After a whirlwind year, we offer up our insights for the art market in 2023 and highlight our top takeaways from 2022.
JADE FADOJUTIMI, on view at the ‘Milk of Dreams’ Venice Biennale 2022
WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2023
A new pragmatism for the art market: More realistic pricing for auction estimates and primary sales (seen at Miami Art Basel this past December). Auction Houses will be more discriminating in the works they accept. A good time to look for opportunities in the market.
Strong U.S. dollar: with the surge of international travel post lockdown and the dollar strong against the Euro and the British Pound, some collectors will see this as an opportune time to make acquisitions at European art fairs and auctions.
The impact of the “great wealth transfer” is becoming increasingly noticeable in the art market, and more single owner, high quality collections are anticipated to come to market.
A softening in emerging contemporary + NFTSs: Collectors should be cautious about overpaying for “wet paint” works at auction. While there can be initial frenzy, values may not hold long term.
Continued assessment of Asian Markets, as they have been a driver of sales in 2021 and early 2022, but have shown softening in late 2022.’
More social impact auctions, in December 2022 mega-gallery Hauser & Wirth held a benefit auction for UNHCR, selling primary artworks donated from their top contemporary artists. We expect to see this phenomenon continue into the year ahead, offering opportunity to collectors to gain access to top contemporary artists and do good at the same time.
LOUISE GIOVANELLI, ‘As if, Almost,’ Whitecube London 2022.
5 ART TRENDS FOR 2023
Continued focus on identity politics in art:
Artists of color, women artists, indigenous artists and other underrepresented artists
Text based art like Barbara Kruger, Jenny Holzer
Continued discoveryof older or recently deceased artists who have been overlooked in their own lifetime.
Increased connoisseurship of the Figuration/Portraiture trend and renewed interest in Abstraction.
Surrealism will continue its reign as this past Venice Biennale catapulted contemporary surreal artists and their historical antecedents into the spotlight with the wildly successful main exhibition “Milk of Dreams”.
MAX ERNST,Le Roi jouant avec le reine | PAUL ALLEN COLLECTION AT CHRISTIE’S
2022 NYC AUCTION REVIEW
$3 Billion across the 3 houses: The New York fall sale cycle totaled $3.19 billion, up $455 million from May’s sales and $650 million from the previous year’s sales.
The Allen Effect: The entire Paul Allen collection was 155 lots, but the value of the collection was so large, $1.6 billion, that it constituted over half of the season total. The average price paid for an Allen work was $10.47 million which is more than five times what the average price has been in other seasons.
A Barbell Market: If we take the remaining $1.59 billion in non-Allen lots sold and divide it by the number of non-Allen lots (1534), we get a much lower average price for art sold this season: $1.04 million.
Adrien Meyer selling Georges Seurat,Les Poseuses, Ensemble for USD $149.2 M at Paul G. Allen Collection sale on November 9, 2022 at Christie’s New York
NYC AUCTION REVIEW CONTINUED
Single Owner collections continue to boost evening sales: with a total value of $3.2 billion – accounting for 43% of total.
Auction guarantees reach record levels: The level of guaranteed sales during the New York Marquee Evening sales reached a record $1.87 billion, up from $1.07 billion in May 2022 and $1.62 billion in November 2021.
Lower returns on guarantees: Estimated returns on guarantees have been decreasing for Evening sales (excluding the Allen Collection).
Anna Weyant, Loose Screw sold for USD $1.5 M at Christie’s New York
NYC AUCTION REVIEW CONTINUED
Is demand for younger artists cooling? Auction sales by young artists (under the age of 45) raised $28.9 million in this season’s evening sales just above the pre-sale high estimate of $28.3 million. This was 51.2% lower than in May 2022 and 50.1% lower than in November 2021.
Women artists sales continue to increase: Total sales by women artists reached $169.3 million, up 7.7% from November 2021. For further information on how representation of women artists in museums and the art market has evolved over time, we recommend reading the 2022 Burns Halperin Report.