What happens to artwork prices when an acclaimed artist dies?

- What happens to artwork prices when an acclaimed artist dies?

Art markets often work on the basis of the basic economic principles of supply and demand. Amongst various factors, prices of artworks generally rise with the death of the artist.

In the past, prices of artworks by acclaimed and master artists, have increased significantly and in some cases, immediately doubled, with the passing away of the artist. In fact, at certain times, the estate of the artist, immediately pulls away the available artworks, from the market, around the time of the death, only to reintroduce them shortly thereafter, with significantly higher prices.

In the recent years, this trend has been seen with the deaths of famous artists, such as Helmut Newton (photography), Eduardo Chillida (sculptures and graphic prints, incl. lithographs and etchings), and Joan Hernández Pijuan (paintings, etchings, screenprints, etc.). Upon their deaths, the market witnessed an increase in prices of up to 100% of their artworks.

Art investors and collectors often keep a track of the age and health of celebrity artists and make their investment decisions on the basis of their age, amongst other factors.

Certain living artists, being evaluated by such collectors and investors, include:

Sol LeWitt
Modest Cuixart
David Hockney
Juan Genovés
Antoni Tàpies
Peter Blake
Mel Ramos
Rafael Canogar
Josep Maria Subirachs
Dennis Oppenheim
Eduardo Arroyo
Oriol Maspons
Josep Mª Guinovart
Albert Ràfols Casamada
Louise Bourgeois
Pablo Palazuelo
Luis Feito
Red Grooms
Luis Gordillo

Authors: Allan Majotra and Arian Montaner, PicassoMio.com & PicassoMio Galleries
Date: December 29, 2005