Wednesday, April 19, 2017

File Under "Transaction Costs" (UPDATED)

Colin Gleadell:  The Artist Pension Trust withdraws 18 lots from Sotheby's.

"[W]hy was the ... sale aborted? 'We had conversations with some of the artists, and the closer the auction got, the more the artists and their galleries said that auction was not in their best interests,' says Al Brenner, CEO of the new MutualArt Group [which now runs the APT]. Every artist fears that their work might be undersold, or unsold, at auction, affecting confidence and making sales from the gallery much more difficult."

The Art Market Monitor says the move "highlight[s] one of the issues with the whole art-as-an-asset model is the way the value of the work fluctuates and the basic illiquidity of the art market."

Background on APT here.

UPDATE:  Tim Schneider says "this isn't necessarily as damning a test case as some are making it out to be."