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Contemporary Art market breaking records in 2021. What is behind?

November 18, 2021

Despite the negative impact of the global health crisis, global turnover on Contemporary Art is continuing to grow. According to the latest Artprice report, between June 2020 and June 2021, $2.7 billion were hammered worldwide. For investors, it represents a stronger, more diverse, and denser market than ever before.

Here are the numbers: a total of 102,000 contemporary works have changed hands in 12 months, 10 times more than 20 years ago. This segment (artists born after 1945) increased 50% in 2021 first half, compared to the same period in 2019. The report also shows that Contemporary Art now accounts for 23% of total global Fine Art auction turnover, compared with 3% twenty years back. 

No denying art market is attracting new buyers. What is behind these numbers though? A society increasingly interested in and identified with the artistic expressions of its time? Or trends, marketing ploys, and irresistible baits of a consumption system that reaches an ever-higher level?

For philosopher and art critic Yves Michaud, “cultural and economic changes have transformed Art itself, which has become integrated into the economic, tourist, cultural and mundane activities to which it communicates its value”, wrote the Sorbonne professor in “About Contemporary Art” (Electra magazine).

In Portugal next week, the French philosopher will discuss the current state of contemporary art, taking into account globalization, financialization, and the aestheticization of everyday life. “Current situation of contemporary art: profusion and disorientation” produced by WIN Word, takes place at Central Tejo – EDP Foundation, on the 27th of November, at 4 pm. Free entry.


Source: The Contemporary Art Market in 2021