2013 will be remembered and cherished by global art market observers as a year that repeatedly proved that there are no boundaries when it comes to the value of art. Auctions continued to test the market and push bidders, with higher estimates resulting in even higher sales prices. The past year became a turning point for many artists’ markets with new records being set. This was particularly the case with contemporary art. The performance of living artists, which this year was in line with the performance of the most prominent artists of all time, causes us to question once again the criteria that push artists into the market’s premium echelon.
In this edition of Skate’s annual report, we address the art market’s top segment through Skate’s proprietary rating, Skate’s Top 5000, which contains the 5,000 most valuable artworks sold at public auctions worldwide since 1985. In analyzing results from premium auction sales, we focus on the most significant trends in the commercial world of art and address a number of key art market topics in the current report, including:
- The global state of the premium art market
- Art trading results for 2013
- The most notable achievements by individual artists at auction
Another unique tool used by Skate’s involves the tracking of repeat sales. By identifying artworks that have appeared at auction more than once, it is possible to measure their financial performance. Among other things, this allows us to determine:
- The most liquid artists
- The best and worst investment performers on the art market