Artprice 2018 Contemporary Art Market Report

Fellow appraiser Marcus Wardell sent me the link to the new Artprice Contemporary Art Market Report 2018.

All indicators in the report are positive. Below is portion of the synopsis, follow the source link below for the full report complete with analytics, charts and graphs, all very usable if you are working on market reports for contemporary art.

Artprice reports
All indicators are positive
For the first time since the 2008 financial crisis, the Contemporary art Market’s four main health indicators are all positive for the last 12 months (end-June 2017 to end-June 2018):

  • The global auction turnover rose +19%, reaching $1.9 billion
  • The volume of transactions grew +17% with 66,850 Contemporary lots sold
  • The global unsold rate remained stable at 39%
  • The price index of Contemporary art increased by +18.5%

The almost identical increase in the Market’s three main indicators – all three very close to +18% – suggests a rapid, but perfectly balanced, growth of Contemporary art auction sales. Thus, in the past year we have witnessed an almost uniform progression of the market in terms of prices, lots sold and auction turnover.

Much more stable growth
The 66,850 transactions recorded over the 12-month period around the world reflect an unprecedented level of activity on the global Contemporary art Market. The number of auction transactions has increased 5.5x since 2000/2001 while the segment’s total auction turnover has risen +1,744% from $103 million to $1.9 billion. The average price of a successfully auctioned Contemporary artwork has risen from $8,400 at the turn of the 21st century to $28,000 today, after peaking at $38,800 in 2013/2014.
Five years ago the Contemporary art Market was in overheat mode. Collectors were paying unprecedented amounts for works by a whole new generation of artists, including Oscar MURILLO, Lucien SMITH, Christian ROSA, Tauba AUERBACH and Parker ITO. However, since then, all these artists have struggled to maintain the price levels they reached so quickly. Many of Contemporary art’s established stars also enjoyed spectacular auction records in 2013/2014 (especially in New York and Hong Kong) that are substantially higher than the prices they have generated since then: Jeff Koons ($58.4 million), Zheng Fanzhi ($23.3 million), Zhang Xiaogang ($12 million), Wade GUYTON ($6 million), Rosemarie TROCKEL ($5 million), etc.

The subsequent restructuring of the Contemporary art Market lasted roughly three years and has given the market a much stronger foundation. Prices are definitely rising again, but so too is supply, providing a more relevant choice of works. At 39%, the perfectly stable unsold rate guarantees a balanced market. The fact that Jeff Koons posted his best result since 2014 (and the 3rd best of year) is a clear sign that the Market has returned to growth and that collectors’ confidence is at an optimum level.

Contemporary Art’s new place in the Art Market
Contemporary art represents 14% of the total number of Fine Art auction transactions around the world, generating 12% of the world’s Fine Art auction turnover. Its share is now larger than both the Old Masters and the 19th Century art segments, both in terms of turnover and transactions. However, Contemporary art is still a long way behind Post-war art and Modern art, which together account for 68% of the overall value of the Art Market.

The Contemporary art Market also enjoys an increasingly diversified offer with 20,335 artists born after 1945 having registered at least one auction result over the last 12 months. This is almost five times more than in 2000/2001 (4,100 Contemporary artists) and 18% more than in 2013/2014.

The majority of artists (53%) have only one transaction in the 2017/2018 period, like the Indonesian Saputra HANDIWIRMAN, represented by the ARNDT gallery, who sold only one painting this year at auction, although it reached the excellent price of $318,600. On the other hand, several Contemporary artists post a particularly high number of auction results for the last 12 months:

  • 92 paintings by Robert COMBAS
  • 187 sculptures by KAWS
  • 158 drawings by Peter HOWSON
  • 106 photographs by Robert MAPPLETHORPE
  • 626 prints by Shepard FAIREY

The markets of the most auctioned artists usually include a large number of affordable works. Every year a number of small paintings by Robert Combas are offered for under $5,000 and polaroids by Nobuyoshi ARAKI are still sold for less than $1,000.

Overall, the price structure of the Contemporary art segment is increasingly resembling that of the rest of the Art Market. Ninety percent of Contemporary artworks sold below $22,400 (including buyer’s fees) and works sold above the $100,000 threshold represent just 3% of transactions.
Source: Artprice

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