Fall 2022

If you take a work of art and put it next to another work of art, the two begin to have a “conversation.” Sometimes you recognize the similarities in color or style, sometimes the differences in patterns or mark-making. When you introduce a third, the “conversation” might be totally different. By juxtaposing art in different ways, you introduce new ways of seeing.

This was readily apparent when a collector recently hired Cochran Arts to rehang his private collection. Using a cutting-edge software program (and the help of a wonderful graphic designer), we took digital images of his art and placed them to-scale within virtual representations of his rooms. After three rounds of shuffling, during which we had dynamic and engaging exchanges as we explored different combinations, Cochran Arts oversaw the hanging of the final plan. While the works themselves never changed, they took on a different life amongst their new surroundings.

Los Angeles has always had a vibrant art scene, but it has traditionally been known for its strong museums, art schools and affordable studios rather than its commercial presence. That perception, however, is changing. In 2019, London-based Frieze launched an annual art fair on the lot of Paramount Pictures, which was accompanied by the more edgy Felix Art Fair. The Fairs’ continued commercial success has convinced a coterie of international and New York-based power galleries to reconsider the viability of Tinseltown. This year alone, Pace, David Zwirner, Sean Kelly, Marian Goodman, Lisson, Albertz Benda, Karma and Danzinger have or will open up new LA-based posts. Numerous theories have been proffered for this shift, including LA’s growing art collector base, proximity to collectors from East Asia, the expanding museum scene and, perhaps most of all, the fallout from the Wayfair Sales Tax Case. This verdict, which requires galleries who sell over a certain threshold to collect sales tax even if the work is being shipped out of state, has made traveling to New York to purchase art less appealing, paving the way for a new nexus on the west coast.
these artist's memoirs?
  • Sally Mann: (1996) Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs
  • Gordon Parks: (2000) Voices in the Mirror
  • Sophie Calle: (2002) True Stories
  • Ai Weiwei: (2009) 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows

Summer 2022

Most of us purchased the artwork we have in our homes, so we have some idea of its value. But what about the places where we work? Corporate and institutional collections were often assembled when a company was founded or moved to a new location. Over time, its value may have changed drastically.

Cochran Arts recently completed an appraisal of an institutional collection that held some very big surprises. After a complimentary review of their inventory, we identified a number of pieces that had significantly increased in value and performed an appraisal on those works. The clients were amazed to discover that art that was purchased 20-, 30-, and 40-years ago from younger, unknown artists was now worth multiples of their original cost. They used the information not only to update their insurance, but also help prioritize a rehang of the collection that they plan to execute in the near future.

Summer Exhibitions Abound
If you are traveling this summer, there are some special exhibitions that might be worth a detour. In Europe, two of the art world's most important survey shows are happening this year: the Venice Biennale in Italy and Documenta in Kassel, Germany. Or, if you're headed down to the mediterranean, you might want to check out Rasheed Johnson's work at Hauser and Wirth's gallery in Menorca, Spain and Jeff Koons's installation at the DESTE Foundation's space in Hydra, Greece. If you're staying closer to home, major New York galleries like Pace, Lisson, Halsey McKay and Eric Firestone will fête summer visitors with outposts in the Hamptons while Marianne Boesky returns to Aspen with a collaboration with Carpenter's Workshop Gallery.
these classic films about artists?
  • Basquiat (1996) This Indie film about the life of Jean-Michel Basquiat stars Jeffrey Wright and David Bowie plays Andy Warhol.
  • Pollock (2000) Ed Harris directed, stars and earned a Best Actor Oscar nomination in this depiction of the abstract expressionist painter.
  • Frida (2002) The film focuses on the life and career of Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek), including her tumultuous marriage to painter Diego Rivera (Alfred Molia).
  • Georgia O’Keefe (2009) Joan Allen plays O’Keefe and Jeremy Irons her husband, the photographer Alfred Stieglitz, in this made-for-tv movie.

Spring 2022


While art is widely recognized as an asset class, not many people consider it when thinking about their estate and tax planning. Understanding the fair market value of your artwork can be quite useful when considering a museum donation to offset taxable gains or when developing a strategy for equitable distribution.

Cochran Arts was recently asked to join an interdisciplinary team that consisted of a financial advisor, a lawyer, and an accountant to respond to the particular needs of a client. Their goal was to create a trust for their children that included artwork. We were asked to first create an Appraisal for Financial Planning Purposes, which assigned a fair market value to all the works in the collection. From there, the client selected the pieces they wanted to go into the trust, after which we created a separate Gift Tax Appraisal to submit to the IRS.

2021 Figures Are In

The 2022 Art Market Report, prepared by Dr. Clare McAndrew for UBS and Art Basel, was released last month. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Aggregate sales of art and antiques in 2021 was up by 29% from the year before reaching an estimated 65.1 billion, surpassing even the pre-pandemic levels of 2019
  • Post-War and Contemporary art was the largest sector of the fine art auction market with sales totaling 6.7 billion, up by 42% year-on-year
  • Sales of works in the Emerging Market, or those made in the last 20 years, reached 2.5 billion at auction, more than doubling value from 2020
  • In 2021, just over one third of High Net Worth collectors had spent over $1 million on art and antiques, up from 20% in 2020 and more than double the level in 2019
  • The online market, which experienced a marked rise in 2020, grew again in 2021 by 7% to reach an estimated 13.3 billion
  • Sales of art and collectable NFT's on the Ethereum, Flow and Ronin blockchains have grown from 4.6 million in 2019 to 11.1 billion in 2021
these dances performed in museum settings?

