One of the reasons the art market recovered so quickly from the recession was China's continuing boom. Just as Wall Streeters and hedge-funders pulled back their auction paddles and gallery visits, the growing numbers of Chinese rich poured in.
The market in 2009 and 2010 was largely about China. Last year, China surpassed the United States to become the world’s largest art market, according to some estimates.
Now, that’s changing.
According to data from ArtTactic, the British art-market research firm, auction sales this spring fell to $1.5 billion, a drop of 43 percent compared to the fall of 2011.