UK Art Market Shrinks By 9% In Annual TEFAF Report


The release of the TEFAF Art Market Report 2016, is always an important event in the art calendar. The document which is compiled each year by Dublin-based research company Arts Economics, founded by cultural economist Clare McAndrew, is regarded as the most reliable source by the industry. The report is released simultaneously with the opening of the TEFAF Maastricht art fair each March. Data from exhibitors, auction houses, art  and financial databases are correlated by industry experts with an overview measuring global performance of the art market.

The US market saw strong growth of 4% while other regions declined. The US total was $$27.3 billion. The Chinese market dropped, with sales dropping 23 percent, to $11.8 billion. While the UK, dropped a staggering nine percent, to $13.5 billion. The UK still ranked in second place after the US and had a 21% share of the global art market.  China was close behind and accounted for 19% by value. 

This year’s report reveals that the international art market turned over $63.8 billion in 2015. This marks a fall of seven percent from the previous high of $68.2 billion in 2014. The document clearly shows a decline since 2011 as rapid expansion in new markets like China and India cool down.

Art dealers and private sales accounted for 53% of the market and auction sales account for 47% percent. This is down from 2014’s total of 48%. Online sales, remains the growth area of the art market with $4.7 billion, up 7% this year. This accounts for 7% of all art and antiques sales worldwide.

Postwar and contemporary is still the most popular sector of the art auction market at 46% percent. It however dropped by 14%, to $6.8 billion, with a 20% fall in transactions. Modern art was the  second biggest area of the auction market, accounting for 30% of sales. This area dropped  falling one percent, to $4.5 billion for auction realisation.

Image: P C Robinson © artlyst 2016


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