Artprice: the 2010 Art Market Annual Report - China Winner of the Past Decade

Monday, April 4, 2011

PARIS, April 5, 2011 - During the past decade, two strong trends have emerged:
firstly, as per the words of Thierry Ehrmann, the Ceo and founder of
Artprice, the world leader in art market information, "we have seen a
veritable revolution in the geopolitics of the global art market… Over the
last 10 years, China jumped from ninth place to first place in 2010, becoming
the world's largest auction marketplace for Fine Art and overtaking the
United States
and the UK, the grand masters of the market since the 1950s."
France, constantly loosing competitiveness year after year, comes out the big
looser of the past decade, as shown by delay in implementing the auction
reform required for 28 Dec. 2009 by the European Directive, and by the Drouot
scandal, which is an ongoing judicial saga.

The second strong trend in the year 2010 is the unanimous
statement by art market players that an unprecedented mutation has affected
the commerce of art. The market's very structure has changed, with the
evolution of Internet and its 2 billion and a half users who have triggered
the dramatic acceleration of online art sales. The competition generated by
the more than 260 art fairs organised each year around the world and the
importance of investors and investment funds in the market. The example they
set and the media attention they received was sufficiently strong to make
investment in art a new socio-cultural phenomenon. The assimilation of art to
a financial asset by a minority of investors clearly gave birth to a new
model: that of an "art exchange". China seems to have been a pioneer in this
field as the Chinese government launched in 2009 the Shenzen Cultural Assets
and Equity Exchange (SZCAEE).

The year 2010 was rich in events: after the strong price
inflation between 2004 and 2008 and the severe market contraction from
October 2008 to the summer of 2009, a rapid recovery followed, taking the
market to unprecedented highs. In short… the decade saw a very substantial
acceleration of the market and a considerable shift of its polarity towards

After the previous art market meltdown in 1991, it took 4
years of patience before prices began to recover. This time round it took
only 18 months.

In 2008, after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, China became
the motor of global economic recovery. At the same time, the Chinese
government showed the importance it attributes to art and culture at events
such as the Olympic Games in 2008, the World Expo in Shanghai in 2010 and
with the groundwork performed by the Ministry of Culture and Finance to make
museums free in China. The pride of Chinese culture has also been clearly
expressed by its valuation on world markets. Chinese collectors are regarded
as role models, working for the good of the nation. Indeed, on the back of
the sponsorship and investment patronage of these collectors, Chinese artists
have closed the price gap on Western artists incredibly quickly.

This year, Artprice's annual art market report - based on 5.4
million auction results from 3,600 auction houses around the world and
distributed to over 6,300 media organisations and international institutions
every year in 7 languages - will focus particularly on China's successful
conquest of the global art market. Our 2010 Art Market Trends contain macro-
and micro-economic analyses providing the keys to understanding the annual
evolution of the global auction market. It discusses the major trends in the
market, analysed throughout the year on the ArtMarketInsight page of our
website, by the Artprice press agency and by our Econometrics Department. To
complement this objective appreciation of the art market based on a year of
global auction results, Artprice also offers numerous original rankings such
as the Top 500 artists by auction revenue and the Top 100 auction results of
the year.

Download the entire document in PDF format (free of charge)

(Chinese language available in less than two days)



Roller coaster

Post-War and Contemporary Art in the global market

2010: Renewed competition

A mixed return for Contemporary signatures: the "successes" of
Hirst, Murakami and Koons

China: the new global leader

New York vs Beijing

Catching up on Old Masters and imposing their Contemporary artists

France's place in the art world

Art Market Confidence Index - 2010, a positive year

Twitter: 2010 in 140 characters

Top 10 Artists

Top 100 auction performances in 2010

Top 500 artists by auction revenue in 2010

Source: (c)1987-2011 thierry Ehrmann

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