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Artprice by publishes its 26th annual report: The Art Market in 2022

The United States in pole position

The Art Market in 2022 reveals a 16% increase in Western art auction turnover as the United States regained its first place and the world posted a record number of art auction transactions

Thanks to Christie's and Sotheby's remarkably well-conducted sales of exceptional American collections, the year 2022 became a significant milestone in the history of public auctions.

“The art market increasingly reflects the world we live in: a world evermore aware of the value of beauty and rarity, of things that may soon be gone forever and that we must constantly reinvent by creating new forms to enrich our souls.”
thierry Ehrmann, CEO of and Founder of Artprice

2022 was clearly marked by the six works that each fetched over $100 million at Christie’s, setting a historic new record for the auction house and ensuring New York’s position as by far the strongest capital of the ultra high-end market.
But, we have also seen the emergence of new market places all over the globe, from Seoul to Cape Town, via Sydney, Dallas and Tokyo.

This Annual Report also highlights the evermore inclusive nature of the art market thanks to a belated but nevertheless growing recognition of women artists and a better representation of artists from all walks of life and all movements.

  • Key figures for 2022
  • From the most expensive to the most affordable, a breakdown by price segment
  • Analysis from ARAA (Artron Research Academy of Arts, Chine)
  • The principal marketplaces
  • Notable developments in Asia
  • Auction house competition
  • The pillars of the Western market
  • Notable auction records in 2022
  • Trends in Contemporary Art
  • Top 10 countries by Fine Art + NFT auction turnover (and market share) in 2022
Don't miss:
Top 100 Auctions
Top 100 Fine Art and NFT works sold at auction in 2022
Top 500 Artists
Top 500 Artists by Fine Art and NFT Auction Turnover in 2022

Read our 26th Annual Report on the Global Art Market:
The Art Market in 2022

2022 Ultra-Contemporary Art Market Report

Published in time for Frieze London and Paris+ art fairs, Artprice has – for the first time – devoted an entire annual report to the “Ultra-Contemporary Art Market. Available free of charge in French and English, this document analyzes the dazzling auction results for works of Fine Art and art-NFTs created by artists under 40.
These works reflect the new concerns and societal challenges that today's younger generations are grappling with our 2022 Ultra-Contemporary Art Market Report (available free online and in PDF) and to maintain our customary tracking of the Contemporary art market, Artprice is happy to present here a summary of the key figures for the global Contemporary art market as a whole, and for the Ultra-Contemporary segment specifically:

Contemporary Art Market: artists born after 1945

Ultra-Contemporary Art Market: Artists under 40

  • Global auction turnover of $420 million, incl. art NFTs (July 2021 - June 2022)
  • Growth of +28% versus the year-earlier period
  • Over 20 years, auction turnover has been multiplied by 26
  • Ultra-Contemporary art represents 15.5% of the Contemporary Art Market
  • Ultra-Contemporary art represents 2.7% of the total art market (incl. art-NFTs)
  • 9,640 Ultra-Contemporary works sold over the 12 last months
  • The segment's unsold rate was 32%, in line with the rest of the market

Soft Power and the Ultra-Contemporary Art Market in H1 2022

    Key figures for the Ultra-Contemporary Art Market

  • $420 million generated by Ultra-Contemporary artworks (July 2021 – June 2022): a 28%
  • increase compared to the previous year.
  • Ultra-Contemporary Art represents 15.5% of the Contemporary Art Market.
  • 9,640 Ultra-Contemporary works sold over the last 12 months.
  • 2,670 artists under 40 at auction: 5 times more than 20 years ago.
  • The average price of the 5 best results went from $618,000 to $4.9 million.
  • Women hold 8 places in the Top 10 artists under 40.

Read online our Annual Report of the Ultra-Contemporary Art Market:

Global Art Market Report 2021 by :
+60% turnover, paradigm shift with the arrival of NFTs

Two years after the health crisis triggered a profound evolution of the art market that included an opening to NFTs and the Metaverse, Artprice and its exclusive partner Artron are glad to present their free analysis of the 2021 global art market and its underlying changes.

The market data shows a spectacular 60% increase in auction turnover versus 2020, despite the continuation of the pandemic. The migration of the art market into the virtual sphere of the Internet is now a reality on all 5 continents, almost relegating the need for physical auction rooms to history.

“As the 21st century unfolds into a new era of enlightenment, the art world will be reshaped around virtual creation and a virtual (but very real) economy, allowing the emergence of a genuinely boundless space for artists to express themselves. Even in the virtual world of the Metaverse, singularity will remain one of the most prized qualities”… thierry Erhmann, Founder of Artprice & President of

Key market data for 2021

  • Global art auction turnover reached $17.08 billion, a 60% increase versus 2020.
  • Turnover from Fine Art sales in the West rose 68% to a total of $10.9 billion.
  • Revenue from Fine Art sales in China grew 43% to a total of $5.9 billion.
  • The number of lots exchanged in auctions worldwide reached an all-time record of 663,900 up 29%.
  • The average price of the lots sold was $25,730 and the median price was $930.
  • The unsold rate contracted to 31% thanks mainly to online sales.
  • The Contemporary Art index showed a +3% growth.
  • Contemporary Art accounted for 20% of the Art Market, compared to 3% in 2000.
  • TOP 100 auctions
  • TOP 500 artists by auction turnover

Available for free, in three languages, online as well as in PDF version : English – French – Chinese

Read our 23rd Annual Report on the Global Art Market: The Art Market in 2021

And much more to read: China’s lead over the United States; Soft Power; the impact of the health crisis on the operational structure of auction houses and the quality of their transactions; how the UK art market is affected by Brexit; artists breaking new records at ever-younger ages; what the NFT market really represents and how is it re-configuring the auction landscape; the top-performing artists of the year and the most popular; etc...

The Contemporary Art Market report 2021

2021, an exceptional vintage

In fact, the 2020/21 period marks the Contemporary segment's best year in auction history, both in terms of lots sold and in terms of global auction turnover, and it saw the Contemporary art segment move into a new space vis-à-vis the rest of the art market.
Part of this movement was driven by the sensational arrival of NFTs and the staggering prices obtained for works by very young artists, both of which appear to have profoundly transformed the art market's overall landscape. The NFTs very likely mark a substantial acceleration of the Hegelian power struggle that will release artists from their condition of slavery and make them masters of their own markets… and reconfigure the entire global art market in the process.

Artprice is proud to present this latest exclusive report focusing on the latest evolutions in a Contemporary Art Market that is seeing buying and selling habits transformed, the very notion of “collecting” being fundamentally shaken by NFTs, and Art history itself somewhat fitfully evolving towards greater inclusion and diversity… These changes are as radical as they are unavoidable!

According to thierry Ehrmann, CEO of and Founder of Artprice: Sales strategies offering a large number of works at relatively affordable prices and growing demand from multi-generational collectors allowed the Contemporary art segment to resist the negative impacts of the health crisis a lot better than any other segment.

