Art Market Commentary from Ray Waterhouse

September 2022 Newsletter

Having personally visited in the last three months art fairs or auctions in New York, London, Brussels, Maastricht and Seoul, I can confirm the overall art market is resilient if somewhat selective and, in some areas, it is decidedly buoyant. After working in the art market for 40 years, there has never been a time when interest in acquiring art is more widespread than today. Collecting art has been made accessible to all with the means and desire to do so.  


This is not to say that all art is selling well. Traditional 19th century art (which W&D used to sell in the 1980s and 1990s) is still out of taste and works by minor Impressionist and early 20thcentury artists, however beautiful and well executed, are not in demand. One negative aspect of the art market today, in my opinion, is that collectors are too influenced by brand names and auction result. Some really good art fails to find a home while many contemporary galleries representing hot young figurative artists have 20 potential buyers for each work. 


The quantity of art fairs and exhibitions are back to pre-Covid levels. We can recommend fairs relevant to our clients. While viewing in person is now possible, buying art online has developed into an established way of collecting, both from galleries and auctions. A recent survey concluded that 76% of collectors purchased art online in the last 12 months, while 56% of collectors spent more than half their budget online. We recommend asking for condition reports and several high-resolution photos before buying without seeing in person, and ideally asking for a second opinion. We have an art advisory company, Fine Art Brokers, which offers comprehensive services for purchasing and selling fine art. 


I’d be happy to discuss my views on the market in more depth: for an analysis or comments on your own area of collecting, please contact me.

Please find out about our art advisory services at


September 15, 2022