Sean McSweeney's opening in the Taylor last Thursday was a bellwether for the state of the art market. This was a new show by one of our most popular and respected contemporary artists. It was a strong show with a very reasonably priced selection of works on canvas and paper. Up to recently he would always sell out - except for the occasional very large piece. All these works were quite small and very accessible with more colour than is often the case with McSweeney. A total of eight sold on the opening night. Not bad. There was a comparatively poor turnout, certainly compared to Brian Henderson's show there earlier in the month. But Henderson sold only one piece on the opening night - so you could say the market is becoming very discerning.
McSweeney himself was in attendance - a most affable man is our rural Rothko. He went out of his way to greet anyone and everyone. There was no preserving a cool distance from the hoi polloi. We all repaired to Buswell's afterwards for a few pints.