The state of the art market: a brief overview

Pierre Soualges,  Peinture 162 x 130cm 14 Avril 1962”,  1962, oil on canvas, 162 x 130cm. SOLD: Sotheby’s Paris, June 2017.

Pierre Soualges, Peinture 162 x 130cm 14 Avril 1962”, 1962, oil on canvas, 162 x 130cm. SOLD: Sotheby’s Paris, June 2017.

According to Dr Clare McAndrew’s 2019 Art Market Report, the global art market accounted for US$67.4 billion last year, an increase of 6% from the previous year, which points to positive growth in the sector. The three main markets, the United States, the United Kingdom and China, remain the strongest accounting for 84% of the global market’s total value.

The other salient points in McAndrew’s report are:

·         Millennials emerged as active market participants;

·         The online market has witnessed continued growth;

·         Auction figures rose by 3% “year on year”; and

·         Art fairs continue to play a central role in the global art market.

Sotheby’s Mei Moses Index discerns a shift in market trends; up until recently, Impressionist and Modern Art held a prominent position in secondary market growth.  However, over the past two years, it is now the Post-War and Contemporary Art market which has seen the strongest growth, up by 12.8% compared with the Impressionist and Modern Art market at 10.8%. 

This shift in investment has been evidenced in newsworthy, strong results for artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Pierre Soulages, Zao Wou-ki and Alberto Giacometti.

Whilst the “Basquiat phenomenon” has garnered an unprecedented command of the art market, with record breaking auction results, and survey/retrospective shows at numerous, prestigious museums and galleries, the perhaps less ‘spectacular’ artists, such as Soulages, Zao Wou-ki and Giacometti for example, have been steadily accruing value; suggestive of a more educated sector of the market re-assessing previously over-looked historical masters and preferring the ‘long game’ investment. 

©Catherine Asquith 2019

Nasim Nasr’s art practice: "Transorientalism in Art, Fashion and Film", by Adam Geczy

Images: Cover text, Transorientalism in Art, Fashion and Film (L), Nasim Nasr, “33 Beads #1”, 2018

Images: Cover text, Transorientalism in Art, Fashion and Film (L), Nasim Nasr, “33 Beads #1”, 2018

Artist, write and educator Adam Geczy’s Transorientalism in Art, Fashion and Film (Bloomsbury 2019) investigates the notion of “transorientalism” as distinct from “orientalism”, a term which acknowledges the globalisation of cross-cultural identities and how they are now being portrayed.

“While the familiar orientalisms persist, transorientalism is a term that covers notions like the adoption of a hat from a different country for Turkish nationalist dress, the fact that an Italian could be one of the most influential directors in recent Chinese cinema, that Muslim women artists explore Islamic womanhood in non-Islamic countries, that artists can embrace both indigenous and non-indigenous identity at the same time.” For Geczy, “the diversity of race and culture, the manner in which they are expressed and transacted, are most evident in art, fashion and filme”.

Nasim Nasr’s art practice which focusses on the transience of cultural and personal identity is suitably highlighted in Geczy’s text, amongst other notable artists such as Shirin Neshat (Iran/USA), Mona Hatoum (Lebanon/London), and Ghada Amer (Egypt/France/USA).

For all enquiries regarding Nasim Nasr, including a copy of a catalogue of works, please email me at


How to Navigate Art Month Hong Kong Like an Expert

Tobias Rehberger,  Now, Never , 2017, at Galerie Urs Meile, an Art Basel 2019 exhibitor

Tobias Rehberger, Now, Never, 2017, at Galerie Urs Meile, an Art Basel 2019 exhibitor

By Anji Connell, Design Director at ACID+ Anji Connell Interior Design + Interior Architecture & Landscape Design

Art Month is four weeks of hedonistic pleasure, offering not only a chance to buy art — but also an opportunity to get a feel for what’s happening in the world today.

