Art Basel Reports the Global Arts Market is Growing After a Two Year Decline

Earlier this year in March Art Basel released their second annual market report. Created  by economist Clare McAndrew, who joined the Art Basel team in 2016, the report says that, after a two year decline, the global art market has grown about 12 percent in 2017, with about $63.7 billion in sales.

McAndrew writes, “In 2017, despite remaining political volatility in many regions, robust growth in global wealth, particularly at the high end, improved economic performance, accelerating financial market returns, stronger consumer confidence and increased supply led to a much more favorable environment for sales.”

Here are some other interesting facts the report mentions:

  • The United States, China, and the United Kingdom are still the top three areas for art dealing. They represent about 83 percent of the world’s market. The U.S. is responsible for about 42 percent of the total global art sales made in 2017
  • Art sales in Asia made up 23 percent of all global art dealings in 2017, with China’s growing market remaining on top
  • There were more gallery closures than openings in 2017. “One of the biggest concerns dealers expressed in 2017, regardless of their turnover levels, was the changing infrastructure of the market, with the greatest performance year-to-year and longevity over time found at the top end of the market,” McAndrew stated in the report, noting that their anxiety was partly due to the closing of “more than 20 notable galleries in some of the mature markets.”
  • With $5.4 billion in sales last year, the online market did better than ever before
  • Art fairs brought in an estimated $15.5 billion in sales in 2017—a 17 percent improvement over 2016. The success has come at a cost, however: dealers payed more to participate in fairs than in the year prior
  • At least 3 million people were employed by the art world last year