How Big is Big? Art Market Trends from ArtPrice

Paul_Cézanne,_Les_joueurs_de_carte_(1892-95) Wikipedia

The Card Players by Cezanne sold privately for $250 million. The highest record at auction in 2011 was $57 million.

As you know from the previous post on the Chinese art market, the awaited report on trends in the market is out. As was pointed out recently in Forbes by Abigail Esman, these results ignore transactions in the private market, and hey, there was a pretty big one- a record-setting Cezanne that went for $250 million. Take that Zhang Daqian (and Jackson Pollock).

Here are some other insights provided by the report.

in spite of the sword of Damocles hanging over the West, art in fact sold better in 2011 than at any other time in history with $11.57 billion in total global annual revenue, up $2 billion versus 2010, which already produced the best performance of the decade. This increase was not solely generated by the Chinese market’s 49 percent growth compared with 2010; it represented overall growth… including European.

Today China’s offer in terms of transaction volumes is roughly the same as the UK’s. However, its revenue from that offer is equivalent to double the entire revenue from European art auctions! (China: $4.79B, UK: $2.24 billion).

The combined forces of Christie’s and Sotheby’s represented 47 percent of global art sales in 2011. However in the early years of the millennium they accounted for over 73 percent of global art auction revenue.

Modern art is currently the heart of the global art market. It is the densest (10 times the Old Masters segment in terms of volume) and most profitable segment. Today, China accounts for nearly half the global market of Modern art in revenue terms.

The sale of artworks online has become an irreversible aspect of the modern art market and the sums involved have already reached into 7 figures. In fact, the history of the art market – like all markets – is naturally heading towards the circuits that are the fastest, the least expensive, the most liquid, where the price can be obtained in real-time and where there is a critical mass of participants with – of course – access to transparent information on all prices and indices.

See the full report from Artprice 

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Eric Miller is a web publisher, writer and show promoter. He is a partner in Stripe Specialty Media and Vintage Promotions, LLC which produces the Dallas Vintage Clothing and Jewelry Show, the Texas Art Collector Show and Sale, Vintage Garage Chicago and other events. Eric's public relations work has resulted in placements in the Boston Globe, Maine Antiques Digest, Antiques and the Arts, Antique Trader, the New York Post and elsewhere. His articles have appeared in publications including San Francisco Downtown, InPittsburgh and The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

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