At this point last year, the art market was in miserable shape. It was already in trouble, as the recession had begun to crystallize over the summer of 2008, a process which was hardened by the financial market meltdown in September. By the end of the year, prices had plummeted, and the practice of guaranteed minimum pricing had generally been abandoned.
By the end of 2009, signs of a recovery began to emerge, though few were willing to commit to it. A few pieces, such as Andy Warhol's "200 One Dollar Bills" turned in strong performances, but nothing was solid enough to call a trend. Nonetheless, hopes are high for the next round of sales, which will include museum-caliber paintings by Peter Doig and Yves Klein. Shown at right is Andy Warhol's Dollar Sign estimated at $1,950,000 - $2,925,000 at Christie's London Post War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction on February 11.