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Geographical breakdown of the Art Market

来源:artprice 编辑:采编 时间:2021-03-25 阅读:
导读:After a period of lethargy that gave way to a sharp contraction, the art market has experienced a rebound led by auction houses that managed to pursue their activities throughout the worst of the health crisis. In reality, the results for the year 20

Geographical breakdown of the Art Market

艺术市场的地域细分

After a period of lethargy that gave way to a sharp contraction, the art market has experienced a rebound led by auction houses that managed to pursue their activities throughout the worst of the health crisis. In reality, the results for the year 2020 are extremely encouraging given the unprecedented context.

1-Geographical-breakdown

Key figures

The secondary art market is currently proving to be much more resilient than in previous crises, notably that of 2009 when global Fine Art auction turnover dropped 36%. In 2020, it fell just 21% (down to $10.57 billion), a surprisingly small contraction given the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the Art Market as a whole (galleries, museums, fairs, etc.).

The 2020 contraction was mainly linked to an understandable loss of momentum at the high-end of the art market. From the first lockdown, lots of major collectors decided to postpone their sales until better times.

The result is that more than 500 results above the million-dollar line were absent in 2020 and the number of lots in this category fell by a third compared with 2019. In the West, the results have been greatly affected by a short supply of masterpieces, with a 30% contraction in annual turnover, despite a stable number of transactions. In contrast, China’s turnover rose slightly (+2%) despite a sharp drop in the number of transactions (-40%), thanks to a number of high-level sales during the second half of the year.

Artprice: China has once again become the world’s leading market in 2020, with 39% of the global auction turnover, far exceeding that of the United States (27%). How will China remain in this leading position throughout 2021?
AMMA: Likely, the prosperity of the Chinese art market will continue to increase. Continuous adjustments will be made to develop each segment (category, period and price range) of artworks. Prices of traditional artworks could likely rise or fall, but prices of artworks by young artists should rise even more. Prices of modern and contemporary Chinese artworks, that have already reached their peak, will likely continue to adjust. The odds of seeing very rare traditional Chinese artworks will become lower and lower. Once they appear at auction, their prices will remain high. Therefore, prices of Chinese artworks are very likely to remain stable. The auctioFn scale and the collectors’ enthusiasm in the Chinese art market can only continue to rise. However, the artworks collected by the new generations of collectors will inevitably change. More and more young collectors, born in the 1980s and 1990s, will soon join the art market.

Global turnover

Turnover by country (top 5)

Turnover by country (top 5)

→ Reactions differed from one country to another in this first year of the health crisis. In France, the UK and the United States, turnover dropped between -30% and -39%; but in China (+2%) and Germany (+11%) the figures actually improved, despite a more limited supply. China regained its leading position in the world on the back of some major sales of Old and Modern works in the second half of the year.

Evolution of sold and unsold lots

Evolution of sold and unsold lots

→ In total, 2020 lost 130,000 works from the art supply chain (down 14%) compared with 2019. However, thanks to attractive estimates and strong demand throughout the year, the unsold rate fell to 34% versus 38% in 2019.

Asia and the West

The performance of China’s art market is remarkable: despite a 40% drop in the number of lots sold, its turnover grew 2% to reach $4.16 billion. China therefore accounted for 39% of the global art market in 2020, almost as much as the United States (27%) and the UK (15%) together.

Artprice: The Fine Art auction turnover in China has increased by 2% (from $4.1 billion in 2019 to $4.16 billion in 2020). Under the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic early this year, how can this be explained?
AMMA: There are probably four reasons. First, the strong purchasing power in the art market mainly belongs to a minority of people in society, namely the high-net-worth individuals, whose purchasing power has not been severely affected by the pandemic. Secondly, although the total Fine Art auction turnover has not evolved much compared to 2019, the content of auctions has changed: the most exquisite items were still sold at auction this year, but the volumes of general lots has been severely affected. Thirdly, due to the influence of the pandemic, some collectors who have come under financial stress or needed to adjust their collections have had a propensity to sell some of their works. They have become suppliers of the auction houses and have sometimes offered great masterpieces. Finally and most importantly, due to the policy of printing money in many countries in 2020, art enthusiasts among high-net-worth individuals are willing to turn their cash assets into cultural goods and artworks.

Breakdown of turnover and leading auction houses in Asia (2020)

Breakdown of turnover and leading auction houses in Asia (2020)
Asia: Number 1
The first continent affected by the coronavirus, Asia enjoyed a strong resumption of auction activity during the second half of 2020.
With a cumulative total of nearly $1 billion, Poly International and China Guardian accounted for a third of the market in mainland China. We also note a spectacular breakthrough by Yongle Auction in Beijing, with more than $360 million in revenue.
Sotheby’s was nevertheless the continent’s leading vendor from its salesroom in Hong Kong, taking more than $563 million in 2020, the best Fine Art turnover total in all of Asia. Hong Kong now represents a vital part – almost a quarter – of Sotheby’s global Fine Art turnover.

