On February 15th Al-Bawaba news published an article on Christie’s performance this past year.
Christie’s CEO Edward Dolman seemed optimistic about the future of the art market in the slowing global economy, saying “Despite the economic turmoil in the second half of 2008, Christie’s completed the year with £2.8 billion in sales, continued profitability, and a record of offering great quality works to clients around the world. […] As we move into 2009, recent results and forthcoming consignments give good reason to remain positive about the global art market where demand remains strong for well-estimated, unique and sought after works of art.”
Sales of Russian art dropped 55% in 2008, but the report had largely positive things to say about the future of Russian art at Christie’s. Here’s an excerpt:
“The Russian category continued to grow in importance, albeit at a slower rate against the weakening global economy. For the year the Russian Art sales series totalled GBP32.4 million/$59.0 million.
Christie’s continued commitment to Russia and the CIS states was signaled by superb exhibitions in Moscow and St. Petersburg during the year. Christie’s June Russian Art sale totaled GBP11.3 million/$22 million and a new world record price for a work by a female artist, and a record price for an artist at auction was established in the June Impressionist and Modern Sale when Natalia Goncharova’s Les Fleurs sold for GBP5.5 million/$10.9 million. Christie’s Russian Art Week in November realised GBP13.7 million/$20.9 million.”