By the Numbers: The Art Market Reality Check Has Arrived Halfway Through 2023
Find out exactly how much the art market has contracted so far this year.
This article is part of the Artnet Intelligence Report Mid-Year Review 2023. Marking five years of our biannual Intelligence Reports, this inaugural half-year edition paints a data-driven picture of today’s art world, from the latest market results to the artists and artworks leading the conversation. Read the full report here.
The total (USD) spent on fine art at auction between January 1 and May 20—down 14 percent from the equivalent period in 2022.
The sum (USD) spent on fine art at auction in the United States in the first five months of 2023, through May 20—considerably more than any other country.
The amount of money (USD) spent on ultra-contemporary art—our term for work by artists born after 1974—at auction by May 20, 2023. That’s down more than 25 percent from the same period in 2022.
The number of women among the 100 top-selling fine artists at auction in the first five months of 2023. That’s fewer than last year—but for the first time, more than one woman managed to crack the top 20.
The average price (USD) of a fine artwork sold at auction in the first five months of the year, down 6 percent from 2022.
The decline in revenue from online-only sales at Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Phillips, Bonhams, and Artnet Auctions in the first five months of the year. The total remains more than 300 percent higher than in 2019, before the pandemic changed the game for online sales for good.
The dip so far in total sales generated by the Big Three auction houses —Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips—year over year.
The decline in revenue from the highest-end artworks at auction. In the first five months of 2022, works priced at $10 million and up generated a total of $2.4 billion. But as the extraordinary material that piled up during the pandemic began to dwindle, sales in this top price bracket slumped to $1.2 billion.
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