Artprice's 2018 Annual Art Market Report: record number of global Fine Art auction transactions since 1945 and greater buyer selectivity...
Fruit of the 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 21st Annual Art Market Report* allows a truly balanced perspective of the global market that covers both the West and the East.
thierry Ehrmann: “By pooling their resources, the two entities can analyse the global Art Market in unprecedented detail, highlighting the intense competition driving the market's global growth and its overall impact. No other organisation is currently capable of producing such high quality macro- and micro-economic metadata generated by Big Data and AI algorithms”.
Caption: (Left to right: WAN Jie - Artron / thierry Ehrmann - Artprice)
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.
Its 18 key 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 Artprice.com.
This 21st Annual Report* on the Global Art Market is distributed exclusively worldwide by Artprice and Cision, who have together set up the world's first press agency dedicated to Art Market news and information – Artpress agency® – an area in which Artprice is world leader.
See Cision's press release to the NYSE https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/artprice-and-cision-enter-distribution-partnership-300770437.html?=prn )
For 120 years Cision (PR Newswire) has been building a global news and information dissemination platform. Today that platform is used by more than 100,000 major clients in the financial sphere and it reaches approximately 1.8 billion people. With its database of 1.6 million journalists and media across 5 continents, Cision is the world's leading provider of software for the management of public & press relations and the identification of influencers and key media.
Read our 21st Annual Report* on the Global Art Market for free at:
*Public sales of Fine Art: painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, prints, installations. Period analysed: 1 January 2018 - 31 December 2018
The Art Market enters a new era on the back of excellent growth
• Global Fine Art auction turnover reached $15.48 billion over the twelve months of 2018
• 538,000 artworks changed hands at auction in 2018: an absolute record since 1945
• Global turnover was up +4%, for a third consecutive year of expansion
• David Hockney became the world's most valued living artist (with a result of $79.77 million)
• Jenny Saville became the world's most valued living female artist ($12.49 million)
• The unsold rate remained stable at 36% in the West
• In China, the unsold rate dropped significantly by 14 points
• The Artprice100© index of blue-chip artists showed a +4.3% progression
• The US (up +18%) and the United Kingdom (up +12%) drove Western growth
• The US was again the world's leading market with $5.8 billion (37.9% of global turnover)
• China is in second place with $4.5 billion
• France was 4th with 4.5% of global turnover ($694 million), down 10% vs. 2017
• Christie's remained the world's leading Fine Art auction operator, with $5 billion, ahead of Sotheby's with $3.9 billion
• In China, Poly Auction ($654 million) outperformed China Guardian ($606 million)
• Phillips ranked 4th in the global ranking of Fine Art auction operators with $653 million
• Christie's (up +13%), Sotheby's (up +16%) and Phillips (up +39%) all posted progressions
• In Europe, the German auctioneer Dorotheum posted $79 million and the French company Artcurial posted $76 million
· Modern Art dominates the high-end market with 8 of the Top-10 results
· 159 European artists ranked in the Top 500, versus 153 Asian and 93 North American
· Abstract art reached new heights with Malevich, Zao Wou-Ki, Soulages, Motherwell, etc.
· African American Art in the spotlight with Kerry James Marshall (# 67) and N.A. Crosby (# 426)
· Female artists in vogue with records for Joan Mitchell, Cecily Brown, Jenny Saville, etc.
· Repeat sales* generated an average annual return ranging from +6.2% to +8.2%
· Works bought from $200,000 to $1 million generate the highest annual return: + 8.2%
*The same work bought at auction and resold at auction during 2018
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.
In 2000, the global Art Market posted a global auction turnover of $3.2 billion. In 2018, the figure was $15.48 billion, up 380% versus 2000.
The strength of the Art Market is related to its unparalleled level of selectivity over the past twelve years, very much in line with Artprice's dictum “Buy the right work, from the right period, with a good story, by the right artist, at the right time.”
The formula is simple but exceptionally efficient and explains the Western market's almost “perfect” unsold rate of 36%.
Let's not forget that the unsold rate has acted as a key benchmark for 120 years, indicating whether the market is in speculative mode (unsold rate under 20%) or in free fall (above 60%). According to the famous Art Market sociologist, Raymonde Moulin, 36% is the right balance.
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.