The Contemporary art segment (artists born after 1945) posted a historic auction turnover performance in H1 2021, up 50% versus H1 2019 (and five times the total hammered in H1 2020, impacted by the early days of the covid pandemic).

Asia ... the market pivots towards the East
After an extremely difficult 2020, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan posted exceptional performances in H1 2021) taking their total turnover from sales of Contemporary art for the 2020/21 period to USD 1 billion, i.e. 40% of the segment's global turnover.


    Four artists representing four major trends:
  • Banksy (1971) - Street Art recognized as a major global discipline
  • Beeple (1981) - The viral madness of NFTs
  • Amy Sherald ( 1973) - Woman Power
  • Beeple (1981) - The viral madness of NFTs
  • Amoako Boafo (1984) - The art market is also integrating Black Lives Matter

Key figures

  • Contemporary Art accounted for 23% of the entire art market in 2020/21, vs. 3% in 2000/01
  • Our Contemporary Art Price Index has climbed 400% since 2000
  • 102,000 Contemporary works sold at auction over 12 months generating a total of $2.7 billion, up 117% compared with the 2019/20 period (which shrank 34% vs. 2018/2019)
  • The works were sold through 770 auction houses in 59 different countries
  • The NFT medium already generated nine 7-digit results, i.e. three times more than the photography medium in the same period
  • Hong Kong posted exceptional turnover growth of +277% overtaking London
  • Banksy joined the Top 5 best-selling artists on the entire art market, behind Picasso, Basquiat, Warhol and Monet

This Report represents an essential tool as we head into the major autumn art fairs (notably the Frieze and the Fiac) and is now available at the following address:

Artprice 2020 Art Market Report highlighting a veritable paradigm shift: the pandemic imposed an unprecedented digitization of the market... that saved auction turnovers.

Art Market 2.0

The Art Market has adopted a new economic model and reached a new equilibrium that the most optimistic projections were not expecting to see before 2025. It is now much better equipped to work with contemporary ways of living and collecting, i.e. those of the 21st century.

With this 23rd Annual Report, Artprice and its editorial partner Artron are proud to provide a global analysis of this paradigm through a focus on the following questions:

  • How has the pandemic impacted the art market?
  • How has digital technology affected the market and what will tomorrow's market look like?
  • Why has China's market resisted so well?
  • How have collectors reacted?
  • What types of works are most in-demand?
  • Which artists have reached records despite the crisis?
  • How have social-cultural upheavals – from #MeToo to Black Lives Matter – impacted the Art Market?


China in pole position

Top 10 countries by Fine Art auction turnover (change vs 2019)

Geographical breakdown of Fine Art auction turnover in 2020

Artprice's famous Top-500 ranking of the world's most sought-after artists

Year 2020 in review


In sum, despite a global tragedy that is unique in social and modern economic history, the Art Market has rebounded via digital technology, which it has massively adopted within a record time and which has allowed the market's turnover contraction to be limited to just -21%, which in itself – given the circumstances – is a superb performance.

Read our 23rd Annual Report on the Global Art Market at:

The Artprice 2000-2020 Report :
20 years of Contemporary Art auction history publishes the new Artprice Report on the Contemporary Art Market, the primary growth driver with a +2,100% increase over 20 years

Confident and stable growth, with a record number of transactions worldwide

Artprice is proud to present this exclusive report which traces the evolution of the Contemporary Art Market over 20 years”, announces thierry Ehrmann, President and Founder of and its Artprice department. “The story it tells reflects a multitude of sociological, geopolitical and historical factors, all of which contributed to the rapid rise of Contemporary Art in the global Art Market. A marginal segment until the end of the 1990s, Contemporary Art now accounts for 15% of global Fine Art auction turnover, and is now its primary growth driver, having increased +2,100% over 20 years. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the Art Market switched almost entirely to the Internet. 2021 will no doubt see an extension of this trend”.

In short, the Contemporary Art Market has been through a very long and very profound transformation over twenty years, which Artprice has followed. We have witnessed its exponential rise until 2008 – until Damien Hirst’s insolent sale just after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers at Sotheby’s – and the subsequent ‘arrival’ of the Chinese Art Market with its peak in 2014. Clearly, the health crisis that began in March 2020 has once again broken the market’s rhythm, but there are few markets that resist rhythm breaks quite like the Art Market.

So we seem to have reached a perfect spot for a pause and for serious analysis of the metamorphoses of the Contemporary Art Market – the segment of the Market which harbours the biggest risks and opportunities – before it fully resumes its undoubtedly unexpected activities.

And don't miss, exclusive to this year's report, the TOP 1,000 contemporary artists at auction (2000-2019)

The Contemporay Art Market at Auction:

  • The Contemporary Art rush
  • The market's pillars
  • Painting… above all
  • Diversity
  • A new landscape
  • " No Man's Land "
  • Black (also) matters (in art)
  • Valuation
  • In search of novelty
  • Multiple choice…
  • Digital agility

Read our report, 20 years of Contemporary Art auction history:
The Contemporary Art Market report 2000-2020

Artprice by Artmarket's 2019 Annual Art Market Report

The new report shows continued growth with a all-time record number of transactions based on global confidence in the market, and the French market was particularly strong in 2019

Confident and stable growth, with a record number of transactions worldwide

thierry Ehrmann, Artprice founder and CEO of “The Art Market’s growth is based on confidence”

22nd Annual Report by Artprice by Artmarket

This report contains the famous Artprice ranking of the Top 500 best-selling artists on the global fine art auction market and the Top 100 auction results. It also contains an analysis of the global Art Market from a geographical perspective (by country and by major city), a breakdown by historical periods and by artistic media, a selection of crucial Artprice market indices and 8 key chapters providing an uncompromising analysis of today's global Art Market. No other entity is currently capable of generating such high quality macro- and micro-economic metadata based on proprietary Big Data and AI algorithms.

General overview of 2019

  • The global Art Market generated $13.32 billion, down -14% mainly due to a drop in the number of ultra-high value masterpieces offered (worth > $50 million)
  • The number of lots sold worldwide reached a new historical high of 550,000
  • The average lot price in 2019 reached $24,300
  • The median lot price was $940
  • Approximately 90% of all lots sold fetched less than $17,000
  • The unsold rate remained stable at 38% (slightly more than a third)
  • The overall price index remained stable at +0.48%
  • The Contemporary art price index was up +4.44%
  • Top 500 Contemporary artists by auction turnover

Read our 22nd Annual Report on the Global Art Market at:

2019 Contemporary Art Market Report

The Contemporary art market has grown 1,800% in 19 years and its price index rose 22% in 2018/19.

A veritable market within a market

In commercial terms, the trade in Contemporary artworks is today a veritable market within a market. Our 21st Contemporary Art Market Report focuses on the over 70,000 Contemporary works now bought and sold annually at auctions around the world. This is almost the same number as for the entire Art Market in the early 1990s.