To avoid being overwhelmed by the sheer number of fairs, exhibitions, and parties, you need to plan, plan, plan.

We spoke with Catherine Asquith, art advisor and broker, and Alison Pickett, director of Alison Pickett Corporate Art and Sculpture Consultants, for expert advice. Read more

Auction news: Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko,  Untitled,  1960.

Mark Rothko, Untitled, 1960.

Sotheby's will be selling San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) "Untitled", 1960  by  Mark Rothko,  with a US$35-50m estimate to benefit the museum's acquisitions fund. The sale will be held in New York in May.

The Museum will use the proceeds to fill gaps in its collection, with a particular focus on work by women and artists of color, areas in which it currently lags behind many of its peers. The sale of Untitled will help “broadly diversify SFMOMA’s collection, enhance its contemporary holdings, and address art-historical gaps in order to continue to push boundaries and embrace fresh ideas,” SFMOMA director Neal Benezra said in a statement.

An important work completed at the peak of Rothko’s career, Untitled, 1960 is one of just 19 paintings completed by the artist in 1960. This year marks a critical juncture in the iconic Abstract Expressionist’s career, following his defining commission of the Seagram Murals (1958-59) and his representation of the United States in the XXIX Venice Biennale (1958) – organized by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, which would subsequently hold Rothko’s first and only major lifetime retrospective in 1961. Untitled, 1960 is distinguished further by its connection to Peggy Guggenheim, preeminent philanthropist and patron of the 20th century.

Untitled, 1960 will travel to London, Taipei and Hong Kong, before returning to New York for exhibition and auction this May.

Valuing your Art and the Appraiser

Zhang Xiaogang’s  Bloodline: Big Family No 3.  Auctioned at Sotheby’s HK in April 2014 for a hammer price of US$10,698,699

Zhang Xiaogang’s Bloodline: Big Family No 3. Auctioned at Sotheby’s HK in April 2014 for a hammer price of US$10,698,699

Art like any asset, requires the same respect as that accorded to your other personal assets: your car, your home, or your stamp collection.  Interestingly, as part of the ‘acquisition’ process of these types of assets, insurance becomes part of the overall monetary outlay; you seek the advice of an advisor or broker to ascertain adequate insurance and annual premiums ensue thereafter.  Yet, the same cannot be said for art.

Speak with an insurance broker and you will be surprised to hear how infrequent clients seek the advice of a professional when estimating the value of their art collection; the consequences of not having an up to date valuation, and therefore a current value, can mean the difference between being reimbursed for loss or damage appropriate to its market value or incurring a loss on that initial investment.

Additionally, having an up to date and current value of your collection can also assist in having in place a de-accession strategy; selling too early or too late can result in an unforeseen loss.

Obtaining a professional appraisal of your artwork operates in much the same way as seeking a value for other assets.  Credentials should be assessed; market sector and speciality experience should be examined together with the level of tertiary qualifications and membership with an industry association.

Most importantly, seeking the services of an independent, objective and impartial professional will result in a more accurate valuation, and without the potential bias of a vested interest in the artwork and therefore its value.  Returning to the gallery or dealer from which you first acquired the artwork and seeking an appraisal is clearly a conflict of interest.

Additionally, the quality of the appraisal documentation is equally important: it should demonstrate a solid, up to date appreciation of the market for the subject artist/artwork; present well-reasoned research; provide documentary proof and/or reference to recent auction results and other market indices (ones which are verifiable); and finally, clearly and concisely outline the methodology used for the appraisal.

