Top 5 Findings about the Global Art Market

11 July 2022

Top 5 Findings about the Global Art Market

Buyers and sellers have been doing their best to carry the market beyond pre-pandemic levels. We can see this during the recent sales season as well as in the Art Basel & UBS Art Market 2022, which is one of the most reliable sources when it comes to the yearly assessment of the global art market.

  1. The pandemic may even have had a positive impact on the art market!
  2. The pandemic may even have had a positive impact on the art market!

Even though some pandemic measures had been in operation throughout some periods of 2021, the turnover underlines the resilience of the market compared to the pre-pandemic figures. Dealers and auction houses have reported a total of $65.1 billion in global sales of art and antiques. This overall figure was achieved in response to the pressure on many art market players to rethink and redesign the existing digitalization tools and strategies.

  1. China has been gaining momentum at the expense of the UK.

While the US remains the leading country with record sales in New York, China surpassed the UK to become the second largest market with a remarkable growth of 35% (the equivalent of $13.4 billion). These three countries were responsible for approximately 80% of the total sale in the entire world. France, Germany, Switzerland, and Spain followed with considerable market shares, whereas the rest of the world constituted around only 8% of the global market share.

  1. NFT is integrating into the market.

The online market, which includes auctions, viewing rooms and sales through various e-commerce platforms, expanded rapidly. 74% of collectors bought art-based NFTs in 2021 at an average cost of $9,000. More than half of the collectors based in Taiwan (71%), Singapore (62%) and the UK (61%) declared their intention to buy NFTs in the coming year.

  1. Post-War and Contemporary art is still leading the fine art category at auctions.

Post-War and Contemporary art had the largest fine art auction market share (55%); this included the sales of the most sought-after artworks with very high prices. Jean-Michel Basquiat was the top-selling artist of the year. Impressionist and Modern art was the next best selling category (37%), followed by Old Masters (8%). Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and Sandro Botticelli were the highest-priced artists of the year in each category, respectively.

  1. Collectors´ fever was hitting the ceiling during the pandemic.

The volume of spending grew despite the economic recession stemming from the pandemic. The single quarter individual purchase by 2,339 collectors was more than $1 million on art and antiques. Those with the high spending levels came from China (44%), Germany (38%), and France & the US (36%). In terms of technique, these collectors mostly purchased paintings, sculptures, and works on paper (47%), prints, editions, and photography (19%), and digital art (17%).

Ending on a high note, the best finding concerns the philanthropic activities of high-network collectors. There is a 13% increase of stated intent to donate artwork to museums, which transforms all those private sales into a priceless contribution to the public good.

Written by Busra Hasboyaci, EduArt Experience Correspondent from London.