Art Market News: A Take on China

The trend of the past few years of non-European and American artists and markets setting major records has continued this summer in full swing, with China remaining center stage of the new emerging markets to watch. In 2010, auctions on China commanded 33% of global auction sales turnover, edging out The United States by .1% according to Artprice’s 2010 Art Market Trends. Historically, while the market has been booming in China, the buyers there have focused mainly on Chinese artists. Again, in 2010, four of the top grossing artists were Chinese with much of their work selling primarily in China, as noted in 2010 Art Market Trends. This interest in this market and its effect on the global market in general has come into focus again in recent weeks.

A duo of articles printed in Art Info on September 8 and 13, both by Shane Ferro, centered on two conflicting viewpoints about the overall impact of the interest Chinese buyers have been showing for Western art. There are indications that this new pool of buyers may be a soon be a boon to the Western market. The recent record setting price for Picasso at Christie’s last spring was paid by a Chinese buyer. Major international galleries, such as Pace, who has had a storefront in that country for a while, will soon make their first foray into Western artists in that spaces. And Sotheby’s recently held a private exhibition for the Asian market that featured many prominent modernist Western artists. However, this excellent looking prospectus is tempered by a few key factors. The Asian auctions houses are still not looking toward any western art or artists. Additionally, the Chinese government does not allow non-Chinese auctioneers to do business in mainland China. If China’s growing market continues to expand, and there is no reason to suppose it won’t, it should prove an intriguing to see the changing influence it has on the global market in general.

Locally here in Dallas, the DADA Gallery walks will be happening this weekend, including a number of special events and two panels at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center. The second of these two talks, titled Oak Cliff Art Now, will feature Kenda North, Kayli House, Nicole Horn, Scott Horn, Julie M Kim, Charla Sanderson, Patricia Rodriguez, and Steve Cruz, with Peter Simek moderating. The Oak Cliff Cultural Center has had some very exciting shows recently, buoyed by a unique blend of artists, and this could be an excellent forum to hear myriad points of view on just what is hot in one of our own cultural centers. The Dallas Architecture Forum will also be hosting a Chinese Architecture Lecture Series beginning Thursday, September 29 with more information to be found on their website,

Above: A Peach painting by Qi Baishi, an early 20th century Chinese artist, who was behind only Picasso in 2010 total sales figures.

Comments are closed.

Sign up for the DADA Newsletter