WITH PARTHENIS LEADING THE FIELD OF GREEK ART, THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT
Constantinos Parthenis ” Apotheosis of Athanasios Diakos”
It took more than ten years for the Greek art market to rebound and come back to the levels of the 2000s. It was very common to see sales in the 80% back in the first decade of the 2000s and seemingly all going great until the market collapsed, Greece went bankrupt and the country suffered the ignominity of begging for money to survive and feed its people.
Over the last couple of years the economy of Greece seems to straighten somehow and in the year 2020-21 the art market of Greece has come back to suggest that the old horrible days of the last decade are past and auctions of art are bringing in collectors and good art for sale to get back to the old good days.
Taking the honours and achieving the best results in sales in London, Paris and Athens are the works of Parthenis, the father and inspiration of modern art in Greece. With the best auction result at auction for a work by Parthenis in 2021, the task of auctions and collectors is to beat the 640,000 euros paid for “Apotheosis of Athanasios Diakos” at Bonhams this past November. Selling at 80% of offered lots, Bonhams and Vergos lead the way to the revival and future success of this market.
Parthenis leads the auction scene of Greek art by some way but time will tell for how long that record will be standing. Artists like Ghika, Eggonopoulos, Maleas, Papaloukas, Spyropoulos, Fassianos are candidates for a big jump but we are looking further back in history of Greek art at artists such as Gysis, Volanakis, Pantazis, Jacobides, to appear on the market with major works to push further the art market of the nation.
We do not forget the emerging market of Greek Cypriot artists in Cyprus with the naive artist Kasialos impressing. Diamantis, Kissonergis, Savva, Georgiou, Kanthos sell very well, when the works appearing are important. The two auctions of mention on the island do a sterling job to promote art, artists and keep the culture of the island high. Promising artists to concentrate on are Chrysohos, Ladommatos, Votsis, Economou, Hatzesotiriou, Skotinos, Paraskos etc
Finally, we notice that Greek artists who used to be well collected are re-appearing timidly and selling at prices that invite collectors to buy now before their prices go to the price brackets they deserve. Among these artists we name Vasiliou, Pantaleon, Kalogeropoulos, Geralis, Tsingos, Gaitis, Papanelopoulos, Zenetzis, Aggelos, Stathopoulos etc.
Concluding, we look into the year 2022 with renewed hope of a Greek art market and interest in art surpassing that of 2021 in the important auctions of Bonhams in Paris and Vergos in Athens, Hellenic Auctions in Thessaloniki and Cypria Auctions and Psatharis Auctions in Cyprus.
Happy New Year readers!
Peter Constant BA, MA