the man his art On the experts Fakes & Forgeries On the market
from Born to Venice Drawings Past experts Myth and reality on his fakes The market
Arrival to Paris Sculpture Catalogues done in the past Famous forgers trust in the market?
Becoming an artist Painting Actual /Living experts known and undoubted fakes Auctions & Modigliani
on the path All the attributed works Catalogues of actual experts how to detect a fake Galleries & Museums
The artist Exhibitions during his lifetime How should an expertise must be done what to do with forgeries and forgers Famous collectors fromt the past to actual times
The myth Exhibitions until today News on the experts Art Historians, a trustable source? News on the market
Selected bibliography on him News on his art References  and Bibliography on the experts references on fakes & forgeries references & links on the market

" Money makes the world go around, The world go around, The world go around
Money makes the world go around, It makes the world go 'round.

A mark, a yen, a buck, or a pound, A buck or a pound, A buck or a pound, Is all that makes the world go around,
That clinking clanking sound, Can make the world go 'round."


- Cabaret / - Voice of Sally Bowles (Liza minelli).
Authors: Ralph Burns, John Kander, Fred Ebb



The ART MARKET, how to describe it?

" An enormous bubble, a second previous to bursting" or a "Solid Investment opportunity with high profit assured" you can make your bet, I don´t have mine clear.

We all must agree that prices reached in the last 20 years have become totally indecent and out of any logic, but it seems that there is enough money out there to keep it running higher and higher...

The only sure thing is that with 10 million USD in the 50's you could buy the Guggenheim collection and today it is totally out of reach no matter how much money the Arabs or Chinese could be willing to pay.

NYFA has a very interesting article by Todd Gibson called "What happens when the bubble bursts"

This section tries to give a clear view of why Modigliani is so complicated and difficult to work with.

I will focus it 90% painting, 8% drawings, 2% sculpture.
It is going to be short in drawings, it could have been much more "meaty" but it is really difficult to follow the track of so many drawings "by Modi" that are almost daily on sale or at auction so I will recall only the bigshots in the matter.
Sculpture is much more easy, only a few still in private hands (10) and the rest are located in main museums (17 to be exact of a total of 27 confirmed, -33 probable ones-) .

THE RECORD:
A Modigliani sculpture sold in Christie’s Paris in July 2010.
Tête de Caryatide, 1910-12, soared over its very conservative €4m-€6m estimate, going to an anonymous phone buyer for €43.2m. (57,000,000 USD)
The piece, which had been part of the Gaston Lévy collection since 1927 is an exceptional work.

So painting is the most interesting task to work at a first glance to give a clear idea, go to the art market situation for Modigliani to focus it more:


  1. General situation for Modigliani's market
  2. Auction houses
  3. Commercial Galleries
  4. Famous Collectors
  5. News related and for sale
  6. References & links

 

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May 1984
Sotheby's NY

sold for:
$ 1.100.000 USD
November 2007
Christie's NY

sold for:
$ 16.841.000 USD
 
November 1984
Sotheby's NY

sold for:
$ 4.620.000 USD
   


1.- General situation for modigliani's market

While during his lifetime he was always on the verge of survival, 90 years after his death he is one of the most expensive and searched for prizes for the wealthy collectors.

The biggest part of his masterworks (mainly the nudes and the kids, both can be named as his most desired production) are in first names collections or in public museums so when a masterwork like  " La belle romaine" gets onto the market you can see the wealthy and rich biting each other for the "thing."

To get a Modigliani for the living room (see Liz Taylor one here) is a complete landmark for the rich, it can be easily recognizable by others and fits the owners into the select club of the "indecently rich."
Apart from social reality, if you are going to pay 10 million for a dead shark in a tank and your living room is going to have a formaldehyde half rotten fish smell for the rest of your life, to acquire a Modigliani shows much more taste and culture...

So the facts are:

- Modigliani is recognizable by all the audiences.
- To have one means status in capital letters.
- Rich and wealthy collectors want one.
- There is a Market for everyone.
- There are many unscrupulous dealers and some decent dealers.
- Modigliani's work is limited and scarce.
- The fights of the experts means a lack of trust so that means fewer available works.
- The Art market is a bubble that seems endless, so prices are still increasing more and more.

Extract from: "The Expert versus the Object. Judging fakes and false attributions in the Visual arts"
Ronald D. Spencer. Oxford University press, 2004. LINK

Page 98, the role of the catalogue raisonné in the art market, by Peter Kraus.
History of the catalogue raisonné in  Modigliani's work seems a real soap opera.
It is difficult to do justice to the intricacies of the situation within the confines of this essay, so what follows is a simple summary, Modigliani died in 1920 at the age of 35 years. In 1929, Arthur Pfannstiel published the first serious study of his work, which was reissued in 1956 along with a catalogue raisonné. In 1958 and 1965, an Italian scholar, Ambrogio Ceroni, published a two-volume catalog of the paintings and drawings by Modigliani. Ceroni is so far the only universally accepted authority on Modigliani. He died in 1970, and we know that while everything is indeed from Modigliani in the catalog, there is a considerable volume of work missing, and there begins the novel.

...................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Modigliani's work has so much demand that the figures of undoubted works are on the verge of reaching 9 figures. This expansion happened during the last ten years, previously his prices were more or less normal.

Prices of undoubted works in Ceroni can reach 8 figures.

Besides Modigliani's remarkable sales record, there is also a Modigliani fever, the romantic, bohemian life of the "maudit" genius.

Some raw & cold data:



? = Modigliani never did a print or lithograph, he never did any kind of mass production artwork
and this include bronze casts of sculptures made in stone or wood.

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My conclusion:
More mess with experts =  more doubts
More doubts = lower quality (undoubted) works available to the market
fewer works available = higher price

SIMPLE & REAL...