• Fake Currator

The State of the Art Market

Updated: Dec 22, 2018

By: Cole Kennelly

In a recent report released by UBS and Art Basel, the global art economy generated $63.7 billion in total global sales in 2017, up 12% from 2016. This is the first time the global art economy has grown since 2014. Over the past 10 years, global art market sales peaked in 2014 at $68.2 billion.

Who is buying art?

The combined wealth of High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) is a mind-blowing $63.5 trillion. In a survey of 2,245 American millionaires and billionaires, 35% said they collected art and antiques in 2017. Art continues to be a safe haven for the ultra-wealthy in times of political volatility.  

Where is art sold?

In 2017, the auction sector enjoyed the biggest boost in sales, increasing 27% from the previous year. Auction sales previously saw a 31% decrease from 2015 to 2016. As for dealer sales, this sector accounted for 53% of art sales by value in 2017. This figure rose 4% year-over-year. Conversely, art galleries have not been doing so hot.

Which art is selling?

In 2017, sales of art valued at $10 million or greater saw extreme growth, increasing by 125%. While only 0.2% of artists have work that is valued at $10 million or greater, these sales made up 32% of total sales by value.

Post-war and contemporary art accounted for 46% of 2017 art sales. Furthermore, sales of post-war and contemporary art have increased every year since 2011. In second place, modern art made up 27% of art sales in 2017. This figure is up from 23% in 2016. European Old Masters have also been on the rise in the 21st century.

Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi sold in October 2017.

Thus, 2017 was a solid year for the art market, as overall sales were up. Let’s see what the future holds for the art market, as generations continue to evolve and habits shift.

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