The Art Market in the time of Coronavirus

More than a month has passed, how is the art market responding in the age of Coronavirus? Nowadays all businesses face unthinkable challenges and the art market is confronting an unprecedented phase. With the great events of this year postponed to an unknown date, art buyers are definitely moving to online for contemporary pieces.

Art market latest results

The primary art market is the one that resented most of the current situation. Last month’s results, in particular, show that sales seldom topped impressive amounts. However, people are actually continuing to buy art.

The Art Market in the time of Coronavirus

In particular, the interest of people is moving towards more contemporary artwork. Recent sales show that emerging artists are taking the scene. Art Basel Hong Kong’s online edition opened on March 18 with 235 galleries and a total of $270 million worth of art. There, in particular, a Marlene Dumas reached $2.6 million and a painting by Luc Tuymans the $2 million. Zwirner sold out of its virtual presentation of Harold Ancart’s new pool works, priced at $40,000.

The sales point out an increasing interest in emerging contemporary artists. Globally also the art market, like many other activities, has stopped due to Coronavirus. On the other hand, art galleries, in line with other companies, have accelerated their digital transformation process.

An era of changes: the Art Market in the time of Coronavirus

Given the singularity of recent weeks, it’s too early to predict what sort of recession and recovery we may be headed for. Many saw in all of this, a valuable opportunity to renovate.

Mary Bartow, Head of Sotheby’s Prints & Multiples department stated:
“Online sales in 2020 alone have been especially robust. They raised $35+ million to-date and climbing daily. The recent sales spanned Modern and Contemporary African Art, 20th Century Middle Eastern Art, 20th Century Design. Collectors are still actively buying in the marketplace”

An era of changes: the Art Market in the time of Coronavirus

Especially in the US world, after the stock market crashes of the last two months due to the Coronavirus alarm, the use of art as a guaranteed asset against bank loans has been found to be more popular. Given these concerns, an increasing number of investors have sought liquidity by providing works of art as collateral, both for traditional investments and to offset losses from equities.

The United Kingdom maintained its second place with a 20% share, at around an estimated 12.7 billion, down 9% on an annual basis. China remained the third-largest market, with a slight drop in market share of 1% on an annual basis to 18% and an estimated trade of 11.7 billion despite the slowdown in economic growth.

The art market in the time of coronavirus is challenging. For collectors, with more time at home these days, it is the ideal opportunity to check portfolios and make sure that they are up to date. All provenance, export, and import, purchase and sale documentation, condition, restoration, and exhibition should be kept together for each artwork of private collections.

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