The Contemporary Art segment may be the market’s most volatile segment, but it is not ‘speculative’ in the negative sense of the word. Most Contemporary artists are alive today, so the segment naturally generates the highest returns on investment because the value of the works is itself being created, little by little, as the artists’ productions expands and each artist finds his or her place in Art History.


  • General synopsis & key figures
  • The geo-politics of the Contemporary Art market
  • The best auction houses
  • The top-selling artists
  • African artists breaking through
  • Top 100 Contemporary works sold at auction
  • Top 500 Contemporary artists by auction turnover

Artprice by Art Market's Contemporary Art Market Report – an indispensable tool for participants and attendants at the major autumn art fairs (Frieze and Fiac in particular) – is available free of charge at the following address:

Global Art Market in H1 2019:
Stronger Demand for Contemporary Art

Global Figures:

  1. Turnover in the USA (-20%), China (-12%) and the UK (-25%) has contracted**
  2. The number of lots sold between $10 and 100 million dropped by 41%
  3. Top quality Modern (-21%) and Old Master (-38%) works in short supply
  4. Claude Monet dominated the H1 2019 with 23 works sold for €251 million
  5. Contemporary Art prices posted an increase of +40%
  6. New record for a living artist: Jeff Koons’ Rabbit (1986) fetched $91 million
  7. Average annual return works out at +4.6% on an average holding of 13 years
  8. Tighter supply pushed prices up
  9. The volume des Fine Art* transactions was up very slightly: +0.1%

*Public sales of Fine Art (paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, prints, installations). **In collaboration with Art Market Monitor of Artron (AMMA).

Demand intensifies for Contemporary art as supply contracts and prices rise.

“We are seeing a tightening of the balance between supply and demand in the Art Market,” explains thierry Ehrmann, Artprice’s Founder/CEO.
“The results show persistent demand for museum-quality works, but the secondary market’s supply has tightened somewhat. The Art Market – as we have known it since 1975 – appears to be reaching its structural limits: auction houses are struggling to maintain their operating margins and also to convince collectors to sell their best pieces. They are constantly increasing their buyer fees while simultaneously inventing new ways of reassuring sellers. Guarantees can encourage some sales, but this mechanism doesn’t represent a global solution. It’s time for the Art Market to start a new digital era”.

The recent acquisition of Sotheby’s and’s metamorphosis into (its new company name submitted to the Extraordinary General Meeting) are two changes that clearly reflect the Art Market’s entry into the age of the Internet.

  • Key Figures
  • The New “Classics” of Contemporary Art
  • Soft Power: the contraction benefits Hong Kong
  • Art’s financial performance attracts investors
  • .../...

Now available online at:

Artprice’s 2018 Annual Art Market Report: record number of global Fine Art auction transactions since 1945 and greater buyer selectivity

The Art Market enters a new era on the back of excellent growth

Artprice100© “The Wolves of Wall Street at the gates of the Art Market”

The Artprice100® index shows an increase of +380% since 2000
Or an annual average return of +8.6%

Eight artists changes in our Artprice100® index between fiscal year 2017 and 2018 In 2000, only 1 Chinese artist (Zhang Daqian) qualified for inclusion in our Artprice100® index compared with 16 in 2017

An efficient, liquid and transparent Art Market, similar to a financial market.

In a world where many Western countries now post quarterly economic growth rates well below 1%, the Art Market has once again confirmed its efficiency, liquidity and transparency… just like a financial market.

A spectacular increase in transactions with 538,000 works sold in 2018, an absolute record since 1945, despite the relative torpidity of the global economy.

2018’s global auction turnover total was very impressive with an overall figure of $15.48 billion.

A global economic reality in the 21st century, the museum industry® is driving the Art Market.

In 2018, 26.2% of our Top 500 global artists are Chinese, illustrating the power of China vis-à-vis the United States which only account for 17.4% of the Top 500 artists.

    The Art Market in 2018 chapters:
  • Editorials: thierry Ehrmann & WAN Jie
  • General Synopsis
  • From New York to Beijing
  • Building the Chinese Art Market
  • Affordable art
  • Multiple records
  • “Crazy” sales
  • Abstraction… more than just American
  • Artron’s market trend analysis
  • The Best of Chinese Art in 2018
  • Western Old Masters
  • Investing in Art
  • The Top 100 auction results
  • The Top 500 artists

The report includes Artprice’s now famous ranking of the world’s 500 most powerful artists, the Top-100 auction results of the year, information regarding our Artprice100® index now used in trading rooms, analyses by country and by capital, analyses by creative periods and by artistic media... and a selection of Artprice market indices, and even more: Soft Power, Trends, Financial returns, etc...
Read our 21st Annual Report on the Global Art Market at:

The Contemporary Art Market report 2018

Artprice ahead of the Frieze and the FIAC presents its 2018 Contemporary Art Market Report: Plus 1,744% turnover growth in 18 years, an 8.1% annual yield.

  1. Global turnover was up 19% to $1.9 billion
  2. The number of lots sold rose by 17%, with 66,850 auction results
  3. The global unsold rate remained stable at 39%
  4. The Contemporary Art Price Index posted an increase of 18.5%
  5. Since 2000/2001, global turnover has risen 1,744%, from $103 million to $1.9 billion
  6. Since 2000/2001, the lots sold total has multiplied 5.5x from 12,300 to 66,850
  7. Contemporary Art auction results were recorded in 59 countries last year
  8. New York, London, Beijing and Hong Kong accounted for 82% of turnover, on 17% of global lots sold
  9. Greater China (Hong Kong and Taiwan included) generated $480m, i.e. 26% of the global market
  10. Europe had an exceptional year: France +81%, Germany +40%, Italy +31%
  11. The Netherlands, Belgium and Austria each generated over $8 million
  12. South Korea ($8 million) and the Philippines ($5 million) bring Southeast Asia into the global market
  13. Australia ($10 million) and New Zealand ($5 million) are in the top 20 marketplaces
  14. South Africa ($6 million) leads Africa, with Morocco and Nigeria far behind
  15. The Middle East is represented by Turkey ($5 million), Iran ($3 million), UAE ($2 million) and Israel ($1 million)

*Fine Art at Public Auction: painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, prints, installation
**In collaboration with the Art Market Monitor of Artron (AMMA)

A full market is now active on 5 continents.

The chapters explore the hottest topics in the global market and provide answers to questions that any art lover, collector, professional or curator who is active in the Contemporary Art Market might have...

General synopsis. Contemporary art’s market performance

Stimulated by a sensational record of $110.5 million in May 2017, the Contemporary art Market has just ended a third consecutive semester of growth. The principal drivers of this growth are ever-stronger demand for works by the stars of Contemporary art and a proliferation of supply in a particularly favorable economic context.