China’s Fine Art turnover in the past decade

China’s Fine Art turnover in the past decade

→ After a catastrophic first half in China, sales of artworks accelerated considerably in the second semester, ending with a slight increase for the year as a whole versus 2019 (+2%).

Zhu Dunru - Running and Cursive Script Calligraphy

Running and Cursive Script Calligraphy
$22.9 million – 1 December 2020 – China Guardian, Beijing

The West’s leading auction houses: Sotheby’s at the top…

The West’s leading auction houses: Sotheby’s at the top...
After several weeks of uncertainty and adjustment, the majors Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips returned to proposing prestigious artworks at the beginning of the summer of 2020. On 29 June, Sotheby’s sale of a Francis Bacon triptych for $84.5 million substantially restored market confidence.At the end of the year, Sotheby’s still retained a significant lead on the American market and was the leading auctioneer in both the UK and Italy. Number 1 in France, Christie’s, together with Sotheby’s and Artcurial, are the only auction houses in France generating an annual turnover above $5 million. Together, the three houses account for almost two-thirds of the country’s Fine Art auction turnover (61%).In terms of the Western secondary art market as a whole, Sotheby’s and Christie’s account for approximately 60% of the proceeds from sales of artworks (with a combined annual total of $3.7 billion).

Annual auction turnover totals in the West

Annual auction turnover totals in the West

→ The pandemic had a strong impact on the West’s secondary art market (-30%) despite a stable number of lots sold (468,000) compared with 2019. The American market posted the heaviest losses. Its annual result was down $1.8 billion versus the previous year with the number of works fetching over $10 million almost halved in New York (30 vs. 58 in 2019). Following the contraction of its high-end market, the United Kingdom also posted a substantial turnover shortfall (down $653 million).

Two contrasting semesters…

The first lockdown upset the ecosystem of an Art Market dependent on the circulation of visitors, artworks and collectors. The sudden interruption created a substantial economic imbalance between the two halves of the year.

During the first semester, the paralysis (postponements and cancellations) of auctions generated very substantial turnover shortfalls (vs. the year earlier period) of approximately 60% in the West and 91% in China; but a surge in demand was quickly felt. Already at the end of June, Sotheby’s managed to generate $231 million during its Contemporary Art sale, and then $194 million from its De Rembrandt à Richter sale at the end of July. On 7 July Christie’s bounced back with ONE: A Global Sale of the 20th Century that generated close to $300 million. In Hong Kong, the month of July was the most dynamic of the year. During these highlights of the year Sotheby’s sold  Francis BACON ’s Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus for $84.5 million; Christie’s sold Roy LICHTENSTEIN’s Nude with Joyous Painting for $46.2 million and Sotheby’s Hong Kong hammered SAN Yu’s Quatre Nus at $33.3 million. Each of these results represented the artists’ third best-ever sales result.

Monthly turnover in the West (2020)

Monthly turnover in the West (2020)

→ After the initial shock of the pandemic, the autumn and winter sessions became decisive. Fortunately, by then, auctioneers had enough time to react and buyers were once again disposed to submitting generous bids. For example, on 6 October in New York, Christie’s hosted the most profitable sale of the year (20th Century) generating $309 million. In December, the success of its Hong Kong sales of Modern & Contemporary Art produced a new record for “Christie’s Asia” (at $224.7 million). The market’s dynamism was evident until the last days of the year and the momentum propelled the H2 totals beyond those obtained in H2 2019, with a 7% increase in the West and, above all, a 71% increase in China.

Monthly art auction turnover in Hong Kong (2020)

Monthly art auction turnover in Hong Kong (2020)

Artprice: The auction turnover in the second half of 2020 only accounted for 96% of the total annual auction turnover. How did Chinese auction houses complete almost all of the auctions for the entire year in just 6 months?
AMMA: In terms of the Chinese art market’s schedule, long preparations are required for each season’s auctions in advance. Auction houses, whether in China or overseas, completely stopped auctioning off items in the first half of the year, but they were mainly making preparations for the auctions to come in the second half. Therefore, almost all items for the entire year were sold through auctions in the second half of 2020. As the Chinese art market has been in operation for a long time now, the number of consignments and  the total auction turnover have shown great inertia. On the one hand, this reflects the liquidity of the Chinese art market. On the other hand, it shows that many auction houses have made great efforts to mobilise all their available resources in the second half of the year. The pressure has been greater than ever before and their high-intensity workload and relationship with customers has put more stress on them than ever before.

Monthly art auction turnover in New York (2020)

Monthly art auction turnover in New York (2020)

Monthly art auction turnover in Paris (2020)

Monthly art auction turnover in Paris (2020)

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