The Contemporary Art Market report 2019

Fine Art auctions – painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, prints, installation & video

Editorial by thierry Ehrmann, Founder/CEO of Artprice by Art Market

In commercial terms, the trade in Contemporary artworks is today a veritable market within a market. Our 21st Contemporary Art Market Report focuses on the over 70,000 Contemporary works now bought and sold annually at auctions around the world. This is almost the same number as for the entire Art Market in the early 1990s.

General synopsis

Driven by growing demand, the total volume of auction turnover generated by the Contemporary Art auction segment worldwide has doubled over the past decade with the recent figures showing strong sales right across the segment’s price spectrum. 

The geo-politics of the Contemporary Art market

The USA remains the market’s primary growth engine although the Asian market is growing and diversifying, led by Hong Kong, which is building bridges between Asia and the West.

The best auction houses

Racing to capture works by ‘star’ artists… the quest for global market coverage… permanent strategic adaptation… these are some of the keys to the success of the top three auction companies: Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips.

The top-selling artists

Driven by solid international demand, American artists dominate the high-end market, followed by Chinese artists supported by their effervescent domestic market.

African artists breaking through

After 20 years of more or less successful attempts, African creation is finally capturing the hearts and minds of international collectors. A new era is starting for Contemporary African art which has now established firm outlets in places like Venice and New York.

Top 100 Contemporary Artworks

Top 100 Contemporary Artworks Auction Performances (July 2017 – June 2018)

Top 500 Contemporary Artists

Top 500 Contemporary Artists by Auction Turnover