    Other chapters:
  • Artists’ prices
  • Africa and its diasporas
  • In the news
  • Top 100 Contemporary Artworks
  • Top 500 Contemporary Artists

Now available, the new 2018 Artprice Contemporary Art Market Report provides decision support tools that analyse the evolution, the organization and the latest trends in the Contemporary Art Market:

H1 2018 Global Art Market Report, by

All economic indicators are positive

  1. Global auction turnover on Fine Art* rose 18%, totalling $8.45 billion
  2. Transactions remained stable with 262,000 lots sold, up 2.5% vs. H1 2017
  3. The USA posted a massive 48% increase, with total turnover of $3.3 billion
  4. China**, with $2 billion in turnover, reduced its unsold rate before a decisive H2
  5. The UK is just behind China with auction turnover up 18% to $1.9 billion,
  6. The EU is contributing to growth: France +8%, Germany +17%, Italy +22%
  7. Modern Art, the high-end market’s mainstay, accounted for 46% of total turnover
  8. Modigliani and Picasso both generated results above the $100 million threshold
  9. Zao Wou-Ki was China’s best-performer in H1 2018 with turnover of $155 million
  10. Contemporary Art’s global price index rose 27%, rivalling the S&P 500

*Fine Art Public Auction: painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, prints, installation
**In collaboration with the Art Market Monitor of Artron (AMMA)

A new worldwide stability

Global Fine Art auction turnover amounted to $ 8.45 billion in H1 2018, an increase of 18% versus the year earlier period. The Art Market is therefore pursuing the renewed growth which started in H1 2017 (+9%) and was confirmed in H2 2017 (+32%).

The complete H1 2018 Global Art Market Report, by

  • The USA again leader thanks to Modern Art
  • London capable of competing with New York
  • China reduces its unsold rate before a decisive 2nd half: the soft power battle with the US intensifies.
  • Europe is modestly participating in the growth
  • Top 30 auctioneers by Fine Art turnover in H1 2018
  • Domination of 20th Century Art
  • Investing in Art
  • Top 50 artists by auction turnover,

Now available online at:

The art market enters a new phase

2017 marks a return to worldwide growth for the art market. After two consecutive years of contraction (-10% in 2015 and -23% in 2016), global art auction turnover increased by +20%, equivalent to a spectacular turnaround of +40% (absorption of the contraction plus additional growth). This performance is all the more significant as it was generated by a combined recovery of both the Western and the Chinese markets, with each market generating a new historical auction result as well.

The year 2017 will remain a decisive year for two reasons.
On the one hand, because a new price range (unthinkable just a few months ago) has been reached, with the huge gap between the previous all-time art auction record and the new one (between $180 million and $450 million) bound to be filled incrementally by upcoming sales of museum quality works.
On the other hand, because for the first time since the eclosion of the Chinese market (2008), the major powers of the Art Market have together demonstrated all the signs of firm and durable growth. And lastly because 2017 has proved beyond any doubt the validity of the model developed (and IPR protected) by Artprice which details and forecasts all of the economic, financial and sociological phenomena inherent to “the Museum Industry” ®.

  • Soft Power: China first, the USA just behind
  • An increasingly diversified global market
  • The structure of the Art Market in 2017
  • The Western Market
  • The Chinese Art Market

The “Quality over Quantity” strategy of Chinese Art Auction Market has paid off

Ranking of the Top 500 artists by auction turnover
European artists accounted for nearly half of the world’s Top 500 artists last year, ahead of Asia (162) and North America (82). The ranking also contained 12 Latin American artists, 6 Africans and 6 from Oceania. Although still modestly represented in the Top 500, these latter regions are indeed becoming increasingly important on the global Art Market as a whole.

Much more to discover in:
The complete Art Market in 2017 (Annual Report by available online:

2017 The Contemporary Art Market worldwide, by

The historic record of $110.5 million for a Contemporary work illustrates the segment’s extraordinary financial potential. The rise of this segment, the Art Market’s primary growth driver, is fuelled by a virtuous circle that makes Contemporary Art an omnipresent dimension of our cultural landscape.

  • Contemporary Art’s virtuous circle
  • Renewed growth
  • Current trends
  • Popularity of Street Art
  • Towards Art Market gender equality
  • The financial appeal of Contemporary Art
  • Interviews: Madelaine D’Angelo ; Alex Chang
  • 2017 Top 500 Contemporary Artists

The Artprice Contemporary Art Market Report 2017 is now available:

H1 2017 Global Art Market Report, by

H1 2017 saw a general recovery of the Art Market, with turnover up 5%

  1. Global art auction turnover reached $6.9 billion in H1 2017
  2. Prices in the Contemporary segment rose 9.6%
  3. With $2.2 billion, the USA overtook China's $2 billion
  4. The UK and France contributed to the recovery, up 13% and 7% respectively
  5. Contemporary Art accounted for 15% of global turnover, vs. 3% in 2000
  6. A work by Jean-Michel Basquiat (born 1960) fetched $110.5 million
  7. The auction unsold rate improved by 2 percentage points versus 2016

Global overview

At a global level, the Art Market was in better shape in H1 2017, ending two consecutive years of slowdown.

Global figures

More than 228,700 Fine Art lots sold worldwide during the first six months of 2017, generating a total turnover of $6.9 billion (including fees). These results were recorded at more than 3,054 public sales that are subjected to Artprice's systematic and detailed analysis. Artprice has been global leader in Art Market information since 1987. This half-year report covers all public sales of Fine Art (painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, printmaking, installations).

The complete H1 2017 Global Art Market Report, by

  • China and the United States, neck-and-neck,
  • A new era of prosperity in the West,
  • Restructuring of the Chinese market,
  • New collector preferences,
  • Top 50 artists by auction turnover,
  • and much more...

is available online at:

Financialisation of the art market

Throughout 2016, auction operators have demonstrated their capacity to stimulate demand despite a climate of uncertainty. China has managed to stabilise its auction turnover, while the West saw its highest level of transactions ever recorded (398,000 lots sold). In both the East and the West, a focus on consolidating the core of the market took priority over the race towards new auction records.

This market configuration owed much to an intensification of competition between the market’s different players that has, in turn, led to a more stable and solid market environment. In 2014, Sotheby’s yielded to pressure from its shareholders, including hedge-fund manager Daniel Loeb. After 34 years of loyal service (including 14 as CEO), William Ruprecht handed the reins to businessman Tad Smith. At Christie’s, a series of CEOs from major industrial groups have attempted to make the organisation ever more efficient: Steven Murphy in 2010, Patricia Barbizet in 2014, Guillaume Cerutti in 2016. An acceleration of personnel changes in key positions also reflected the tougher competitive environment, initially at the auction houses, and then later throughout the Art market as a whole. In December, Brett Govry defected as head of Postwar and Contemporary art at Christie’s to join the Galérie Dominique Lévy.

Today, the Art Market’s dependence on the financial sector is palpable at nearly every level. Recall that major banks (UBS, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, etc.) have become powerful partners in major artistic events (art fairs, biennials, exhibitions, awards, etc.) that substantially influence the success and prices of artists. Meanwhile a number of major multinational corporations are actively enhancing their public images by partnering with artistic causes, or by building their own exhibition centres, like the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris.