Winter 2022

2021 sales figures for fine art are beginning to come in, and they are exceptional. Sotheby’s announced a record 7.3 billion in total sales, Christie’s saw a five year high with 7.1 billion, and Phillips had its most successful year with 1.2 billion. Both public auctions and private sales are included in their figures, which cover several different collecting areas, but Contemporary Art continues to drive the most activity and garner the biggest headlines.

This trend is expected to continue in 2022, so if you are considering selling, Cochran Arts can help value potential works and identify whether private sale or public auction is your best option. We recently worked with a collector to sell a group of 20th c. British prints at auction in London. We walked the collector through the process, helping to negotiate the terms and facilitate the overseas transportation of the work. All pieces sold at or above their presale estimates.

Art Fairs are back in 2022!
Gallery sales were equally strong in 2021, fueled in part by a bottlenecked fall season of regularly-scheduled and postponed art fairs. 2022 looks to return to a more even pace, although some fairs have taken advantage of the disruption to permanently change their dates. Here are a few highlights of this year’s schedule:

  • January 20-23 - Fog Art Fair, San Francisco
  • February 9-13 - Zona Maco, Mexico City
  • February 17-20 - Frieze, Los Angeles
  • February 23-27 - ARCO, Madrid
  • March 24-26 - Art Basel, Hong Kong
  • April 6-10 - SP-Arte, Sao Paulo
  • April 7-10 - Expo Chicago
  • April 21-24 - Dallas Art Fair
  • May 18-22 - Frieze, New York
  • May 20-22 - AIPAD Photography Show, New York
  • June 16-19 - Art Basel, Switzerland
  • September 8-11 - The Armory Show, New York
  • October (dates tbd) - Frieze, London
  • October 20-23 - FIAC, Paris
  • November 10-13 - Paris Photo
  • November 16-20 - Art Cologne
  • December 1-4 - Art Basel, Miami Beach
2021 included several groundbreaking retrospectives. If you missed the shows, you can still snuggle up this winter with these wonderful exhibition catalogs:
  • Alice Neel: People Come First (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
  • Alma W. Thomas: Everything is Beautiful (Columbus Museum and Chrysler Museum of Art)
  • Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror (Whitney Museum of American Art)
  • Joan Mitchell (SFMOMA and the Baltimore Museum of Art)

Spring 2021

As the Art Market Stabilizes, Now is a Good Time to Update Your Insurance Appraisals
When the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic in March of 2020, the art market took a pause. Auction houses, galleries and art fairs quickly pivoted to working online and their resiliency has been impressive. With a year under our belt, studies have shown that while the overall number of sales were down, there was not a corresponding decrease in values. In fact, certain sectors of the Post-War and Contemporary market have seen an incredible uptick.

Cochran Arts recently appraised a work for a client by a female Post-War artist whose value has jumped threefold since her last appraisal. If you or your clients have been waiting to update your appraisals, whether for insurance purposes, financial planning or to consider gifting to institutions or family members, Cochran Arts is ready to help.

2020 Figures Are In
The art industry has begun issuing their market assessments of 2020 and their predictions for the future. The Art Market 2021 report compiled by Dr. Clare McAndrew and published by Art Basel and UBS include the following key findings:

  • Sales in the US art market fell by 24% in 2020 to $21.3 billion but remained 76% above their level in the last recession in 2009.
  • Despite the contraction of sales overall, aggregate online sales reached a record high of $12.4 billion, doubling in value from 2019.
  •  Public auction sales of fine and decorative art and antiques (excluding auction house private sales) were $17.6 billion in 2020, a decline of 30% from 2019.
  • In 2020, the largest sector in the fine art public auction market was Post-War and Contemporary art (55%), which along with Modern art accounted for just over 81% of the value of sales. Sales in the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist sector, the dominant category 30 years ago, showed the largest decline in value year-on- year, with sales down over 50%.
  • Millennial HNW collectors were the highest spenders in 2020, with 30% having spent over $1 million versus 17% of Boomers.
  • Just under half (48%) of the HNW collectors surveyed said they would be willing to go to an art fair in the first six months of 2021, although 64% would be ready to attend local events. The majority of collectors (68%) reported that they would be happy to attend any fair by the end of Q3 2021, and over 80% into Q4.

The Last Vermeer is based on the true story of the gallerist and painter Han van Meegeren (Guy Pearce), who was charged with collaboration with the Nazis for selling a Vermeer masterpiece to Hermann Göring, but was able to prove his innocence by showing that the painting in question, in fact, his own forgery.

Woman in Gold is also based on the true story of Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), who attempts to reclaim family possessions that were seized by the Nazis sixty years after fleeing Vienna with the help of young lawyer Randy Schoeberg (Ryan Reynolds). Among them is a famous portrait of Maria's beloved Aunt Adele: Gustave Klimt's "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I."

The Thomas Crown Affair: Both the original starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway and the remake with Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo follow a thief and an insurance agent in a game of cat and mouse over the theft of a Monet from the Met.