Ranchi Art and Antiquarian Books' Blog

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» Listings for March 2017

  1. The announcement that London's Vilma Gold Gallery is closing comes as no surprise and the reason for the closure stated as “an endlessly accelerating global cycle of [art] fairs” only reinforces the fear that the market has reached saturation. 
    The situation reminds me of a comment made by a colleague at a once popular Birmingham Art auction house that "there are now too many pictures and not enough customers" which led him to announce that he is no longer buying new stock but concentrating on emptying his store-room. Not long after this the same auction house announced that they were discontinuing their regular Art auctions and replacing them with a combined Art/General sale.
    Too many venues obviously leads to cut-throat competition between vendors and in turn leads to retractions from the market which in time will hopefully lead to stability overall.
    In the meantime art collectors can benefit from this situation.





  2. There appears to be a surfeit of paintings on the market at this time and the many auction houses are desperately struggling to place more and more paintings into their sales at an ever increasing pace. Despite this I do not see the appropriate reaction in market terms as the prices still keep increasing in apparent contradiction to the laws of supply and demand. Some UK auction houses are still maintaining very good turn-over rates but inevitably some are running on 20-30 % art sales and these houses predictably are reducing their exposure to the art market by turning to more ancilliary trade lines. Consequently, there will be a slow decline in the number of houses dealing in paintings and pictures in the next 12 months. This reduction could benefit the market overall and bring about a natural correction to the current over-supply as far as buyers are concerned. Markets are fickle and it will be interesting to see how this year progresses.