The upper echelons of the Art world are nowadays intimately connected with industrial and financial power whose requirements have given the market a new level of efficiency. The result is that every item in the major players’ cost & income statements is being carefully scrutinised. During his first year at the head of Sotheby’s, the new CEO Tad Smith imposed a vigorous voluntary departure plan. The firm has also adjusted its buyer’s premiums twice over the last two years and we are seeing a multiplication of the incentives used to convince buyers and sellers of artworks: guarantees, online auctions, etc...

Ranking of the Top 500 artists by auction turnover
In 2016 the ranking saw a lot of movement. It is now essentially composed of 41% European artists, 30% Chinese artists, 15% Americans artists and 15% other nationalities.

The complete Art Market in 2016 (Annual Report by is available online:

Artprice: Contemporary Art Market Annual Report: + 1,370% in 16 years, generating an average annual return of 5.6%

On the whole, the Contemporary art market is substantially profitable over the medium and long terms. Despite several adjustments and corrections, our price index shows that the segment has retained the vitality it acquired in the early 2000s. Its 1,370% turnover growth in 16 years reflects an extremely dynamic market.

The chronique financial and economic crisis affecting the world since 2007, prompting widespread recourse to negative rates, has made the Art Market look like an oasis in the desert. According to thierry Ehrmann, Artprice's founder and CEO, the market is undergoing an orderly period of adjustment that was both necessary and predictable, and Contemporary Art has clearly occupied the center stage.

Contemporary art will always be the art market’s infrathin: constantly criticised for its record auction prices, its difficulty of interpretation and its inherently subversive nature. In many respects its critics are unwittingly key contributors to the Contemporary art market, and Marcel Duchamp’s understanding of the fusional relationship between the market and its detractors is still perfectly relevant.

Hence the annual evolution of our world ranking of the top 500 artists by auction turnover - who all enjoy relatively robust and firmly established markets - clearly shows a coherent and structured market as well as revealing the preferences of collectors and art professionals.

In buying Contemporary works of art, collectors and art consumers consciously accept that they cannot know what History will make of the artists they acquire. However, the last sixteen years have shown that a well-diversified portfolio of Contemporary artworks generates an annual yield of 5.6%, higher than the art market as a whole.

    New decision-support tools:
  • Short, medium and long-term track record
  • Market geography and market economics
  • Yield, risk and liquidity
  • Market restructuring
  • Trends and performances

Do not forget: The Top 500 Contemporary artists:
The individual auction performances of the world’s Top 500 artists paints an interesting picture of the Contemporary art market. Although it is dominated by the major American signatures, the ranking reflects the diversity of the market’s offer and indicates the latest preferences of collectors. Korean, Filipino and Cuban artists were particularly present last year.

The Artprice Contemporary Art Market Annual Report (2015/2016) is freely available at the following link:

Artprice's h1 2016 Art Market report: Defying all forecasts... China upped 18%, dominated the global Art Market in the first half of 2016

Global figures
Worldwide, more than 252,000 Fine Art lots were sold in the first six months of 2016, generating a total turnover of $6.53 billion (including fees). Artprice, world leader in Art Market information since 1987, has systematically analysed over 3500 auction sales to produce a detailed half-year report covering public auctions of Fine Art (painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, printmaking and installations).
Transactions rose 3.2% while sales turnover dropped -25%, almost entirely due to a reduced offer of major masterpieces (works priced over $10 million) in all artistic periods.

According to thierry Ehrmann, Artprice’s founder and CEO, with its overall economy on meltdown watch for a number of semesters, China had been expected to lose its ‘soft power’ battle with the United States on the global art market this year. Its return to the global leader position with a turnover up by more than $570 million is therefore a major surprise.
Another surprise on the global art market has been the generally low unsold rate and the dynamic pace of transaction growth, both clearly demonstrating the art market’s capacity for adjustment and safe-haven attractiveness compared with financial markets and standard investment returns.

  • China returns to the leader position as the world’s largest art marketplace with a +18% increase
  • Hong Kong posted h1 growth of 10%
  • Market liquidity has been guaranteed by transactions volumes up 3.2%
  • The Western auction market posted a stable unsold rate of 28%
  • Low supply of masterpieces reduces Western auctioneers’ turnover.<
  • Fewer records, but stronger activity
  • The market price index is down vs. January 2015, but gained 10% in the 2nd quarter of 2016

Download now: Artprice's h1 2016 Art Market report >>>

Artprice's Global Art Market Annual Report for 2015: with constant price growth, the art market represents a veritable alternative to financial markets. USA recovers top position From China

In 2015, the United States recovered its leading position on the global art auction market after losing it to China for five years. China still has by far the strongest market for Old Master art in the world. In the global competition for cultural influence, art represents a key factor in what is nowadays referred to as Soft Power, and in a number of countries, this power is actively pursued (e.g. the United States, China and, on another scale, Qatar).
So this is the macro and micro-economic basis of today's Art Market: a market that has emerged for the last 16 years as a safe haven against economic and financial instability, with substantial and recurring returns.
Against a backdrop of negative interest rates and contracting stock markets, the Art Market looks remarkably healthy with its Contemporary segment alone posting a 1,200% progression of annual turnover over the past 16 years and a +43% linear progression of the average value of an artwork. These returns are not limited to star signatures; in fact our data shows that works valued at above $20,000 already generate significant annual yields of 9%.

The Art Market is an efficient, historical and global market whose ability to withstand economic and geopolitical crises is well established.
Art prices keep changing scale. Topping at around the $10 million threshold in the 1980s and then reaching the $100 million bar in the 2000s, the New York Times reported the sale of a Gauguin painting to a Qatari buyer for over $300 million (NYT, 5 February 2015). Artprice believes it will not be long before the billion-dollar threshold is crossed.
In 2016 the Art Market has already demonstrated that it has moved into a higher gear after a private sale organised by Christie's generated $500 million, including $200 million for a Jackson Pollock canvas and $300 million for a painting by Willem de Kooning, equalling last year's Gauguin record.

The Art Auction Market: Art Market News / Three works fetched over $100 million / Key Figures / The Chinese Art Market / Leading marketplaces and geostrategic competition...
Download now: Artprice's Global Art Market Annual Report for 2015 >>>

Artprice - your insight into the art market

The art market’s primary marketplaces:

New York - the Mecca of Contemporary art
The United States has recovered its leader position on the global Contemporary art market, resuscitating the fierce competition with China. In total the United States generated $650 million from Contemporary art, nearly $90 million more than China. This strong performance was essentially driven by New York, the global capital of the art market. New York is home to the biggest art collectors, the most powerful galleries and the most prestigious museums. It also has the strongest networks, allowing the fastest emergence of young artists in the world.

