WALKER SCOTT PROVIDES ADVISORY SERVICES TO CITADEL CLIENTS
Citadel is associated with Walker Scott - a specialist art advisory firm. As an independent business that has significant experience in the industry, Walker Scott will be able to provide Citadel clients with the following services:
- Advice on buying and selling art
- Art collection management
- Art logistics - storage, transport and insurance
- Art maintenance - framing, installation and restoration
- Market research and trend advice
Dr Fred Scott is the former head of the Fine Art Department at the art auction house Stephan Welz & Co, and chairman of the Friends of Johannesburg Art Gallery. Alexia Walker holds a master's degree in contemporary art history from the Sorbonne University in Paris and was head of the French office of international arts magazine Flash Art.
Should you be interested in making contact with Walker Scott, please do so through your Citadel advisory partner. Alternatively, contact Alexia directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARTICLES BY WALKER SCOTT
1 STATE OF THE GLOBAL ART MARKET
The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF) 2016 Art Market Report again provided an in-depth analysis of the state of the global art market, highlighting positive developments as well as hurdles confronting practitioners in the field.
Findings in the report indicate that global art sales declined 7% in 2015, from US$68.2 million to US$63.8 million, while transaction volumes shrunk by 2%. Selected contemporary works and the 20th century masters, however, continue to sell at record prices, with Picasso and Modigliani works selling for US$179.4 million and US$141.3 million respectively. Then again, sales in the middle art market are under pressure, with the latter sector mainly selling at lower auction estimates, or not at all. It is notable that similar trends are evident in the South African art market.
Today, fewer high-end record values are being achieved in the market, which is indicative of the declining sales values. However, the liquidity in the market has improved through attracting strong sales from the private sector. Thus responsiveness among collectors to investment logic and speculation correspond with their understanding of the current buyers’ market. Compared with gold, certain art pieces are on par with gold’s established stability. However, there exists a shortage in the availability of major artworks, which is also affecting the global art market size. International museums seeking top masterpieces for their collections are also placing pressure on the availability of significant artworks. In South Africa, a larger number of art collectors, as well as passionate individuals aiming to establish private museums, contribute to shortages of masterpieces in the local market.
An important development in the art market is the impact of internet sales. The noticeable smaller audience volumes in auction sales rooms is indicative of this trend. The younger computer generation is poised to boost future online sales platforms. Internationally, internet sales grew by 7%, reaching US$4.7 billion. Locally, Strauss & Co holds quarterly online auctions offering affordable quality fine art. They reported a turnover of R3 million for online sales during 2015, thereby establishing an entry-level platform for new collectors.
It is generally considered that well-selected art portfolios are unique investment assets. Following the 2008 economic contraction, art markets were surprisingly resilient when compared with the stock markets. Art indexes only dropped 4.5%, while the S&P brusquely declined 37.5%. Then again, the art market recovered faster than the stock market. In 2010 the ‘All Art Index’ increased by 22.6%. During 2011, it grew 10.2% compared with 9.1% by equities. In addition, the art market showed stability following the “Black Monday” market plunge in August 2015, which drastically affected the S&P.
Art market critics like to place all art sectors in a risk bubble, however, market movements point primarily to the contemporary art sector as being at risk in the short term. Most art categories enjoy stability and growth during economic contractions. Therefore, diligent planning to establish worthy art portfolios is crucial in order to guarantee a shelter against stock market volatility and inflation. Protection against an unstable currency may be built into art portfolios through the inclusion of established and respected artists from other countries.
Prepared by Walker Scott, Citadel’s art advisory partner.
Walker Scott offers end to end art services and assists interested parties in establishing worthwhile art collections.
2 AESTHETIC INVESTMENT
Traditionally the aesthetic side of collecting art has always been associated with the idea that selected artworks have a latent imbedded monetary value. This connection certainly came to the fore in the final semester of 2015. Multiple new auction records were set by the major international fine art auction houses, as well as by Strauss & Co in South Africa.
