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  Communiqué de la société ARTPRICE du 14/10/2014

  14/10/2014 - 12:40

Artprice turns the spotlight on FIAC 2014

Artprice turns the spotlight on FIAC 2014

The FIAC is one of the world's leading fairs for contemporary art. The 41st edition of this key global event continues its march in the face of increasingly fierce competition.

This year, some 191 galleries from 26 different countries will be gathering together at the Grand Palais. FIAC 2013 featured 129 exhibitors from 25 countries (including 55 from France) and welcomed 73,000 visitors over the five days of the fair.

The exhibitors have already revealed the names of the artists they will be presenting. Artprice now delves into the details of what visitors can expect to see at this latest edition of the fair (see link):

The works of 1,451 artists will be exhibited in the main hall and its adjacent rooms. They include prestigious names such as Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon and Gerhard Richter, with works estimated in millions of euros. When we compare this list with the Top 500 of contemporary artists recently published by Artprice in its Annual Report on the Contemporary Art Market (see link):

We see that 145 of these visual artists are among the most sought-after in the world, and the public will be able to view their works by simply strolling through the aisles of the Grand Palais. The top five names in this ranking will of course be represented: Jean-Basquiat, Jeff Koons, Christopher Wool, Peter Doig and even Chinese artist Zeng Fanzhi. These artists each have an auction record of over €10 million.

A glance at the Top 500 soon reveals that a large number of Chinese artists are missing. This year there will be no works by Luo Zhongli, Chen Yifei or even Zhang Xiadong, although they made it into our Top 10 of contemporary artists.

This is because they are much more popular in Asia (China and Hong Kong) than in the West. The two markets are still relatively autonomous, and it is very rare for artists to battle successfully on both fronts.

For example, 99% of Zeng Fanzhi's turnover from public sales comes from China, while 99% of Jean-Michel Basquiat's sales are made in the USA, UK and France. As a result, Chinese artists make up less than 3% of the artists exhibited at the Grand Palais, despite the fact that they produce 40% of sales revenues for contemporary art.

According to Artprice, China will again move ahead this year with revenues in excess of €601 million, or 40% of the global market, compared to €552 million for the USA. These two strongholds of the market generate almost 78% of global receipts for contemporary art. The UK takes third place with €231 million, and France trails a poor fourth at just €26.3 million.

Contrary to certain expectations, the most strongly represented nation at FIAC 2014 will not be France, but the USA (obviously), which provides 25% of the artists exhibited. With less than half this total, France comes in third place with 11.4%, behind Germany with 11.7%. It is followed by the UK (9.1%), Italy (3.3%), Switzerland (2.9%), Belgium (2.8%) and finally China (2.7%), among 84 nationalities in all.

Well-known French artists who will not be represented include Robert Combas, Richard Orlinski and Philippe Pasqua. In fact, not one of the eight contemporary French artists included in our Top 500 will be featured at this 41st FIAC.

Some artists will be exhibited simultaneously by a number of galleries, and the most ubiquitous artist is none other than the great Pablo Picasso. The most famous artist of the 20th century will be shown by nine different galleries. This might seem a little excessive for a show dedicated to Contemporary Art.

The Spanish artist, who was born in 1881 and died in 1973, produced his most important work before the Second World War – for example, Guernica (1937). There are some other surprising names on the list, such as Vassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) and Edvard Munch (1862-1944). Can these major visionaries really still be thought of as contemporary artists?

Or is there another (commercial) reason for the intrusive presence at the fair of so many works by these great masters? Of course the definition of artistic periods – particularly Contemporary Art – remains relatively vague, and perhaps intentionally so. Experts find it difficult to agree on criteria for affiliation or specific dates.

Some use the year a work was created as the sole reference, despite the fact that this is often unclear or misleading. Others think it should be restricted to living artists. At, we have chosen to use the objective, unchanging criterion of the artist's date of birth.

Over 80% of the artists on show at the FIAC are still alive, and their average age is 51. The doyenne of the show is Cuban artist Carmen Herrera (born 1915), exhibited by London's Lisson Gallery. The youngest in the show are just 25 years old: Lucien Smith at the Skarstedt Gallery and Phillip Timischl at Neue Atle Brucke.

Only 54 of the artists announced are under 30. But these include names that have had considerable success in the salerooms over recent months, such as Oscar Murillo, Jacob Kassay, Ryan Sullivan and Hugh Scott-Douglas.

The last word goes to Thierry Ehrmann, chairman and founder of Artprice: "This 41st FIAC is opening under the best possible auspices."

According to Artprice's Annual Report on the Contemporary Art Market, published just a few days ago, revenues from public sales of contemporary art (artists born after 1945) have exceeded $2.046 billion (€1.5 billion): an increase of 40% compared with the previous period (+34.3% in euros), making it the best year in its history.

Over the decade, turnover has grown by 1,078% and prices by 70%.

About Artprice:

Artprice is the global leader in art price and art index databanks. It has over 30 million indices and auction results covering more than 550,000 artists around the world. Artprice Images(R) gives unlimited access to the largest Art Market resource in the world: a library of 108 million images or prints of artworks from the year 1700 to the present day, along with comments by Artprice's art historians.

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. For its 3,200,000 members (members log in), Artprice gives access to ads posted by members. This space represents the world's leading Standardised Marketplace® for buying and selling art. These sales take place under two systems: either fixed price sales or auction-sales (regulated by paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article L 321.3 of the French Code of Commerce).

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