There are a number of attributes which an experienced appraiser will utilise in order to determine the value of your artwork:

  • Authenticity - discernment of a signature, title or date, original sale documentation;

  • Quality - consideration of the artist’s period in which the work was executed; composition, palette and technical prowess;

  • Rarity - how many works by this artist are available on the open market;

  • Limited Edition Prints (if applicable) – the breadth of the edition for the work; available prints in the edition;

  • Condition – the archival stability of the work and framing quality, i.e. is the artwork in its original frame?;

  • Provenance – probably one of the most crucial factors in the overall valuation process, “provenance” equates with the artwork’s ‘history’, i.e. from artist’s studio to gallery exhibition to auction house sale; and includes discerning any notable non-commercial exhibitions in which the artwork was included, for example, a ‘survey’ exhibition at a regional gallery, in addition to any publications in which the artwork was illustrated or discussed;

  • Market – does the artist have an auction record? Sales rates for the artist in either the primary or secondary markets.

Valuing your art necessitates the same respect as valuing your other lifetime assets.  Regular, up to date valuations of your artworks are an important adjunct to the ongoing maintenance and accurate documentation of your collection.

Seeking the advice and services of an experienced and knowledgeable professional is a critical step in the provision of an accurate art appraisal.  Professional art appraisal services offer new and established collectors a comprehensive appreciation of their collection, its current parameters and indeed, future directions.

©Catherine Asquith, January 2019


Art Fair: Taipei Dangdai 2019

Haegue Yang, Sol LeWitt Upside Down onto Wall – Cubic-Modular Wall Structure, Black, Expanded 11 Times, 2018, Aluminum venetian blinds, powder-coated aluminum hanging structure, steel wire rope, LED tubes, cable, 305 x 304 x 104 cm. Image: Courtesy of Kukje Gallery, Seoul.

Taipei Dangdai is a new international art fair commencing 18tth January 2019. 

A joint venture between Single Market Events (Tim Etchell), ARTHQ / EVENTS Limited, Ramsay Fairs Limited and Angus Montgomery Limited, the Fair’s rationale is to celebrate the city’s unique and dynamic arts scene, while highlighting global creativity and the increasing importance of the wider art market in Asia.

Fair Director, Magnus Renfrew believes now is the right time to launch an international art fair in Taipei: “Galleries are increasingly taking Asia seriously, and are looking for more than one opportunity to engage with the region’s collectors each year. For a long time, galleries that show at Art Basel have also cited Taiwanese collectors as being the most instrumental in determining the success of their participation”. 

Renfrew’s vision reflects the tenor of the word “Dangdai”, meaning ‘now’ or ‘of the present moment’:  “I hope that the fair will, appropriately, be something of a ‘moment’ for Taipei — creating an opportunity to showcase its strengths to a much wider audience, while also providing collectors, buyers and local audiences with an opportunity to engage with leading galleries from Asia and around the world on their doorstep, and on their terms. There hasn’t really been a fair of this quality before, with such a strong exhibitor line-up.”

Presented by UBS, the event brings together a selection of the world’s leading galleries and artists alongside influential thinkers from a wide range of disciplines, including archaeology, art history and technology.

NASIM NASR: New York Triennial of Asia

Beshkan (Breakdown),  (video still), 2012 ,  single channel video colour 1.10 loop

Beshkan (Breakdown), (video still), 2012, single channel video colour 1.10 loop

I am delighted to announce that Nasim Nasr has been invited to be one of the participating artists in the New York Triennial of Asia at the Asia Society Museum, New York, in 2020. 

The New York Triennial of Asia will be the first recurring exhibition initiative in the U.S. dedicated to contemporary art from and about Asia and will serve as a platform for intellectual exchange about, and direct engagement with the arts and culture from the region. It will encourage inclusivity and access to this material outside the traditional platform of the Museum and will attract new audiences. The scope of the Triennial reflects the diversity of contemporary art from Asia and the diaspora, and will celebrate and reflect the rich tapestry of Asian cultures that comprise a significant, yet historically underserved, demographic within New York City.

The inaugural edition, entitled “We Do Not Dream Alone”, will be co-curated by Michelle Yun, Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, and Boon Hui Tan, Vice President for Global Arts & Cultural Programs and Director of Asia Society Museum.

Nasim will be showing two series of works: Beshkan (Breakdown) (2013) and 33 Beads (2018).

