of his pieces –12 in all, in a deal rumored to have gone into tens of millions of dollars – from British collector and market maker Charles Saatchi.

Picasso sells for $104 million (2004)

The international press, dealers, and all-around gawkers packed Sotheby’s saleroom in New Yorkone evening in May 2004, breathless with anticipation, as rumor had spread that Picasso’s 1905 paintingBoy with a Pipe would likely top the $100 million mark. Sure enough, when the premium was added in, it reached $104 million, and instantly became emblematic of an art market that had soared to stratospheric heights.

New MoMA opens (2004)

Since it was founded in 1929 under director Alfred Barr, New York’sMuseum of Modern Art has become synonymous with, well, modern art, and so Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi, charged with creating a whole new building for the museum, had the weight of the art world on his shoulders when the structure opened in November 2004. Lines stretched around the block for the opening, and though there was the expected griping from those nostalgic for MoMA’s old digs, a new era had unquestionably begun.

Trend: BIG museums (expansions everywhere)

The question of the past decade wasn’t which museums expanded but which didn’t. Across the U.S., from New York to Atlanta to Chicago to Los Angeles, as well as internationally, massive new museum buildings popped up, with starchitects like Renzo Piano, Herzog & de Meuron, and Santiago Calatrava behind their eye-catching designs.

Momart Fire (much YBA art lost) (2004)

Britart blazed a trail through the international art world in the 1990s; in 2004, a blaze claimed some of the most important works to come out of that movement when, in May, the storage warehouse in Londonbelonging to Momart, a company devoted to the storage, installation, and transportation of artworks, went up in flames. Charles Saatchiwas among the collectors storing works there. Notable among the losses were Jake and Dinos Chapman’s elaborate piece Hell andTracey Emin’s iconic Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995. In a way the Chapmans got the last laugh: Momart approached them to design a corporate Christmas gift later that year, and they produced a lighter.

Sheikh Saud Al Thani‘s downfall and arrest (2005)

One minute, acting as president for Qatar’s National Council for Culture, Arts and Heritage (NCCAH), he was on a shopping spree for masterpieces such as the Jenkins Venus, a second-century AD Roman statue he bought at Christie’s London for £7.9 million; the next he was under house arrest for misusing public funds.

Trend: The rise of museums run by collectors

Mitchell Rales in Maryland; Vicki and Kent Logan in Colorado; the RubellsElla CisnerosRosa de la Cruzand Marty Margulies in Miami; Francois Pinault in Venice (when he couldn’t get a site near Paris); and the list goes on… In the 2000s, private museums became a must-have for many ambitious collectors. Now many of these endeavors, with their impressive holdings and ambitious exhibitions, may even represent competition for museums on the more traditional model.

Getty antiquities curator is Marion True indicted by the Italian government, along with American antiquities dealer Robert Hecht Jr., for conspiracy to traffic in illicit antiquities (2005)

For centuries, explorers, scholars, and museums drew liberally from the deep cultural wealth of early Western societies — but in the new millennium, those societies struck back. The arrest of Hecht and True in 2005 for conspiracy to traffic in illicit antiquities marked the culmination of years of investigations and the beginning of a new era of treasure hunting that would also haveGreeceandEgypthotly pursuing their displaced cultural heritages.

Thomas Krens vs. Peter Lewis

During his two-decade reign as director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Thomas Krens never skirted controversy, embarking on ambitious expansion plans (Bilbao, Las Vegas, and an unrealized New York satellite) and unusual exhibitions (Armani suits, motorcycles, and Matthew Barney) that earned him high praise from some and vicious criticism from others. In a 2005 showdown with board member Peter Lewis, who argued the museum was overreaching, Krens emerged victorious, though Lewis, the foundation’s largest donor in history, departed. Three years later, Krens announced he would step down amid speculation that the board had grown wary of his tough managerial style. He stayed on as an adviser, though, and his final, crowning achievement may be yet to come: The museum’s 320,000-square-footAbu Dhabi branch, which Krens helped to engineer, is set to open in 2012.

