WHAT'S THE MARKET ON NAGELS THESE DAYS?
We get that question a lot, not surprisingly.
TODD: "The art market used to follow the general business cycle by about 18 months, to two years. No more. Now, when the stock market dives, so does the market in discretionery items -- like artwork. The good news is that if one is a buyer of collectibles -- and real Nagel serigraphs qualify in that respect -- then one is in good shape when the economy tanks; you can find really good deals and hold on. That's what we're seeing now after the Wall Street fiasco: people who took a hit are selling their artwork, and those who didn't are gobbling it up.
So, if you can justify being a buyer right through here, you are very fortunate, indeed!
I have dealt in Nagels serigraphs for 30 years now. After his death in 1984, admittedly the market for them has always swung back and forth. In the halcyon days of the early '80's, art collectors were wading into the market with all that junk bond money and buying not just Nagels but everything else they were told would represent 'investment potential'. Then, at the end of decade of the '90's, prices on 'real' Nagel prints got pretty soft.
The market has been further sullied by the fact that there was so much fraudulent copies made of Nagel's work and so much confusion about what constitutes a real, or even a 'signed' Nagel serigraph.
THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A NAGEL MARKET
Those of us who were dealing with Nagel in the early '80's who also dealt in antique prints from the late 19th Century (Lautrec, Cassandre, etc.) started to see interesting parallels between those artists and Pat Nagel. There were many knowledgeable dealers in those days who were predicting that Nagel might go on to be as famous as those artists had become, in the world of graphic fine art prints. Then, abruptly, at the tender age of only 38, Nagel died. And despite our horror and dismay and sorrow, we couldn't help but sense the import.
THE THREE THINGS
There are three things that contribute to an artist's work being considered 'collectible':
- One: the artist must have widespread popularity and perceived importance
- Two: the artist should have a small body of work
- Three: the artist is deceased
The fact that Nagel passed away so prematurely only emphasized the correlation between him and his work and the great fine art graphic artist masters of the past. Anyone who knows the work and who is knowledgeable about the history of fine prints began to see that Nagel was a phenom.
Those who recognize the true place in history of Nagel's work knew that sooner or later, it would all come back. Nagel fans and art academicians alike knew there would one day be a strong marketplace that would ebb and flow naturally, rather than through market artifice. I always thought it would be in the year 2020.
I may have been wrong. It looks like it's happening now
WHICH NAGEL SHOULD I PURCHASE?
Because of his untimely demise, Patrick's "lifetime" body of work is (comparatively) very small. But it was important work. The Nagel 'renaissance' has already begun -- the work is being revisited by scholars and collectors alike. Print enthusiasts who didn't know of him during his life, are now vehemently collecting Nagels with the same voracity as collectors have the work of those artists named above. (For more, please read the 'history' page.)
THE LAW OF SUPPLY AND DEMAND
The Value and Price on 'real' Nagel prints will respond to the basic laws of supply and demand:
- The fewer printed, the more scarce the supply. The more demand for them, the prices are spiked.
- Limited Edition means just that: limited in number, regardless of the number
- For some reason, the art community asigns more value to a work of art with the artists' real signature on it. In most cases, the unsigned artwork itself is physically identical, but the signature can mean quite a bit in the marketplace.
- Buy what you can afford.
- Bear in mind, Nagel's body of 'signed' work is extremely small. Compared to many deceased artists, Matisse for example, who did very little printmaking, the work will be very sought after.
- The market will respond to the vicissitudes of supply, but also other factors: condition, rarity and rating of the print in question, relative to the whole body of work
**Please note: If you love Nagel, then we love you and want to hear from you. However, If you just want to get a price/value on a Nagel you already own, we charge a small fee for appraisals on our letterhead. We hope you can appreciate our policy on this. We would otherwise get hundreds of such requests. Thanks for visiting the site.
Todd Bingham for TBFA