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2020 Global Contemporary Art Market Report

18 Feb 2021, 08:00

In recent years, the works of contemporary artists around the world have repeatedly become the hot targets at sales, receiving increasing market attention. Looking back to 2020, a total of 1530 pieces sold for 491 million dollars have been brought by top10 contemporary artists with the largest turnover volume, comparatively showing a decrease in auction volume by 24% and turnover volume by 30% against that in 2019. From regional perspective, eastern and western artists have equally taken up half of the top10. Among the eastern artists, Chinese artists with four seats are the largest group, while in 2019 only one Chinese artist Liu Ye was in the top10 list. It can been seen that in 2020, Chinese contemporary artists have gone against the current and delivered a good score.

Top10 Contemporary Artists with Largest Turnover in 2019 and 2020

NO.1 Jean-Michel Basquiat

2020 Annual Turnover 117,483,548 dollars, 125 pieces auctioned, with a sold-by-lot rate of 52%

Jean-Michel Basquiat is the most shining star among the global contemporary artists in 2020, with an annual turnover of 117,483,548 dollars, ranking top1 among his peers. More than 30 years after his death, Basquiat still radiates glamour at sales, reflecting the lasting popularity of the artist’s works among collectors.

In 2020 Jean-Michel Basquiat has 125 pieces auctioned, of which 65 pieces dropped the hammer, with a sold-by-lot rate of 52%. His market is mainly in New York and London. The most expensive deal in 2020 was Untitled (Head), sold for $15.18 million at Sotheby's New York. Portrait of A.K.A. King, ranking the second, has been sold for $11.5 million at Philips New York. Among his works, Ancient Scientist has brought US $7.52 million at Philips and Poly Hong Kong, also serving as the second high Basquiat has ever sold in the Hong Kong market.

Most Expensive Deal in 2020

NO 2. Yoshitomo Nara

2020 Annual Turnover 69,163,040 dollars, 418 pieces auctioned, with a sold-by-lot rate of 83.01%

Among all the deals, Yoshitomo Nara’s main transaction spot is in Hong Kong. 7 of his top10 sales are sold in Hong Kong, while the artist has also provided dazzling performance in Beijing and London market.

In Hong Kong autumn auction in December 2020, Greenhouse Girl sold for $13.3 million at Philips and Poly Hong Kong became the artist’s most expensive lot in 2020, as well as the top2 in his personal list. In Beijing autumn auction in October 2020, Girl In The Moon brought $3.65 million at Poly, became the annual top1 of the artist in Beijing. In London auction February 2020, his Dead Of Night tallied $2.97 million at Christie’s, became the artist’s most expensive lot in London in 2020.

Most Expensive Deal in 2020

NO 3. Banksy

2020 Annual Turnover 59,393,680 dollars, 630 pieces auctioned, with a sold-by-lot rate of 77.30%

Banksy is the only post-70s artist among the top10 contemporary artists with largest turnover in 2020, receiving continueing heat at sales. In 2020, his classic works, with unstoppable trend, sold for high prices on after another. 8 of his persnonal highs have been achieved in 2020, largely renewing the top2 to top10 in his personal list.

In October 2020 London autumn auction, Show Me The Monet, the most expensive piece of Banksy in 2020 was sold for $9.78 million, largely over the estimate price. In October 2020 Hong Kong autumn auction, Forgive Us Our Trespassing (In Four Parts) was sold largely over the estimate price for $8.27 million, with an over-low-estimate rate of 237.5%. This is also the artist’s personal top1 in his Hong Kong auction record. In October 2020 New York autumn auction, Love is in the Air was auctioned in Philips and sold for $2.9 million, renewing his personal record in the New York market.

It is worth noting that among the 8 editions of the print Love is in the Air, the 7th edition and the AP edition were dealed at the online auctions of Philips London and Christie’s London respectively, and the market price of this print was more than $1 million.

Most Expensive Deal in 2020

NO 4. George Condo

2020 Annual Turnover 51,203,875 dollars, 128 pieces auctioned, with a sold-by-lot rate of 90.63%

The European and American markets have long been George Condo’s major transcation spot, however, he also performed so well in 2020 Hong Kong market. In July 2020, his Force Field was auctioned by Christie's Hong Kong with a transaction price of $6.85 million, setting a new personal record for the artist.

In 2020, his personal top2 and top3 were all achieved in the European and American markets. Transparent Female Forms was auctioned at Philips New York in December 2020, sold for $4.26 million; The Age of Reason was auctioned at Philips London in October 2020, sold for $2.92 million, becoming as well as the most expensive piece of George Condo’s personal record in London.

Most Expensive Deal in 2020

NO 5. Zeng Fanzhi

2020 Annual Turnover 41,177,604 dollars, 36 pieces auctioned, with a sold-by-lot rate of 88.89%

Zeng Fanzhi is the most expensive Chinese contemporary artist around the world in 2020, with an annual turnover of $41,177,604,including 1 work over ten million dollars and 3 works over one million dollars. The 3 most expensive works sold by Zeng Fanzhi in 2020 were all from the Beijing market, among which 2 are the Mask Series, which were sold at Forever China and Poly Beijing respectively.

The most expensive work of the artist in 2020 is Mask Series 1996 No.6, sold for $23.79 million at Forever in August 2020, renewing his personal auction record and also the highest price of Chinese contemporary art sales. (Zeng’s Last supper was sold for $23.27 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2013, becoming the most expensive Chinese contemporary artwork. Seven years later, the record has been renewed by himself.) The top2 of his 2020 sales is Tiger, the most expensive one of his Chaotic Series. It was sold for $5.94 million at Forever in December 2020.