This project is a city-wide initiative with venues including Asia Society Museum, Governors Island, Times Square, and Pioneer Works. The exhibition dates will be from June 5 to August 9, 2020.


Video stills from Beshkan (Breakdown) (individual hands), 2012 are available for acquisition. Please contact me directly at for further details.


Representation: Nasim Nasr


I am delighted to announce that Catherine Asquith Art now represents Nasim Nasr as her agent and collection manager.

Since graduating with a Masters of Visual Arts (Research) in 2011, and having completed a Bachelor of Arts in 2006, Nasim Nasr has developed a body of work that has featured in numerous exhibitions, festivals and publications in Australia and internationally.

Nasr’s photographic and video practice has sought to comment upon universal concerns within contemporary society, engaging and articulating notions of State and self-censorship, and the transience of cultural and personal identity.  With an abiding interest in the concept of cultural relationships and their role in contemporary society, her practice has engaged themes of intercultural dialogue.  Through the presentation of multiple channel video works, photography, performance, objects and sound, these collective works have endeavoured to highlight the complexities within contemporary notions of interchangeable identities and cultural difference, as experienced between past and present cultures and homelands, between the West and the East.

Most recently Nasim Nasr’s “Women in Shadow II” was presented at the 10th Anniversary Edition of “A Shaded View on Fashion Film” at the Club De L’Etoile in Paris, and was awarded Winner for best editing.  This was the filmic version of Nasr’s created performance Art, “Women in Shadow II” at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, earlier this year, in April.

Nasr has been a finalist in The William and Winifred Bowness Photography Art Prize (2018, 2017), the Fischer’s Ghost Art Prize (2018), the Sovereign Asian Art Prize (2017, Hong Kong), The Blake Prize (2018, 2016), and the Redlands Art Prize (2015).  Her inclusion in curated group exhibitions has included the much lauded “Under the Sun: Reimaging Max Dupain’s The Sunbaker”, “Sixth Sense” at the National Art School in Sydney, “CASCA Contemporary 2015” in Adelaide, and the “Tarrawarra Biennial: Whispers in My Mask” in Melbourne. 

Nasr’s work has also been presented at a number of art fairs, both nationally and internationally, notably, Bazaar Art Jakarta (2017), SPRING1883 (2015), Art Dubai (2015), and Art Stage Singapore (2015, 2013), in addition to participating as a panellist in “Talk Contemporary” at Sydney Contemporary in September this year.

Nasr’s art practice has also been the subject of a wide variety of publications, and in the past year has been elucidated in The Guardian, Elle (Italy), Eyeline, Vogue Australia, Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph and Art Collector.  Nasr has also been included in What is Performance Art? Australian Perspectives by Mimi Kelly and Adam Geczy (2018), Video Void (2014) and performance-ritual.document (2014) both by Anne Marsh.

Nasim Nasr’s work is represented in Parliament House Art Collection (Canberra), Artbank, and numerous private collections throughout Australia, and internationally in Germany, the USA, Singapore, Qatar and the UAE.

For all enquiries including a copy of a catalogue of works, please email me at or telephone me on 0422 753 696.  I will be delighted to take your enquiries.


*within the state of Victoria, and on the international circuit.

Nasim Nasr

33 beads #11,  2018, from the series  33 beads,  pigment ink-jet print, 120.0 x 90.0 cm

33 beads #11, 2018, from the series 33 beads, pigment ink-jet print, 120.0 x 90.0 cm

Nasim Nasr is a finalist again, for the second consecutive year, in the William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize 2018, with the above artwork, “33 Beads #11”.

