Introducing: The artnet Intelligence Report, Spring 2019 Edition

From a deep dive into the KAWS phenomenon to an analysis of global auction sales, here are some highlights of our report.

Meet the spring 2019 edition of artnet Intelligence.

[Click here to download the full report]

Welcome to our second artnet Intelligence Report, where we provide critical insight into the art market through unparalleled data, reporting, and storytelling. Here, we drill down into the fact that art is never divorced from commerce, politics, or economics—much as we might like to think otherwise. In this issue, we explore the effects of China’s economic quake on the art market and uncover the powerful forces behind the craze for street artist-turned-global phenomenon KAWS. We also offer advice on how to best leverage your art collection during a recession and how to collect the rising stars participating in this year’s Venice Biennale.

Above all, this report explores how data—compiled here in close and creative partnership with the indispensable artnet Price Database team—can offer valuable tools to help us better understand the past, prepare for the future, and appreciate the art of our time along the way.

[Click here to download the full report]




– The Art Market by the Numbers
• Total auction sales around the globe
• Why you’re paying more for art
• Expert predictions for 2019

– The Best-Seller Lists
• The top 10 lots of 2018 in every major category

– Does the Future of the Art Market Look Like… KAWS? by Eileen Kinsella
How a New Jersey-born graffiti artist subverted almost every art-market norm to become a global phenomenon

– A Buyer’s Guide to the Venice Biennale by Melanie Gerlis
What you need to know when shopping for the show’s most desirable artists

– What to Expect in the Art Market When You’re Expecting a Recession by Tim Schneider
Three lessons we learned from the 2008 market crash—and what it means for the future

– Ahh… a Refreshing Data Dive by Julia Halperin
We pull together exclusive data gathered from the artnet Price Database about the market’s performance in 2018—and speak to experts about what it all means

– Which Artists Will Go Blue-Chip in 2019?
A look at the most bankable artists in each major category




• $5.95 billion was spent on postwar and contemporary art at auction worldwide in 2018—a 15 percent increase from 2017—while $19.3 billion was spent on all fine art, design, and decorative art at auction.

• North America vastly outpaced every other continent in total sales last year, generating $7.2 billion in auction revenue for fine art and design. Works for sale in North America were also more likely to find buyers.

• Americans dominate our list of top-selling artists at auction in 2018, representing a full quarter of the group. Chinese artists are close behind, with a 20 percent share.

• Andy Warhol has been dethroned: The French-Chinese painter Zao Wou-Ki displaced the Pop pioneer as the top-selling postwar artist last year, generating a total of $328 million at auction in 2018.

• Picasso is in a league of his own, with $754.4 million worth of art sold in 2018—more than double the total generated by runner-up Claude Monet.

• Since 2013, the top two segments of the market—composed of works priced from $1 million to just under $10 million, and $10 million and up—have grown, while lower-priced segments have shrunk.

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