6 December, 2021
Despite the challenges associated with the pandemic, the art market has been recovering strongly, moving towards a promising 2022. Released last September, the Art Basel and UBS mid-year review 2021 reported that over 51% of art dealers observed an increase in sales in the first half of 2021 whilst most of them claimed to be optimistic about the coming months’ sales and expected them to increase, or at least, remain stable. The unprecedented context of these last two years allowed the art market to renew itself, putting new technologies and digital art on the front line. Rather than collapsing, the art market came out victorious of this tumultuous time. In particular, Blue-Chip artists’ economic value and social recognition have remained strong.
As a reminder, Blue-Chip Art is any art that is expected to reliably increase in economic value regardless of the general economic conditions. The works of Blue-Chip artists not only have great economic value but also represent a safe and reliable investment because their value remains fairly stable (or increases) over time, despite the ups and downs of the economy. Amongst the top-performing Blue-Chip artists is Alighiero Boetti, whose works have been playing a primary role in the art market.
Alighiero Boetti was a Conceptual artist and leading member of the Arte Povera, a movement that promoted breaking with conventional power structures, corporate mentality and traditional artistic practices. The Italian artist’s versatility in materials and modes of production made of Boetti an acclaimed figure of contemporary art:
‘In my view, Alighiero Boetti is the visual poet of the 20th Century. His sophisticated and intriguing wovens of textile, colours and letters on bright and elegant arazzos, unique signature of his work, bring the observer into an intimate universe where different layers of perception coexist.’ Jessica Tanghetti, Chief Art Officer at London Trade Art.
Since his death in 1994, numerous large-scale exhibitions and retrospectives have been celebrating Alighiero Boetti’s work worldwide. The most famous Boetti retrospective, ‘the Game Plan’, had the Italian artist’s works travelling through internationally renowned art institutions such as the Reina Sofia Museum, the Tate Modern and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Boetti’s increasing popularity within the art market particularly exploded since 2000, as he became a global figure with an international market:
‘Where once he was considered a purely Italian artist for the Italian market, now he’s very much a global figure with a global market’, Italian Art specialist Mariolina Bassetti stated for Christie’s.
Whilst the record price for a Boetti was £144,000 at the start of the new millennium, it reached £2.4 million in 2014 and £4.6 million in May 2021. As one can conclude from these record prices, the value of Boetti’s work kept booming during the pandemic. Indeed, its ranking in the art market achieved n. 99 in 2020, while it was n. 328 in 2000. Moreover, Boetti has been proven to be one of the superstars of the auction market, with pieces at auction sold for a price higher than the estimated price during the October 2021 evening auctions in London. Amongst others, Sotheby’s sold a Mappa (1978, cm 179x220) on October 14th for a price of £3,040,000 (estimated £1,800,000 - £2,200,000) whilst Christie’s sold another Mappa for £2,302,500 (estimated £1,200,000 - £1,800,000).
Boetti’s increasing popularity within the art market is not ready to stop anytime soon. The last market trends delivered by the Frieze London and Frieze Masters 2021 edition indicated that Blue-Chip artists continue to sell the quickest, reaffirming their position as safe and reliable investments. Today, only 17.1% of Boetti artworks are available to purchase on the market, including 'Le cose nascono dalla necessità e dal caso', which is purchasable in NFT art shares on London Trade Art’s website.
Christie’s, ‘10 Things to Know About Alighiero Boetti’, web, https://www.christies.com/features/10-things-to-know-about-Alighiero-Boetti-9370-1.aspx