Most Expensive Deal in 2020

NO 6. Zhou Chunya

2020 Annual Turnover 37,252,710 dollars, 50 pieces auctioned, with a sold-by-lot rate of 92.00%

In 2020, most of Zhou Chunya’s turnover has been contributed by Beijing, followed by Hong Kong and Hangzhou. 9 of 10 most expensive pieces were sold in Beijing, and his personal top2 high prices were from Guadian China. In August 2020, Spring Is Coming was sold at China Guardian Beijing for $12.74 million, breaking his personal auction record and becoming top1 of his personal list. In December 2020, Rocks And Clouds was sold at China Guardian Beijing for $6.45 million, ranking the artist’s second expensive of the year.

What worth mentioning is that, in 2020, Zhou Chunya’s Watertown Landscape Series made their debut at sales – Big Rockery was sold at Xiling Auction (Hangzhou) for $ 45,000, with a size of 0.15m².

Most Expensive Deal in 2020

NO7. Liu Ye

2020 Annual Turnover 36,389,255 dollars, 76pieces auctioned, with a sold-by-lot rate of 97.37%

In 2020, 9 of Liu Ye’s top10 works auctioned were sold in Hong Kong, among which the 3 most expensive works in 2020 Hong Kong spring auction were sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, Philips Hong Kong and Christie’s Hong Kong respectively. The prices relieased were all within the estimate range or exceeded a little, indicating an increasingly precise estimation of auction houses towards Liu Ye.

In July 2020, LEAVE ME IN THE DARK was auctioned at Sotheby’s Hong Kong. With a size of 219.7 x 299.7 cm, it’s the largest character portrait of Liu Ye. It was finally sold for $5.84 million, becoming Liu Ye's most expensive work sold in 2020. Also in July’s spring auction, Choir Of Angels (Red) and Mondrian In London, sold for $3.57 million and $2.95 million respectively, becoming the top2 and the top3 of Liu Ye’s personal list in 2020.

Most Expensive Deal in 2020

NO 8. Zhang Xiaogang

2020 Annual Turnover 27,587,17 dollars, 56 pieces auctioned, with a sold-by-lot rate of 58.93%

In 2020, 8 of Zhang Xiaogang’s top10 deals were achieved in Hong Kong, and the other two pieces were sold at Guardian Beijing and Poly Beijing, among which the most expensive piece was Bloodline-big Family No. 2. This work was once sold at Christie’s Hong Kong in 2008 for $3.4 million. After 12 years, it brought $12.64 million at the same place – from millions to tens of millions, it has increased by nearly 3 times in 12 years and renewed the artist’s personal auction record.

Zhang Xiaogang’s top2 work is named The Dark Trilogy:Fear, Meditation, Sorrow (in three panels). It is said that there are only two huge triptychs in his early works. This work is large in scale, and it’s the first time that the work being auctioned in totality and it was finally sold for $7.08 million.

Most Expensive Deal in 2020

NO 9. Keith Haring

2020 Annual Turnover 26,493,631 dollars, 451 pieces auctioned, with a sold-by-lot rate of 58.93%

Keith Haring’s major markets are in Europe and America. His top3 works in 2020 were almost all sold within the estimate range, of which the market performance has not exceeded the expectations. In February 2020, his Untitled, created in 1981, was auctioned at Philips London, with an estimate between $3.89 million to $5.18 million, and finnaly tallied $4.15 million. In June 2020, Untitled, created in 1983, was auctioned at Sotheby’s New York, with an estimate between $2 million to $3 million, and finnaly tallied $2.42 million. In July 2020, Untitled, created in 1984, was auctioned at Sotheby’s London, with an estimate between $1.97million to $2.71 million, and finnaly tallied $1.87 million.

It’s worth noting that among Keith Haring’s 2020 top10, the 6th and 8th eidition of the overall 10 editions of print work DOG were sold for $770,000 at Philips London and $485,000 at Bonhams London, indicating a soaring trend in price of his prints.

Most Expensive Deal in 2020

NO 10. Matthew Wong

2020 Annual Turnover 25,712,246 dollars, 24 pieces auctioned, with a sold-by-lot rate of 100%

Matthew Wong is the only post-80s artist among the top10 global contemporary artists with the largest turnover volume. Despite that he died at the age of 35 like a superstar, his market has witnessed a “crazy” growth only one year after his death. His works tallied $25,712,246 in 2020, and he’s also the only artist with an 100% sold-by-lot rate in this top10 list.

In October 2020, Shangri-la was auctioned at Christie’s New York with an estimate between $500,000 to $700,000 and finally dropped the hammer with $4.47 million – the over-low-estimate rate was over 640%, making it the most expensive work of Matthew Wang. Only two months later, the record was broken by Sunset River auctioned at Philips and Poly Hong Kong in December 2020, estimated between $900,000-$1.29 million and sold for $4.87 million, with an over-low-estimate rate of more than 342.86%, renewing the artist’s personal record. The market has extremely high desire for Matthew Wang’s works.

Most Expensive Deal in 2020

In 2020 top10 list of global contemporary artists, there are not only post-50s and post-60s leading the market with high prices, but also young artists emerging with brilliant score. No matter going into or out of the list, the contemporary artists are illustrating the charm of art with their diversified artworks, making their prospects so bright. Artpro will continue to focus on the performance of the global contemporary artists market, and bring you more market dynamics.

Source: ArtPro Author: lishuai
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