The Art Basel Report 2023
The 7th edition of The Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report showed through the detailed analysis of the art market that this sector is growing while it still contends with the lingering effects of the pandemic. Inflationary pressures, the long tail of the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain issues, and cryptocurrency turbulence: the art market has been subject to manifold, and at times contradictory forces over the last year.
The art market as a whole expanded, despite the volatility in the wider economy. While the larger dealer segments grew, sales for the smallest dealers, and many parts of the auction market contracted.
Overall, the market grew by 3% (to an estimated $67.8 billion), driven by a 7% increase year-on-year in dealer sales, restoring the market to its value before the pandemic in 2019 for that sector. This was catalyzed by the event-driven cycle of art fairs, gallery openings, and auctions resuming its customary rhythm.
Notwithstanding the challenging circumstances over the past two years, the number of dealers expanding their footprint to operate from more than one region jumped from 5% in 2021 to 9% in 2022.
High-net-worth collectors remain optimistic about the market, spending more in 2022 than they had prior to the pandemic, and looking positively into 2023, with strong spending plans – 77% expected the market to grow, and the majority intended to purchase art in 2023. As exhibitions, auctions, and fairs all ran on much fuller schedules and collectors began to reengage with live events and sales.
The US retained its premier position in the global ranks, with its share of sales by value increasing by 2% year-on-year to 45%. The UK moved back into second place with 18% of sales, and China’s share decreased (by 3%) to 17%, as it fell back into third position. France maintained its position as the fourth-largest art market worldwide with a stable share of 7%.
To sum up, three key findings were observed from the current annual report: ● Global sales increased by 3% year-on-year, bringing the market higher than its pre-pandemic level;● With 45% of shares of sales, the US market retains its leading position;● Dealers’ sales have been restored to their value before the pandemic.