Posts Tagged ‘the Art Market in 2020’ publishes Artprice 2020 Art Market Report highlighting a veritable paradigm shift: the pandemic imposed an unprecedented digitization of the market… that saved auction turnovers.

2021/03/15 Commentaires fermés

Our 23rd Annual Art Market Report offers a global analysis of public sales of Fine Art – painting, sculpture, drawing, photographs, prints, installations – between 1 January and 31 December 2020.

What was, at one point, anticipated as a ‘blank year’ for the Art Market, turned out to be much more positive than expected. The cancellation of fairs, exhibitions and all sales in March 2020 prompted fears of a complete shutdown of the art industry. But unlike museums, which have suffered the full impact of covid-related restrictions, the auction houses quickly found ways to preserve the core of their activities thanks to the dematerialization via digital technology: versus 2019, they maintained 79% of their turnover and sold a volume of lots equivalent to 91% of the previous year’s total.

Artprice’s Art Market Confidence Index in 2020 * AMCI: Art Market Confidence Index

Our 2020 Art Market Report is available free of charge, in full, and in three languages, both online and as a PDF file:

thierry Ehrmann, President and Founder of and its Artprice department, is pleased to announce the free publication of the 23rd Annual Art Market Report (2020):

The pandemic which took the world by surprise has forced Art Market professionals to accelerate a digitization process that they had been procrastinating for too long. Twelve months ago, this industry still showed a certain resistance to anything related to digital culture, which resulted in a reluctance to implement effective IT tools. In contrast to this delay, which has left much of the art sector almost thirty years behind the rest of the economy, Artprice has never stopped innovating and preparing the ground for the inevitable future.

So it is with much enthusiasm – despite the situation – that our group has supported all the key actors of the Art Market to take on a historic challenge… to repair in just a few months (sometimes even just a few weeks) three decades of obstinacy”.

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?

The report also contains Artprice’s famous Top-500 ranking of the world’s most sought-after artists and a month-by-month breakdown of the highlights of the art market in 2020 as it struggled to meet the unprecedented challenges prompted by the health crisis.

China in pole position

The report underscores the place China now holds on the global Art Market: that of the most serious competitor to the United States. Although the Chinese art market has its own codes, it is more interesting for that reason and it makes for a particularly substantial and fascinating editorial partnership between Artprice and Artron.

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

1. China (Artron): $4,163,871,200 (+2%)

2. United States: $2,804,272,300 (-39%)

3. United Kingdom: $1,552,937,500 (-30%)

4. France: $578,347,600 (-31%)

5. Germany: $298,834,000 (+11%)

6. Italy: $142,404,000 (-32%)

7. Switzerland: $110,967,500 (+5%)

8. Japan: $95,366,400 (-14%)

9. Austria: $91,117,515 (-8%)

10. Poland: $89,672,059 (+1%)

Geographical breakdown of Fine Art auction turnover in 2020

Looking at our other key market indicators, the Artprice100© benchmark index has increased by +405% since 1 January 2000. In 2020, this blue-chip artists index posted an increase of +1.8%.

Contemporary Art, both in the West and in Asia, is still the locomotive of the Art Market, despite the pandemic context.

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.


Copyright 1987-2021 thierry Ehrmann

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Artprice looks at five ‘positive anomalies’ on the Art Market in 2020

2020/12/15 Commentaires fermés

Thanks to online sales, the major auction houses have found a way to continue to operate and countervail the Covid-19 health crisis. Lockdown forced them to activate the sudden and complete dematerialization of their most prestigious sales and their corresponding catalogs. This development – one that has been a long time coming in the art market – has allowed the bulk of secondary market fine art transactions to go ahead ‘as normal’, which in turn has substantially contributed to bolstering the confidence sellers need to consider consigning their works, and, a number of several quite remarkable performances have already been recorded.