Closely following the Christies world-record sale of R2.9 billion for a Picasso painting in May 2015, a Modigliani painting entitled Nu couché sold for R2.8 billion on 9 November 2015 in New York. The auction house Sotheby’s also boasted a billion plus new record for a 1968 Cy Twombly painting, Untitled, NYC, which reached R1.2 billion in November at their New York venue. While these inconceivable sale prices keep the art world amazed, the underlying message is that the value of aesthetic creativity can soar.
Notable auction records in South Africa were also realised, as expected, by the established Old Masters, i.e. R8 526 000 for Alexis Preller’s The Creation of Adam, R4 774 560 for Anton van Wouw’s Miner with Hand Drill, and R2 046 240 for Erik Laubscher’s Woman Arranging Flowers. The contemporary art sector also set new records for worthy younger generation artists, in particular R1 136 800 for Penny Siopis’ Hunting and Nature Scene; R545 664 for Norman Catherine’s Hotel; R397 880 for Karel Nel’s Rods Alpha to Omega; R136 416 for Walter Oltmann’s Caterpillar Suit II. In the younger artist category, an auction benchmark of R40 925 was set for Zander Blom’s 1.283 Untitled, oil on canvas.
The positive results with which 2015 ended is indicative of a continuing trend where the significant growth in “hidden value” outpaces the increases in the volumes of art pieces sold. The European Fine Art Fair’s Art Market Report 2013 showed that the overall art market grew by 155% in value and only 44% in volume. In a more recent survey they reported that less than 1% of the number of transactions during 2014 represented a staggering 50% of the value of the market.
While the weakening of the rand may spur high-net-worth individuals to consider storing wealth in tangible assets such as art, one should be cautious and avoid rushing into the complex art market without good advice from experts who understand its intricacies.
It is important to acquire art for aesthetic reasons first in order to gain pleasure and pride from a particular artist’s visual creativity. However, it is essential to select artworks from a distinguished pool of artists in order to ensure meaningful future resale revenues. History has shown that good pieces keep their value in line with inflation, with the promise of exponential growth in value in the long-term.
The Citadel Art Price Index, based on historical art price records, offers a practical guide for collector-investors to follow market related values of the top hundred South African artists.
Contributed by Walker Scott, Citadel’s art advisory partner.
3 RECORD PRICES IN THE GLOBAL ART MARKET
The global art market is booming with new record prices being achieved for high quality works. According to the European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF), last year’s art sales reached $68 billion, which can be credited squarely to the record prices being paid for leading artists’ works. This upward trend appears to be continuing in 2015. February saw the highest price ever paid in the private market for an artwork – $300 million for Paul Gauguin’s, When Will You Marry? This astounding sale was soon followed by several new record auction prices around the world, notably the awe-inspiring $179.4 million achieved for Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Alger at Christies May 2015 auction in New York.
Locally, our current challenging economic cycle is not preventing the establishment of record prices in the art market. Auction houses reported new peaks in hammer prices with Strauss and Co achieving records for artists like Robert Hodgins (1920 – 2010), Ernest Mancoba (1910 – 2002), Athi-Patra Ruga (1984) and Ed Young (1978).
Those not “au fait” with the financial dynamics of the art market are often flabbergasted when reporting on these high record prices. However, compared to traditional investment assets, which dwarf the $68 billion art market size, potential growth in value of wisely chosen art pieces has drawn the attention of investors. Collectors wish to own rare objects and it is not surprising to see record prices being recorded for top works when wealthy collectors such as Steven Cohen, Steve Wynn and the Qatar State are bidding at auctions. Serious art collectors are known to pay for the aesthetic quality in rare artworks; this is certainly the main consideration when substantial amounts are invested in art and good art is indeed worth every penny spent on it.
However, inexperienced investors who rush into the art market without professional guidance stand a good chance of getting it wrong. The complexities of a wise art selection are numerous and there are a number of pitfalls that need to be avoided. Art investors should essentially acquire pieces that fit their budget. A sensible guideline is to collect quality for pleasure and enlightenment, and not to be bluffed by artists who emerge rapidly with high prices that may be trend or fashion driven.