China slows, but remains potent
The contraction of the Chinese Contemporary art market (-36.9%), with turnover of $542 million versus $860 million the previous year, is indeed substantial. However the slowdown seems to have been largely triggered by a combination of exogenous factors, first among which is undoubtedly the drastic anti-corruption drive initiated by President Xi Jinping which temporarily paralysed the country’s luxury goods sectors and its art market. In the absence of clear legal definitions, a large section of the PRC’s wealthy population has temporarily refrained from making “extravagant” acquisitions. At the same time, the contraction of the Chinese art market has a number of similarities with the recent evolution of Chinese stock markets and it has mirrored a sharp slowdown in China’s economic growth that reached its lowest level in 25 years at end-2014. In short, economic reality has inevitably had an impact on the country’s art market. However, it is also valid to consider the slowdown as a natural adjustment to the phenomenal growth by the Chinese art market in recent years.

Europe’s turnover largely dependent on London
European artists are well represented on the global auction market. Generating a quarter of global Contemporary art auction turnover, they account for a larger share than Chinese artists. After the Americans and the Chinese, the best performing nationalities on the Contemporary art auction market are the Germans (10.8% of the market), followed by the British (10.7%), the Italians (2.6%), the Japanese (2%), the Indians (1.5%), the Swiss (0.9%), the Brazilians (0.8%) and the French (0.8%).

The Contemporary Art Auction Market: Key Figures / Career Paths / Major Prizes / Focus on the Art Photography Market...
Download now: The complete Contemporary Art Market Report 2015 >>>

Artprice: the 2013/2014 Contemporary Art Market Report is now online

thierry Ehrmann, the CEO and founder of Artprice: is pleased to present its eighth exclusive report on the contemporary art market.

Download it now on Artprice for free:
It contains original rankings, such as the Top 500 contemporary artists according to turnover.

Artprice permanently enriches its databanks with information from 4,500 auctioneers and it publishes a constant flow of art market trends for the world's principal news agencies and approximately 6,300 international press publications.

Record-breaking year for the Contemporary Art market, with revenues smashing the US$2 billion mark (July 2013 - July 2014).

The 2013-2014 period for the contemporary art sector has never been so competitive or speculative with a record set by Jeff Koons' contemporary work of art sold €38.8 million, a record number of auction sales reaching the million dollar/euro threshold and a record auction turnover for a Post-War and Contemporary Art sale.

In four short years, the global turnover achieved in the sale room, irrespective of period, has almost doubled since the slowdown of 2009/2010: a period that registered a price drop of 48%.

Affluence has not been slow to return, buoyed up by a market structure that has changed significantly in many respects, including the increased globalisation and dematerialisation of sales. The galloping speculation of the period between 2004 and 2007 is once more to the fore and the contemporary market is more affluent than during the micro-bubble of 2007: a year of rocketing prices, with revenues for the year up by 50% for a similar number of works sold.

A new peak was achieved this year – the best in the history of contemporary art at auction in terms of auction turnover, price rises and record bids.

The price index of artists born after 1945 has followed the trend, reaching unprecedented heights and even topping the levels attained at the height of 2007 by 15%. All in all, the global index of contemporary art prices has risen by over 70% over the decade.

The art business is flourishing in a bubble that never bursts, and in continuing growth as regards works at the very top end of the market. This year, the high-end market acclaimed 13 contemporary works with prices of over €10 million, and designated the most expensive work in the world: a giant Balloon Dog by Jeff Koons, sold for over €38.8 million.

The most speculative names in art - considered safe investments by some despite the sector's volatility and wild fluctuations in price - are driven by powerful trendsetting gallery networks, curators and purchasing consultants, and by various leading players in the art market, of which the leading auction houses form an integral part.
Prosperity depends simultaneously on tried-and-tested mechanisms and the voracious appetite of investors bidding from all over the world. The contemporary art market has become an economic UFO with the globalisation of demand, which involves the arrival of extremely rich investors en masse.

Attracted by the diversification of investment and exceptional yield rates, demand has increased substantially, meaning that five times more works are sold today than 10 years ago, at price levels that bear no comparison.

A PDF version of the Artprice Contemporary Art Market Report is downloadable from in French and English. The German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese versions are also available.

Artprice: The Art Market 2013 +15 % Best year ever

As Artprice had sensed, and indeed written, during 2013, this was indeed the best year ever recorded in auction history (over $12 billion), and the best sale ever for Christie's in its 247 year-old history ? achieved in addition for post-war and contemporary art, with an absolute record for a hammer price: $127 million. This went to a work by the British artist Francis Bacon. 2013 was marked by nearly 15,000 new records for artists, and over 23,000 if first bids are included.
This splendid year was shored up by a globalised demand, particularly with buyers from Asia, the Middle East and Russia, who played a crucial role in the market's fine performance, and displayed a voracious appetite for flagship artists of the 20th century, landing them in a spate of records. has been the world leader in art market information since 1987. Each year, it analyses auction results throughout the world, together with variations in the market, quoted values and price indexes for artists and works, and the forces involved in this specific market. It also examines the various cultural sensibilities and the intrinsic relationship between art and money, which produces much covetousness, and a few disappointments as well.
Download the complete PDF format document (Free download)

Artprice : The Art Market 2012 - a dialogue between East and West

For this study of the global art market in 2012, Artprice has formed an alliance with Artron, the leading information service on the art market in China within the Greater Asia region, in order to provide the best possible overview of the art auction market.
For years, Artprice has taken the utmost interest in collecting the data of the Asian art market and more especially the Chinese market. However, Artprice was missing a key element: the cultural and sociologic analysis that key actor Art Market Monitor of Artron (AMMA) only could provide, according to Thierry Ehrmann, the founder and CEO of Artprice. With the art market now bipolar, entering into a dialogue between East and West has enabled us to come to an unprecedented cross-cultural analysis of the market.
In fact, we are analysing a bipolar art market that has grown in China and the West and at different speeds in different cultural terrains and according to different standards. In comparison with 2011 figures, released by Artprice in its annual report, those of 2012, co-released by Artprice and Artron, show an increase by 6.1%.
There has of course been a globalisation effect due to the dematerialisation of the art market through the Internet and the nomadic nature of collectors. And of course it is clear that bridges have been built between East and West and that the creation, supply and demand of art sometimes overlap at certain points. But we cannot say that art has become totally homogeneous. On the contrary, the art market exacerbates cultural differences by reflecting the gamut of artistic choices. Chinese collectors are not inclined to buy a Western piece of art that they find is too far removed from their cultural parameters. Instead, they prefer traditional styles, ancient calligraphy and, more recently, contemporary “experimental” ink art. Likewise, Western collectors mainly buy the works of artists who speak their language, including some Asian artists who have assimilated Western art history.
So the idea of a globalised art market should be taken with a pinch of salt. In any case, it is a little premature for Western and Chinese readers to be finding their bearings in an analysis of the global art market that is bent on combining information from East and West at all costs. In order to provide a clear and transparent analysis for our entire global readership, this year our report is made up of an introduction that covers the results of art sales around the world in 2012, followed by two distinct chapters. The first of these concentrates exclusively on the art market in the West and Artprice data, while the second focuses on art in China and Artron data. This fertile relationship between Artprice and Artron has led us both to examine our areas of overlap and divergence and to look at the way a new geopolitics is evolving in the art market of the 21st century.
For the past ten year, Artprice has published its exclusive annual art market report – available in 6 languages –, which is distributed to over 6,300 media organisations and international institutions every year. Based on 6.3 million auction results from 4,500 auction houses around the world, the report contains macro- and micro-economic analyses providing the keys to understanding the annual evolution of the global auction market. It discusses the major trends in the market, analysed throughout the year on the ArtMarketInsight page of our website, by the Artprice press agency and jointly by the Artprice and the Art Market Monitor of Artron Econometrics Department. To complement this objective appreciation of the art market based on a year of global auction results, Artprice and the Art Market Monitor of Artron also offer numerous original rankings such as the Top 500 artists by auction revenue and the Top 100 auction results of the year.
Download the complete document in English - PDF format (Free download)
Download the complete document in Chinese - PDF format (Free download)

