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Near-Record Breaking Art Auction Sales

Monday 03rd March 2014

The art world has always been the home of the truly eye-popping auction piece. Whether it's a 700 year old Ming Dynasty vase selling for millions of dollars or a Van Gogh selling for tens of millions, these incredibly high prices have been commonplace for quite some time. That is, of course, until the global financial collapse in 2008 that depressed economic markets around the world in virtually every sector. Typically, because those who are buying these fantastically valuable items are inherently the extremely wealthy, the art auction market is typically a bit more robust when it comes to financial downtowns, but in 2008 auction prices and auction volumes took a serious hit.

In 2007, just one year before the bottom fell out of the financial sector and everyone took a tumble, the global art auction market had reached its pinnacle, with a staggering 48 billion euros in sales and auctions taking place. The market bottomed out in 2009, when it reached a low point of 28.6 billion euros, an incredible. Some analysts point out that this was actually nothing more than a return to the numbers posted in the early 2000s, and that the boom years of 2006 and 2007 were nothing more than an 'art bubble', something akin to a real estate bubble.

However, the last 3 years seem to have proven those pundits wrong, as the market rebounded in 2010 and has been on the rise since. Naturally, there are variations in sales within individual nations around the world, but the United States showed a whopping 25% increase in sales, snagging an equally impressive 38% of the sales around the world, up 5% since 2012. New York, unsurprisingly, is the centre of these sales, but buyers fly in from around the world to make purchases there. American artists are also at the forefront of the sales, with record sale valuations being posted for works by famous American pop-art pioneers Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein in the years since the bubble had seemed to burst, back in 2009.

It will be interesting to see the possible effects on the stylistic choices that are made by artists hoping to capitalize on these trends, in an effort to predict the next big popular art movement. Now that the old post-modern refrain 'everything's been done before' has proven false by its very nature, a whole new world of artistic possibilities are being explored.

Posted on March 03rd 2014 on 05:51pm

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