The results of the latest international auctions, besides usual confirmations and some isolated exploit that should be taken with a grain of salt, highlight the case of Jean Dubuffet. Despite the fact that two of his works went for over one million euros – one in Paris and one in London – and that in both cases Dubuffet gained the first position in auction rankings, both the auction houses and the previous owners of the works were actually disappointed. Even though it almost reached a hammer price of EUR 10.000.000 at Christie’s in London, (gaining the fourth position in the French artist’s top ten), Cérémonie (1961, 165×220 cm, oil on canvas) did not reach the maximum estimate, and this was a first cause of regret. But there is more. As a fact, Dubuffet’s top record is a similar work also dating from 1961; its coefficient is more than twice the coefficient of Cérémonie, and since the hammer price of this work was actually less than a half the expected price, the artist’s expectations must have been disappointed. The same happened with Dubuffet’s other work, La Chaise (1964, 195×131 cm, oil on canvas), which was auctioned at Sotheby’s in Paris. The work went for a price that exceeded the maximum estimate, but its coefficient was almost a half the coefficient of the author’s top record work from the same year. Other causes for reflection are provided by the results achieved in recent international auctions by Giuseppe Capogrossi, Matteo Pugliese and Emilio Vedova.
Let’s start with Capogrossi. Since 2012, the market values of his works on canvas have certainly settled, and since 2017 they have shown a slight upward trend. In the past period two works were sold, one in Milan and one in London, that have both exceeded the maximum estimates. Superficie 430 (1961, 27×46 cm, oil on canvas), which was auctioned at Christie’s, set a new record for Capogrossi’s works dating from 1961. Emilio Vedova’s action results also provide some cause for reflection: two works from the early 1960s went for prices that exceeded the maximum estimates, but, unfortunately, they could not improve the downward trend of the coefficients of his works on canvas, which has been persisting since 2017. Nevertheless, it should be noticed that, at present, the values of his works are higher than they were in 2013, which means that, actually, the 2013-2019 trend is still increasing. We conclude with Matteo Pugliese, an already internationally established young Italian sculptor. His top record, which dates back to 2010, was broken twice at Sotheby’s in London. From 2009 to 2018, the trend line of the coefficients of his works slightly increased, but it was only thanks to recent sales that it surged upwards, multiplying the 2018 values by four.