A high-end market unaffected by the crisis

With the subprime crisis giving way to the debt crisis, the economic record for 2011 was particularly bad in the Western world, marked by colossal debt ratios in Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the UK, a destabilization of European monetary union and swelling public debt in the USA. The downgrade of the USA by Standard & Poor’s this year broke a taboo marking the end of the chapter representing the American model since 1945. The debt crisis and subsequent austerity policies have had catastrophic repercussions. After the summer, the recession in Europe led to the amputation of cultural budgets and subsidies. In the UK for example, cultural resources were cut by 30% between 2010 and September 2011. Naturally, this unhealthy climate has resulted in collateral damage on the art market. Many galleries have suffered in Europe and some have closed shop. More generally, the art market has experienced a massive crisis of confidence following the meltdown of financial indicators. Between late July and the end of September, while the S&p 500 announced drastic falls (loss of 17% between July 21 and August 22, then -5% in September), Artprice’s Art Market Confidence Index (AMCI) fell below zero for the first time since the first quarter of 2009. Concern over financial and economic developments upset confidence in the resilience of the art market. However, the anxiety only needed one strong signal from the market to be subdued, and confidence returned in October thanks to the success of the major Contemporary Art fairs (Frieze in London and FIAC in Paris) and, above all, after some stunning auctions results in the second half of the year.
The debt crisis coupled with the turmoil on financial markets has driven numerous investors to fall back on art which has once again played its historical role as a value haven1.

excerpt from: Art Market Trends 2011
© 2012

China: the new global leader

An electroshock in the history of the global art market! China is now the world leader in Fine Art auction sales and four Chinese artists are among the most sought-after artists in the world at the very top of the artists' ranking by annual auction revenue for Fine Art (prints, photographs, paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations).
To reverse the polarity of the global art market from West to East, China has done without artifices such as art gallery figures (a more opaque private market than the public auction market) or even furniture or traditional Chinese art objects (the prices of which are shooting up worldwide).
With a Fine Art annual revenue total of $3 billion in 2010, China overtook the United States, which now finds itself in second position with 30% of global revenue. The UK was third with a global share of 19% from revenue of $1.8 billion and France was fourth with $475m, i.e. a 5% share vs. 13.9% in 2009.

excerpt from: Art Market Trends 2010
© 2011

Art World United States / UK / China / France: the fight for market supremacy

The market purge substantially diminished revenue totals.
With $1.3 billion in 2009, the United States was still the leading market place for Fine Art sales despite generating 55% less than in 2008. The UK maintained its second place with a revenue total of $1 billion, down 65% versus the previous year.
The contraction of the Anglo-American markets (which nevertheless accounted for 49% of global auction sales) was largely a result of the slower pace adopted by Christie's and Sotheby's. The number of works offered by the two market leaders was cut by 34% and 47% respectively compared with 2007.
This volume reduction had a direct impact on their revenue totals: Christie's totalled 57% less than in 2007 and Sotheby's lost 60% of its annual revenue total. Together, the two market giants generated 60% of total global revenue from just 10% of total global transactions. However, this fi gure was down compared to 2008 when the two giants accounted for 72.3% of global revenue from 15% of global Fine Art transactions. In contrast, China's auction revenue rose by a substantial 25% in 2009 (to $830m).
Hence, the world's no.3 marketplace expanded while the UK and the USA both contracted. China is now just $170m behind the UK and today represents 17.4% of global Fine Art auction revenue vs 7.7% in 2008. France, the world's fourth largest marketplace, posted a 31% increase on the back of the Pierre Bergé/Yves Saint Laurent sale which generated 40% of its annual revenue from Fine Art ($265m of the $665m total in 2009).

excerpt from:
Art Market Trends 2009
© 2010

Contemporary Art

Volatility of contemporary art prices
While the 1991 crisis made auction sales considerably more difficult, that of 2008 implies a greater degree of selectivity on the hottest segments of the market: Post-war and Contemporary art, particularly on the so-called «emerging» Asian markets. Th e new generation of collectors has invested en masse in contemporary artists with whom they feel most in sync, but they have also focused much of their cash on the most speculative signatures of the moment.
This phenomenon is reflected in our ranking of the Top 10 artists of 2008 with two living artists parading alongside the world's biggest revenue earners: Damien Hirst and Gerhardt Richter. In 2008, Post-war art (i.e. by artists born between 1920 and 1944) and Contemporary art (artists born after 1945) represented 32.3% of global Fine Art transactions and close to 35% of global art auction revenue. In fact, during the year, the most recent art was more likely to fetch six figure bids: whereas 3% to 3.3% of transactions in the combined segments of Post- War, Modern and Contemporary art fetched over $100,000, this ratio rises to 6.5% in the Contemporary segment alone. The same proportion of Old Masters also fetched over $100,000; but the overall number of lots was substantially smaller (20,000 vs. 50,000 in the Contemporary segment). As the most volatile sector of the market, Contemporary art is the first to suffer from the crisis and it has already seen some very sharp price adjustments: Artprice's global art price index shows that Contemporary art works lost 34.4% of their value in 2008 – the sharpest contraction of all the segments – back-pedalling 2 years of speculation to 2006 levels.

excerpt from:
Art Market Trends 2008
© 2009

Asian Market

China moves up to the number 3 position in the global art market
In geographical terms, France traditionally takes third place in the global art revenue ranking behind the United States and the UK. However, in 2007 it was relegated to fourth position by China where annual revenue, boosted by the major international auction companies, reached a higher level than in France. In 2007, the Chinese market generated no less than 75 sales above the million-dollar line with a top price of HKD 66 million (USD 8.5 million) for a work by Cai Guoqiang - an absolute record for a work of Chinese Contemporary art - followed by two Modern artists, XU Beihong (HKD 64 million) and ChHen Chengbo (HKD 45 million). Henceforward, sustained by rapidly growing domestic demand and rising star artists commanding rocketing prices, China is capable of competing with New York and London on sales of Fine Art, frequently generating revenue figures reaching into 8 figures. And last year, the most prestigious sales were not the exclusive privilege of Sotheby's and Christie's...
The Chinese art boom is also reflected in the number of auction houses and the volumes negotiated. China's arrival as a major player in the art world has proved even more spectacular on the particularly buoyant and highly competitive Contemporary art segment. In 2007, 36 Chinese artists featured in the Artprice index for the top 100 Contemporary artists by sales revenues, with in second place, ahead of Jeff Koons, the extraordinary Zhang Xiaogang.

