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The $1.2 Billion Art Fantasy

Sotheby's Andy Warhol Jean-Michel Basquiat "Untitled"
Across New York, gallery shows are opening, art fairs are taking place, and the auction houses have their sale previews mounted and open to the public. Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
Marion Maneker
May 5, 2024

The next two weeks are a crucial moment in the art market—the largest sales season, May, in the biggest market, the United States. Across New York this past week and rolling through the next two weeks, gallery shows are opening, art fairs are taking place, the auction houses have their sale previews mounted and open to the public. Chelsea and Tribeca are choked with foot traffic. The auction house specialists will spend the next 10 days living in the galleries as art advisors stream through with their clients. Even at the end of all of this, when the sales begin on May 13, bidders who seemed determined will evaporate and others will appear in the showroom without notice. The art market is nothing if not filled with suspense. 

While we wait to see how it all plays out, I’ve downloaded the lot data from my friends at LiveArt. What it shows is a continuing migration in the art market, with some of that change coming from the overall market downshift.