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
Our 14th Global Art Market Annual Report is once again the fruit of an alliance between Artprice (world leader in Art Market information, founded and directed by thierry Ehrmann) and Artron (its powerful Chinese institutional partner, directed by Wan Jie). Our latest Report allows a lucid and insightful appreciation of the realities of today's art market from both a Western and an Eastern viewpoint.
By pooling their resources, the two entities produce a pertinent, useful and, above all, genuinely global appraisal of the art market's health and trends. The intense level of competition between the market's major players is just one of the many perspectives that this report brings to light.
The Report contains Artprice's now-famous Top-500 ranking of artists by annual auction turnover, the market's top 100 auction results, a selection of market indices, as well as numerous detailed analyses per country, per market-hub, per creative period and per artistic medium. Its 21 chapters provide an uncompromising and unprecedented analysis of today's global Art Market. The Report can be downloaded in .pdf format free of charge at:
Fuelled by a dynamic cocktail of investment logic, speculation, collection-passion and the new museum industry's insatiable demand for the world's most sought-after signatures, the global secondary Art Market displayed remarkable stability in 2015 despite unfavourable economic and financial conditions. Total turnover for the year amounted to $16.1 billion, with the West generating the same total as 2014, i.e. $11.2 billion.
Apart from access to reliable art market information, the driving forces in today's art market are the rapid proliferation of online art sales (with 95% of the Art Market's players connected), the emergence of art as a reliable and interesting asset class, the massive growth of the art-consuming population (from roughly half a million in 1945 to around 70 million in 2015), the accession to the market of a much younger generation and an expansion of the market to Asia, the Pacific Rim, India, South Africa, the Middle East and South America.
It is also being driven by a museum growth phenomenon (700 new museums per year) with the global museum industry becoming a significant economic reality in the 21st century and more museums opening between 2000 and 2014 than during the entire 19th and 20th centuries. Indeed, demand for museum-quality artworks is clearly one of the primary value drivers at the high end of the global art market. Both mature and liquid, the art market now offers yields of 10% to 15% per year for works valued at over $100,000.
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.
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Artprice is the global leader in art price and art index databanks. It has over 30 million indices and auction results covering more than 604,000 artists. Artprice Images(R) gives unlimited access to the largest Art Market resource in the world: a library of 118 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 7,200 international press publications. For its 4,500 000 members, Artprice gives access to the world's leading Standardised Marketplace for buying and selling art.
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The 2014 Art Market Report contains the famous Artprice ranking of the world's 500 most sought-after artists, the top 100 auction results, market breakdowns by country and by city, by period and by medium, Artprice indices and 21 chapters that provide an uncompromising analysis of the Art Market. It is available free of charge in PDF format at http://imgpublic.artprice.com/pdf/rama2014_en.pdf
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