The global art market is girding for a liquidity crunch.

Jeffrey Gundlach, the billionaire money manager and art collector, said he received “panic offers” of works by artists including Monet, Renoir and Hopper at slashed prices. Financier Asher Edelman is gathering investors to buy at a discount. Strains are even showing in the Sotheby’s debt, which is trading at distressed levels.

Edelman, who provides loans against artwork, said Tuesday that he has assembled a group of collectors, galleries and other art professionals who are prepared to buy major works at a 35% discount to prices they would have fetched a month ago. By the following afternoon, Edelman said he received $275 million in offers including works by Pablo Picasso, Gerhard Richter and Roy Lichtenstein.

“This is a difficult time,” Edelman said. “It makes sense for people who want liquidity” to turn to their art collections.

The coronavirus has sent stock prices tumbling globally, roiled credit and currency markets, and forced some investors to sell assets to meet margin calls.

It’s also had a chilling effect on the art industry, where business is typically conducted in person -- at auctions, galleries and fairs. Christie’s and Phillips said this week they will postpone their marquee May auctions of Impressionist, modern, postwar and contemporary art in New York until June. Frieze New York canceled its annual fair, while the official overseeing the divorce-driven sale of Harry and Linda Macklowe’s massive art trove put the process on hold.

In addition to social distancing, another problem is that buyers don’t know what things are worth, according to Mitchell Zuckerman, an art consultant in New York. “Significant private sales that were in negotiation stopped in their tracks,” he said.

That doesn’t mean all business ends.

“My clients are liquid and looking to do distress deals, or scoop up canceled sales of primary works by artists they collect,” said New York-based art adviser Wendy Cromwell. “It was like that for me in 2008 as well.”

Gundlach said in a tweet Wednesday he’s already received offers for “blue chip (though not at all trophy) art at slashed prices.” The chief executive officer of DoubleLine Capital said in an email the works were from Impressionists Gustave Caillebotte and Camille Pissarro to contemporary artists Anselm Kiefer, Anish Kapoor and Richard Prince.

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