An appraiser generally is excited to learn that the subject property was painted by Jackson Pollock or by Pablo Picasso.
An early career painting by Pollock is not automatically desirable in the marketplace, if it is visually wounded. One example prompted the artist’s then NY dealer to comment “the artist’s estate would actually benefit from this example not finding its way to the art market”.
A Picasso painting that had been gifted to an entirely vain rich girl visiting his studio late in the artist’s career was so wretched that a prominent dealer in Chicago commented “I honestly don’t have a client I dislike enough, to offer that painting to, should it become available.”
So, how does a collector hone his/her eye, so as not to capture a virtual reject by an artist who is well known or not?
First become acquainted with all known works. Read what is written about all aspects of the artist’s career. “Quality” is a relative term. If one style of the artist’s work sells for more than another style, that is an indication of how the market views that character of the artist’s work at a particular point in time. You are assembling clues, to enable your mind to identify the quality groove or grooves, without relying on the opinions of others.
The artist is a manufacturer, a human one, producing both great products and those falling short of great.
Corinne Cain of www.SavvyCollector.com