With the growing affluence and the economic muscle of Asia the region is increasingly wielding more influence in the global art market. The most recent example was witnessed in Korea. Auction house Seoul Auction sold “Bestiaire et Musique,” a 1969 oil painting typical of Chagall’s whimsical style, to an unidentified Asian buyer. The auctioneers claimed that it fetched a record price for the Asian art markets.
The Chagall painting, depicting a bride and a fiddler floating in a night sky amid circus performers and animals was the star lot at Seoul Auction’s Monday sale. The auction coincides with auctioneers Sotheby’s biannual Asian sales in Hong Kong, considered a barometer for the Asian art market, and which will see over $200 million worth of Chinese and Asian art, jewelry, wine and watches up for sale this week.
The prices in the Asian art markets are definitely going up but are still modest compared with the millions bid for Impressionist and 20th Century Western masterpieces in London and New York. While the Impressionist and Modern art market has long been dominated by Western collectors a burgeoning crop of Asian art fairs have also raised the profile of Western art among Asians.