Artist statement

Since relocating from Iran to Australia, I have attempted to highlight the complexities within contemporary notions of interchangeable identities and cultural difference. My practice of multiple-channel video, photography, performance, installation, 3D objects and sound, seeks to establish a symmetry or counterbalance of cultural and intellectual separation between East and West. ‘#11’ from the 33 beads series, engages these conditions through the compulsive and predominantly male habit of handling traditional prayer and non-prayer beads (worry beads/tasbih), in response to the fluctuating conditions of being ‘worried’ or ‘unworried’ about major life issues and concerns. The tension between the female hands and the worry beads suggests an unspoken metaphor – to hold on to one’s past or to let it go, sensing the cyclical and infinite nature of the human condition.

William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize.

Established in 2006 to promote excellence in photography, the annual William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize is an initiative of the MGA Foundation. The Bowness Photography Prize has quickly become Australia's most coveted photography prize. It is also one of the country's most open prizes for photography. In the past, finalists have included established and emerging photographers, art and commercial photographers. All film-based and digital work from amateurs and professionals is accepted. There are no thematic restrictions.

The prize creates a snapshot of contemporary photographic practice in Australia and continues to showcase excellence in photography, this year’s selection is no exception!

The market for Artemisia Gentileschi

Artemisia Gentileschi,  Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria , 1615–17. © The National Gallery, London. Courtesy of The National Gallery, London.

Artemisia Gentileschi, Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria, 1615–17. © The National Gallery, London. Courtesy of The National Gallery, London.

Artemisia Gentileschi, (1593 – c.1656), was an Italian Baroque painter, whose oeuvre focussed on mostly, female allegorical subjects, depicting powerful figures during moments of highly emotive, sometimes violent points in history.  Unusually, she managed to enjoy significant success during her lifetime and was well-respected by her peers and the arts community, and was the first woman to be accepted into the Accademia di Arte del Disegno in Florence.  Today she is considered one of the most accomplished painters of her generation.

Artemisia Gentileschi,  Lucretia , ca. 1630–45. © Dorotheum.

Artemisia Gentileschi, Lucretia, ca. 1630–45. © Dorotheum.

The market for Gentileschi has witnessed a burgeoning interest in her work; in July of this year, her extraordinary painting, “Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria” (ca. 1615-17) was acquired by the National Gallery of London.  This week, her work “Lucretia” sold for €1.8m at Dorotheum in Vienna, and is headed to an Australian collection.  Additionally, Gentileschi’s inclusion in Ghent’s Museum of Fine Art’s exhibition on Baroque female painters (on now) suggests a recalibration of Western Art History’s canon to include more female artists.


In the wider arena, social media is highlighting some of her works, as a means of expressing discontent and alignment with social commentary, with “Judith Slaying Holofernes” (ca. 1620) going viral during the hearings leading up to the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U S Supreme Court.  This painting is perhaps especially poignant – the subject being Judith’s act of a confident, yet bloody vengeance – given the fact that Gentileschi was a survivor of sexual assault and indeed, did take her attacker to court.

Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith and Holofernes, ca. 1620, Uffizi Gallery, Florence

Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith and Holofernes, ca. 1620, Uffizi Gallery, Florence

According to some arts commentators, the market has been slow to catch up with art historians: Gentileschi was first re-examined in the 1947 novel by art historian Anna Banti’s “Artemesia”.  Some four decades later, feminism took an interest, with Mary Garrad’s influential 1989 text, “Artemesia Gentileschi: The Image of the Female Here in Italian Baroque Art”.   It was not until 2014, when the work, “Mary Magdalene” sold for over USD1m (Sotheby’s, Paris), establishing a new record for the artist, that the market’s attention was piqued.

For some pundits, Gentileschi is “having a moment”, following on from a renewed interest in Old Masters; others view the interest as a type of ‘inter-disciplinary’ approach by dealers and art fairs – the confluence of contemporary and Old Masters artworks in fair booths and curated exhibitions; or perhaps the result of contemporary artists utilising and highlighting their sources and historical artworks in new work.

Nevertheless, there can be no denying the importance of addressing the deficit in museum and gallery collections across the globe of the inclusion of significant female artists’ work.