The Art Angle Podcast: Why the Art Market’s Struggles Spell Opportunity
Lessons from the latest edition of Artnet's Intelligence Report.
Welcome to the Art Angle, a podcast from Artnet News that delves into the places where the art world meets the real world, bringing each week’s biggest story down to earth. Join us every week for an in-depth look at what matters most in museums, the art market, and much more, with input from our own writers and editors, as well as artists, curators, and other top experts in the field.
So… how is the art market doing these days?
If you want to know the answer, you’re in luck, because the latest issue of Artnet’s biannual Intelligence Report just dropped. It’s a special edition, marking the five-year anniversary of the report, which we debuted back in 2018 as a way of fusing Artnet’s unparalleled market data with the industry-leading abilities of our market journalists.
Unfortunately, the findings this time around are less than festive—in fact, the art market has taken a major hit this year.
To quickly review a few bracing data points collected between January 1 and May 20 of this year—auction sales of trophy lots $10 million dollars and above plummeted 51 percent compared to the equivalent period last year; the fine-art auction market as a whole tumbled 14 percent, to $5 billion dollars worldwide; and, tellingly, the much-speculated-upon Ultra Contemporary art sector of work by artists born after 1974 fell down by 26 percent.
After years of steady growth in the market, these are very troubling numbers—and if you’re an auction house, or an auction consigner, you may be a little freaked out right now.
So what does this mean? Should art professionals be panicking in the streets? Or should they be doing something else… and maybe making a lot of money in the process?
Recently these questions were at the heart of a live conversation, exclusive for Artnet Pro members, that editor in chief Andrew Goldstein conducted with the Art Detective columnist herself, senior reporter Katya Kazakina, based on Katya’s tour-de-force cover story on the state of the art business in the new Intelligence Report, available to read in full here.
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