Paolo UCCELLO (1397-1475) – Battle on the banks of a river, probably the battle of the metaurus (207 BCE)

thierry Ehrmann, President and Founder of Artprice:Our econometrics department has identified five types of sales which illustrate the resilience of the art auction market. Each of these ‘positive anomalies’ must be placed in context in order to understand the indefatigable interest of buyers for these works and these artists in such difficult times”.

Contact Artprice’s Econometrics Department for all your questions relating to our statistics and our personalized studies:

Record turnover figures…

Banksy’s market is showing extraordinary resilience in the face of the crisis: his works have already generated a record annual auction turnover totalling $42.8 million so far this year. Six of his 10 best-ever auction results have been hammered in the past 10 months; and some 550 other works have changed hands in auction rooms around the world.

With the successful sale of his masterpiece Complements (2004-2007), Brice Marden has also posted a record performance at auction despite the health crisis. At 82, he is one of the top 10 most successful living artists by auction turnover.

The sudden infatuation of collectors (that began in 2019) for the work of 43-year-old American painter Eddie Martinez has continued unabated this year with 53 works already sold at auction, including five at over half a million dollars. Demand for his work has clearly been resistant to the health crisis in the USA and to the political and economic crises that have come in its wake.

The strongest price rise…

The name of Matthew Wong burst onto the international art scene on 30 June 2020 when Sotheby’s chose to start its first major New York session of the year, 100% online, with a canvas by this relatively little-known Canadian artist.

Matthew Wong’s career began in Asia in 2014, a few months after graduating from the Hong Kong School of Creative Media. His notoriety culminated in 2019 with a solo show at Massimo de Carlo in Hong Kong (January – March 2019) and then at the Karma gallery in New York (November 2019 – January 2020). Unfortunately the artist committed suicide a few weeks before his American exhibition.

The Realm of Appearance (2018) – an oil on canvas estimated by Sotheby’s at $60,000 – $80,000 – fetched a stunning result of $1,820,000 on 30 June 2020. This remarkable record was confirmed on 7 October when Christie’s sold Matthew Wong’s Shangri-La (2017) for $4,470,000.

The most constant gain (% wise)…

Acquired at Sotheby’s in New York in 2011 for $10,000, Yayoi Kusama’s acrylic on canvas Season Cherry (1978) resold on 16 July 2020 for $106,250 (in the same auction room). The initial investment therefore generated +30% per year on average, over nine years…

The sharp rise in value of this painting perfectly illustrates the evolution of Yayoi Kusama’s prices. According to Artprice auction market data, $100 invested in January 2011 in paintings by the Japanese artist is worth an average of $926 today. Note that the value of Yayoi Kusama’s paintings has grown faster than that of the rest of her work over the past decade.

The rarest work…

Works by the Florentine painter Paolo Uccello are extremely rare at auction. But one of the best works still in private hands was nevertheless consigned this summer after spending 62 years in the same family.

Sotheby’s included the piece in the ultra-prestigious sale Rembrandt to Richter on 28 July 2020 in London. Made in the fifteenth century in Tuscany, the painting was placed between a work on paper by Jean-Michel Basquiat and acrylic on muslin by Keith Haring, both dated from the early 1980s.

The three million dollars fetched by Uccello’s Battle on the Banks of a River far exceeded the expectations of the owner, who had decided to part with this masterpiece at a particularly delicate moment on the art market.

The fastest flip…

In the space of one year, Genieve Figgis’s painting Ladies in the Grass (2015) has been auctioned twice. Acquired for $18,750 in July 2019 at Christie’s in New York, the work was sold for $242,000 on 11 July 2020 at Christie’s in Hong Kong.

French gallery owner Almine Rech discovered Genieve Figgis through Richard Prince, who says he spotted her on Twitter. This new form of Bad Painting, supported by two of the biggest players in the Art Market, has found equal success in Hong Kong, London and New York. The three major capitals of the Contemporary Art Market are in direct competition for paintings by the Irish painter and rapidly escalating her prices.

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Copyright 1987-2020 thierry Ehrmann

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