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The Art Price Report is now available online and we have selected a few parts of this exhaustive and important report that must to be read (in its integrity) by all the people connected with the art world. Created by Art Price, this 21st annual Contemporary Art Market Report confirms the positive trend of contemporary art. 

Indeed, driven by a new phase of growth in 2018/19, the Contemporary art market generated $1.89 billion, which is its third-best performance in auction history after totals of more than $2 billion in 2013/14 and 2014/15. One of the most remarkable developments this past year was the record number of lots sold: 71,400, an average of 195 works per day. This total has risen by 131% in the past ten years and by 480% since 2000. 

Related articles: Why Investing In Art Is a Good Idea-4 Most Expensive Artworks by Living Artists-The History of Art Auction:Three things you didn't know

Contemporary Art now accounts for 15% of the global secondary Art Market compared to only 3% in 2000. It is now the third-largest period of creation by global auction turnover ($1.89 billion) behind Modern Art (43%) and Post-War Art (24%). Much more dynamic than 19th Century Art and the Old Masters segment, the Contemporary Art market represents a land of inexhaustible discoveries, constantly fueled by new works.

The constant growth of the Contemporary Art segment is being driven by a spectrum of different factors including the emergence of a whole new generation of art collectors. This phenomenon may well be responsible for the recent promotion (sharp price increase) of certain works created in the 2nd half of the 20th century to the rank of “classic” masterpieces. Meanwhile, art created by artists still alive today is becoming more expensive and the renewal of their auction records has accelerated. The record for a living artist has been beaten twice in recent months. First for the British artist David HOCKNEY (born 1937) whose canvas Portrait of an Artist fetched $90.3 million on 15 November 2018 at Christie’s, and then for a sculpture by Jeff KOONS (Rabbit) which fetched over $91 million on 15 May 2019. 

Read more about the last art auction at Christie's London: Unicredit Group sells part of its huge art collection!

64% of Contemporary Art auction turnover from 50 artists. Since the main players in the Contemporary Art market are the United States, the United Kingdom and China, the artists from these countries are naturally the most sought-after on the global auction market: 71 of the top 100 performing artists in terms of annual turnover are American, British or Chinese. Despite the fact that contemporary art is a diversified market, it remains relegated to a few names. The three economic pillars of the global Contemporary Art market are Basquiat, Koons and Kaws. They alone account for 19% of the segment’s global auction turnover, with sales of their works (more than 900) generating $362.7 million in the 12-month period (2018/19). 

Top 10 Most Expensive Paintings Ever Sold At Auction - How Basquiat Became the Top-Selling American Artist-51 Most Popular Contemporary Artists

About the gender issue, only 12 women are among the top 100 contemporary artists classified by auction turnover in 2018-2019, while only the 4% of them are among the top 100 results of contemporary art auctions: in first place Jenny Saville followed by Cecily Brown and Julie Mehretu. Meanwhile, the interest for African artists seems to be growing a lot, especially in the last two years. Among the most prominent names we can mention El Anatsui (whose work is at the first Ghana pavilion at the Venice Biennale) and also  Ibrahim Mahama, Felicia Abbas, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, John Akomfrah, Selasi Awusi Sosu and then Chéri SAMBA with half of the ten best results achieved in the "African Art Sales".

Finally, about art auctions... Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips account for 70% of the Contemporary art market by turnover, from just 10% of the lots sold. At a global level, they don’t sell much… but what they do sell fetches high prices. They hammered 85 of the top 100 auction results in 2018/2019.

Cover image: Banksy – Happy Chopper (2003), Print, 67 x 47 cm, Ed. 150, © Banksy, $66,000, SBI Art Auction, Tokyo, 3 November 2018.

 

Stay Tuned on Kooness magazine for more exciting news from the art world. 

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