Written by Alexia Walker and Fred Scott
Walker Scott, August 2015
4 ART VALUES AND THE CURRENT STATE OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN ART MARKET
The exponential financial growth in the art market over the past two decades, as well as the large number of new artists entering the art market, requires modelling to be available to assist fine art professionals and the public with understanding the market value of artworks. Contrary to scientific research, the creative elements in artworks have always eluded proper financial analysis and measurement. The initiative by Citadel to develop The Citadel Art Price Index (CAPI), relying on sales data from auctions, has therefore afforded a welcome and practical model for determining values of artworks in the secondary market. The CAPI is by no means the only industry art index; its focus is primarily to provide a more in-depth analysis tool for exclusively South African art.
Besides potential financial returns, art also pays aesthetic dividends, which is one reason that art collectors find it pleasurable to collect. These dual elements are often diluted, however, through a plethora of exaggerated opinions from an increasing number of dealers and advisors who are inexperienced in respect of the monetary values of art. The CAPI offers individuals interested in collecting a practical guide for assessing the value of artworks. The index also provides a tool for art professionals to familiarise themselves with established benchmark values and market trends for South African artists’ work.
While the impact of the 2008 global economic contraction on the South Africa art market was still felt during 2014, the art markets abroad appeared to have recovered within two years. A number of overseas ‘blue chip’ artists were responsible for this swift recovery. In this regard and remarkably, a pastel by Edvard Munch (1863-1944) and a painting by Francis Bacon (1909-1992) respectively sold for R1.2 and R1.4 billion at auctions in recent years. Such record prices, linked to the continuous growth in the market, indicate that collectors and high wealth individuals are seriously pursuing art as an alternative asset class to level out risks associated with other investment vehicles. According to surveys, investors are diversifying up to 9.5% of their wealth portfolios into fine art.
The decline in South African art prices following the 2008 economic crisis was initially not as dramatic as it was in Europe, America and elsewhere. Many respectable artists did not, however, escape the slow but continuous weakening in auction values up to the end of 2014. Important artists like Maggie Laubser, Gregoire Boonzaier, Cecil Higgs, Bettie Cilliers-Barnard, Erik Laubscher, Christo Coetzee, Nita Spilhaus, Dylan Lewis and Maurice van Essche are trading at prices well below their high 2008 and 2009 levels. Popular artists like Adriaan Boshoff, Errol Boyley, Carl Buchner, Willem Coetzer and Tinus de Jongh also saw severe reductions in their auction values. These lower values for the latter artists may be interpreted as corrections, since their prices grew unsustainably during the pre-2008 boom period.
Despite the declining trend in most artists’ prices, several new auction records were established. During 2010, works by Freida Lock, George Pemba, Cecil Skotnes, Frans Claerhout, Maud Sumner, Piet van Heerden, Edoardo Villa and Jean Welz reached new heights. From 2011 up to the end of 2013, artists like Hendrik Pierneef, Irma Stern, Alexis Preller, Stanley Pinker, Norman Catherine, Willem Boshoff, Walter Battiss, David Botha, Gerard de Leeuw, Robert G Goodman, Francois Krige, Johannes Meintjes, Fred Page, Gerard Sekoto, and Pranas Domsaitis all realised new sales records. None of these artists broke any of their previously set records during 2014, however, and on average all of them were knocked down at lower auction values.
Interestingly, works of the contemporary artists William Kentridge, Diane Victor, Billie Zangewa, Robert Hodgins and Sam Nhlengethwa, reached new record prices during 2014, thus implying a growing interest in important contemporary artists and setting the stage for a potential booming development of a contemporary market next to the established old masters.
Art has earned a competitive position in investment markets, making it an appealing and valuable alternative as a hedge against inflation. The rationale of investing in art stems from its good local and international marketability, stability, transportability and the fact that good art has historically weathered tough economic times. When collectors wish to expand their art collections or when one wishes to start a new art collection, advice from knowledgeable professionals who understand its liquidity and market expectations should be sought. The right pieces have low volatility and have potential to grow substantially in value. With proper guidance, investing in art can yield high rewards.
Written by Alexia Walker and Fred Scott
Walker Scott, January 2015
Is a South African art web portal committed to displaying South African art auction results through a centralised and easy to use website. The website also contains the latest information on upcoming art auctions taking place around South Africa. AuctionVault has over 25 000 South African art auction results in its database taken from as far back as the early 1990's. As partners of the Citadel Art Price Index, AuctionVault provides all the auction data.