5 Quick Takeaways From the Artnet Intelligence Report

These vital insights for gallerists are found in the newest edition of the Intelligence Report.

Jussi Pylkkänen selling the top lot of Christie's 20th Century evening sale, Monet's, Le bassin aux nymphéas for $74 million.

Artnet’s biannual Intelligence Report provides an invaluable analysis of the state of the art market, illuminating the many sides of this dynamic industry and offering insights into what might be to come.

In The Intelligence Report, The Year Ahead 2024, you will find out what artists were the most searched for in Artnet’s Price Database, how and where the art market has surged or dipped, and which were the top lots at auction across every major category.

To give you a glimpse into the latest edition, we’ve rounded up five key takeaways for gallerists and collectors alike. To delve deeper, read the report in full here.


1. Revenue declined 40 percent for artworks $10 million and over

Overall, the $10 million+ sector of the market dropped $2 billion compared to last year, with a significant contraction in the market for big-ticket artworks. 

2. 1,666 artists made their debut at auction

The auction circuit saw a plethora of new faces last year, and what makes this trend even more interesting is that only 2.2 percent of these premier entrants failed to find a buyer across Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips. The ratio suggests that bidders aren’t broadly shying away from untested artists, and there’s appetite for up-and-comers. 

An auction house employee holds a painting in front of his face, depicting a character wiht oversized ears and cartoon eyes.

George Condo’s Lord Jim goes on view at Sotheby’s in London ahead of a slew of auctions in April, 2023. Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Sotheby’s.

3. Searches for contemporary artists overtook searches from those within the Impressionist and Modern categories

Imp-Mod artists have long maintained dominance in Artnet Price Database searches, and while many of the list’s mainstays remain consistent—such as Marc Chagall and Pablo Picasso—there has been a surge in searches for contemporary artists like Yayoi Kusama and George Condo. A combination of diminishing interest and, perhaps more importantly, supply of Imp-Mod masters like Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Edgar Degas is contributing to the trend. 

4. The ultra-contemporary art market is showing signs of resilience

Ultra-contemporary art is defined as work made by artists born after 1974. For several years now, there has been speculation on whether the market in this category would stay strong. Despite some fluctuation, the sector has shown only a slight dip, with the top ten lots sold at auction meeting or exceeding expectations. 

Julie Mehretu, Untitled (2001). Image courtesy Sotheby’s.

Julie Mehretu, Untitled (2001). Image courtesy Sotheby’s.

5. Two women cracked the top ten list for contemporary art

For the very first time since the Intelligence Report was first launched, two women artists made the top 10 auction lots sold in 2023: Julie Mehretu and Jenny Saville. Though Jean-Michel Basquiat continues to dominate—having six of the 10 most expensive works sold—Saville and Mehretu show exciting opportunities for the contemporary category.


read the report

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