excerpt from:
Art Market Trends 2007
© 2008

Art Market players

Christie's & Sotheby's: who rules the global art market?
Every year, in New York and London, the prestigious Impressionist and Modern Art evening sales or Contemporary Art sales at Sotheby's and Christie's are the high points of the global auction season. They are always a great spectacle, boasting catalogues stuffed with the market's most exceptional pieces. Between them, these two auction houses now virtually monopolise sales of a million dollars and over. In 2006, of the 810 million-plus lots sold, 81 went under the hammer at these two leading venues.
In the current growth phase, competition between Sotheby's and Christie's is having a dynamising impact on the wider market. Of the 9,200 fi ne art auctions recorded by Artprice in 2006, the big two hosted 842. This is 80 more than in 2004. But, despite having just 9.15% of total auction numbers, Sotheby's and Christie's handled 76% of the global fi ne art market's turnover. The average price of lots sold at the two market leaders, who arrange the most prestigious sales, was $ 91,805. This compares to an average at all other auctions houses of just $ 7,156.

excerpt from: Art Market Trends 2006
© 2007

The popular segments of the market

The market's structure is evolving as the contemporary art and photography segments are becoming more popular than other market sectors.
Thus, the contribution of living artists to Fine Art auction sales jumped from 7.9% in 2000 to 17.6% in 2005. Prices in this segment (in dollar terms) climbed 12.5% in 2005 compared with 8.2% for Modern Art, -2.4% for 19th century paintings and 8.7% for Old Masters works. Furthermore, on 12 May 2005, Christie's set a new record for a contemporary art auction by generating $ 31.7 million over and beyond its 2004 record of $ 102 million. And it only took 65 lots to attain this result! The auction owes its success to the strong interest among buyers in the major post-war works on offer. The most expensive lot was Edward Hopper's painting, Chair Car, (1965) which fetched $ 12.5 million. Close on its tracks was Willem de Kooning's Sail Cloth which sold for $ 11.7 and thirdly a 1964 work by Mark Rothko which went for $ 9 million. The photography segment is now extremely popular among collectors. In 2000 this sector only accounted for 3.4% of sales in volume terms, and $ 50 million (1.7%
of the market) in value terms. The segment has become very important with an annual turnover of more than $ 93 million. In October 2005, photography works in New York had never been so lucrative. In seven auctions, Christie's, Sotheby's and Phillips together made $ 28.9 million in turnover. They also set an increasing number of records, the highest for the portfolios of Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952): The North American Indian fetched an impressive $ 1.2 million, thereby doubling its high estimations.

excerpt from: Art Market Trends 2005
© 2006

Art Investment

Investment in the art market requires a knowledge of the markets for individual artists, but also of the associated investment risk. As with the stock markets, this is not insignificant. However, the art market is considerably less volatile. For example, from 1 January 1997 to 1 June 2004, the average quarterly fluctuation in the Artprice Global Index was two to three times smaller than the same statistic for the Dow Jones IA and the S&p 500. The art market is far less sensitive to economic crises and geopolitical events than other assets. Art prices held up well in the wake of the 11 September terrorist attacks and the Iraq war: our index contracted only 1.2% in the third quarter of 2001, and, in the first six months of 2003, it rose 7%.
As with stock markets, the art market contracts in times of uncertainty. The annual volume of art works sold at auction dropped 36% between 2000 and 2003. While stock markets tend to price in the slightest concerns investors may have, there is no automatic correlated reaction on the art market. In effect, rather than compromise on price, buyers and sellers of works of art become far more selective. At auctions, this translates into a higher bought-in rate: between 2000 and 2003 the bought-in rate rose by 9%. The quality of the works bought and sold guarantees the return on investment, while the lower sales volume fuels prices.

excerpt from:
Art Market Trends 2004
© 2005

Art Market Places

New York remains the largest market
With turnover of $ 1,322 million for some 30,000 lots sold, the United States dominated the art market once again in 2004. US auction houses accounted for 46.5% of the global fine art market compared with 42% in 2003, and total turnover generated in the United States rose 45% in one year.
A number of factors contributed to this substantial rise: an increase in sales volume (+15%), a dramatic cumulative rise in prices (+18.5% on the New York market) and the
growing number of lots sold for over a million dollars (229 works in New York, compared with 132 in 2003). Intense competition among the leading auction houses enhanced further the quality of works that changed hands in 2004, with New York benefiting the most from this race for the finest pieces. The Big Apple is by far the best market for selling works in the seven-figure range. Underlying this dynamic increase is a combination of factors: the inevitable wider accessibility of the art market, resumed growth on the financial markets, the dollar's depreciation and the search for alternative investments. While an investment of $ 100 in the US art market in 1994 yielded 60% in 2004, it was a completely different story in France: an art investment of € 100 only yielded on average 2% in 10 years.

The changing face of the European market

excerpt from: Art Market Trends 2004
© 2005

Art market cycles

The international auction calendar is the main driver of the art market cycle. The heart of the market shifts week by week, largely in line with what auctions are coming up on the three leading markets in France, the US and the UK.
Each year the auction houses shut up shop over Christmas and New Year. Business picks up again in New York first, with 2,500 to 3,000 lots on offer in the second half of January. London then brings the hammer down on a similar number of artworks a couple of weeks later. From then on until mid-July, the UK puts up a continuous weekly flow of more than 1,000 lots, which peaks at 2,000 to 3,000 lots per week at the end of the first half, rounding off the spring/summer auction season with a large number of prestigious auctions covering all categories of artworks.
In France, March and June are the busiest times, with close to 10,000 lots sold at auction in each of these two months. But by value, there can be no comparison with New York’s auctions in the first three weeks in May, which normally generate turnover in excess of $600m-almost a quarter of the annual total. One-fifth of annual sales of lots valued at over EUR100,000 thus take place in under three weeks.
The number of auctions drops sharply from mid-July to mid-September. During this period barely 3,000 lots per week are put up for auction worldwide. But Australia keeps the ball rolling, with some fine auctions in August. The second season only really kicks off in the last week of September, when all the main markets hold some auctions. These are often relatively low key events, ahead of the more prestigious sales held in November and early December. The market then gets into full swing for three or four weeks in late autumn. Works valued in excess of EUR100,000 begin to come back onto the market. The first week in November is an especially busy time for the top end of the market, while, for all categories combined, the last week in November is the most hectic, with dozens of auctions held worldwide and 15,000 to 20,000 lots sold in less than a week. This year the war in Iraq and the economic downturn do not look to have disrupted the art market’s smooth running after all. Sales are going ahead at the usual pace. The May auctions in New York, though unexceptional, reassured collectors. And the French auctions are being particularly well received.

excerpt from: Art Market Trends 2003
© 2004
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