Daily Management Review

Artprice: analyzing 20 years of contemporary art


The French database attests to contemporary art’s encroachment on the auction market over two decades.

The new Artprice report (75 pages, including around 50 of analysis) confirms that contemporary art is the market’s most buoyant sector. Relatively non-existent at the beginning of the new millennium, contemporary art has transformed the market, its geographic balance, auctions and even the sociology of collectors. Nothing seems to stand in its way. Sales rose by 200% from less than $100,000,000 in 2000 to nearly two billion in 2019, although that is below the $2.4 billion peak reached in 2014. In all, $22.7 billion were exchanged for these works over two decades and the sector’s share of the auction market rose from just 3% of the total in 2000 to 15%. This growth involves not just sales figures but also the amount of lots sold (multiplied by 10, 123,000 works presented in 2019), the number of active countries (doubled) and the average price (+240%, $25,000). The number of operators rose from 470 to 840. Even commissions have “progressed”, reaching 20% of the hammer price (14% in 2000). Read more