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 Artmarket.com 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.
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Artmarket and its Artprice department was founded in 1997 by its CEO, thierry Ehrmann. Artmarket and its Artprice department is controlled by Groupe Serveur, created in 1987.
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Artmarket is a global player in the Art Market with, among other structures, its Artprice department, world leader in the accumulation, management and exploitation of historical and current art market information in databanks containing over 30 million indices and auction results, covering more than 770,000 artists.
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