Driven by a healthy combination of investment logic, speculative buying, passionate collecting and insatiable demand for major signatures to ‘populate' the world's new museums, the global Art Market posted a dynamic level of activity in 2018 with 538,000 transactions, the highest annual figure since 1945, despite the relative stagnation of the global economy.
2018's global auction turnover total was very impressive with an overall figure of $15.48 billion.
The drivers of this growth are ease of access to Art Market information, electronic sales (98% of the market's participants are connected to the Internet), the financialization of the market, a growing population of ever-younger art consumers (from 500,000 in the 1950's to 120 million in 2018) and the extension of the market to the entire Asia/Pacific area plus India, South Africa, the Middle East and South America.
A global economic reality in the 21st century, the museum industry® is driving the Art Market.
The growth of the museum industry is also playing a crucial role. With more than 700 new museums opening every year, the museum industry has become a global economic reality in the 21st Century. More museums opened between 2000 and 2014 than in the previous two centuries.
This demand for museum-quality works is one of the key factors in the spectacular growth of the Art Market which is now a mature and liquid market offering returns of 8% per year on works purchased over $200,000.
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.
Similarly, in 2018 Chinese artists accounted for 26.2% of the artists in our Top 500 ranking illustrating China's strength vis-à-vis the United States, which account for just 17.4%. Apart from American and Chinese artists, Europeans account for 45.4% of the Top 500 artists and other nationalities account for 11%, including Africans (1.2%), Latin Americans (1.6%) and Asians from outside China (6.6%).
In view of these macro and micro-economic data, the Art Market has successfully functioned for 19 years as a safe haven against economic and financial crises, with consistent and recurring returns.
The Artprice100® index (an all-periods global index for Old Master, Modern and Contemporary Art) shows a +380% increase since 2000.
In a context where central banks, particularly the ECB, are implementing close to zero or negative interest rates, the Art Market has enjoyed insolent health with our new Artprice100® index showing a progression of +380% since 2000. These returns are not limited to big name artists.
Our analyses show that the average annual return on artworks purchased above the $20,000 threshold is around +5.5%.
Of the world's 6,300 auction houses, 98% are today present on the Internet (versus just 3% in 2005).
The Internet (Microsoft estimates over 5.3 billion people are connected worldwide) has now become the principal and definitive forum for auction operators worldwide and they are using it to consolidate their market shares on all continents.
The Art Market is fully dematerializing with Blockchain, but also with 5G becoming reality in 2019.
The Art Market will be impacted by Blockchain, a technology that Artprice has already adopted. However, before that reality becomes generalised, 5G (latest generation of cellular mobile communications) represents a major technical revolution via its universal connectivity, and particularly via the connection of objects and machines, which Artprice and its partner Artron are experimenting in Beijing.
In fact, the 5G that is being implemented this year in the US and in Europe has existed for two years in China. The powerful alliance between Artprice and Artron has enabled beta testing of a multitude of key art market services and industrial processes that were unimaginable under 4G.
The Art Market is an efficient, historic and global market with a capacity to withstand economic and geopolitical crises that is now beyond any doubt. Over the last 18 years, it has outperformed the world's principal investment markets by a considerable margin.
Copyright ©2019 thierry Ehrmann – www.artprice.com
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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 700,000 artists. Artprice Images® gives unlimited access to the largest Art Market resource in the world: a library of 126 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 6,300 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. Artprice is preparing its blockchain for the Art Market. It is BPI-labelled (scientific national French label) Artprice's Global Art Market Annual Report for 2018 published last March 2019: https://www.artprice.com/artprice-reports/the-art-market-in-2018
Artprice is associated with Artron Group the Chinese leader in the Art Market, its solid institutional partner.
About the Artron Group:
“Artron Art Group (Artron), a comprehensive cultural industrial group founded in 1993 by Wan jie, is committed to inheriting, enhancing and spreading art value. Based on abundant art data, Artron provides art industry and art fans with professional service and experience of quality products by integrated application of IT, advanced digital science and innovative crafts and materials.
Having produced more than 60,000 books and auction catalogues, Artron is the world's largest art book printer with a total print volume of 300 million a year. It has more than 3 million professional members in the arts sector and an average of 15 million daily visits, making it the world's leading art website.”
Artron's Web: www.Artron.net
Artprice's Contemporary Art Market Annual Report for 2017 - free access at:
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