Sotheby’s and Christie’s get in the gallery game (2006)

Sotheby’s surprised many market observers in 2006 when it snapped up the redoubtable Hollandgallery Noortman Master Paintings in an $82.5 million deal at the height of the boom. Not to be outdone, Christie’s followed suit the next year, buying up the tony contemporary art purveyor Haunch of Venison. As the market has moved out of the suddenly subdued auction rooms and behind closed doors over the past year, their acquisitions are looking smarter than ever.

Klimt’s restituted Adele Bloch-Bauer I sells for $135 million (2006)

Austria tried but failed to scrape together the $100 million-plus it would required to buy back five Gustav Klimt paintings taken by the Nazis, housed for decades in the Belvedere in Vienna, and restituted to Bloch-Bauer’s heirs after years of legal wrangling initiated by Bloch-Bauer’s then 90-year-old niece, Maria Altmann. Cosmetics magnateRonald Lauder stepped in and picked up Adele Bloch-Bauer I for $135 million, then the highest sum ever paid for a painting, eclipsing even the $100 million-plus paid for Picasso’s Boy With a Pipe two years earlier.

Salander O’Reilly Falls (2007)

The alleged deception seems almost quaint now, reduced to small-potatoes status by the global-economy-shaking schemes of Bernie Madoff, but dealer Lawrence Salander‘s transgressions against his clients and consigners alike shook the art world in 2007. When all was told, he would be issued a hundred-count indictment accusing him of stealing $88 million from 26 victims, and both his family and his business would file for bankruptcy.

Philippe de Montebello Retires (2007)

Museum directorship suffered a bit of an identity crisis in the aughts, with institutions reevaluating who should be at their helms — art historians or businesspeople more suited to spearheading the multimillion-dollar expansions that had become de rigeur. In 2007, the Metropolitan Museum of Art faced the choice as well, when Philippe de Montebello announced his retirement after more than three decades as director. Watchers speculated for months about who might be brought in to take the smooth-voiced aristocrat’s place and were surprised (though not necessarily displeased) that it ended up being scholarly tapestries expert Thomas Campbell.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Returns Euphronios Krater to Italy (2008)

Some three years after Italy indicted American dealer Robert Hecht and Getty antiquities curator Marion True, shocking scholars everywhere and kicking off an aggressive campaign to reclaim antiquities wrongfully taken from Italian soil, the Met handed over the prized Euphronios krater and several other disputed antiquities in a deal struck by Philippe de Montebello.

Trend: The rise (and rise and rise) of contemporary Chinese art

Fang LijunYue MinjunZhang Xiaogang — they may not have been well known before the 2000s, but they have lately become household names, at least among market watchers. Chinese contemporary art, particularly painting, saw a meteoric rise in the past 10 years, both at auction and in private sales. Lately, with the dip in the global art market, their prices have started to soften, butChina, many believe, has just begun its ascent, art-wise, and so the dip may well be short-lived.

Damien Hirst auction brings in $200 million after fall of Lehman Brothers (2008)

On Sept. 15, 2008, with the (art) world reeling from the collapse of the global financial firm Lehman Brothers, announced that very morning, the British bad boy stepped up to the block at Sotheby’s to sell some 200-plus artworks straight from the studio, surpassing expectations to earn an astronomical and shocking £111,576,800 ($200,953,342) — numbers unseen since.

Yves Saint Laurent’s collection brings in almost $500 million at Christie’s (2009)

Some five months after the Lehman collapse and its myriad aftershocks, the art market was ready for some good news. It came in the form of this three-day, six-session, 600-lot auction of artwork and objects from tastemaker Yves Saint Laurent’s personal collection at Christie’s Paris, which yielded an astounding €373.9 million ($483.8 million), proving that collectors would still open their wallets en masse — for the right work.

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