Pursuing the art market

6 February, 2019 | The future is looking exciting for art investors, as well as those exploring the market as an investment option, say the experts at Aspire Art Auctions. European-based company Artprice has run the Price Index for the global art market since 2000.

Pursuing the art market, Irma Stern

Irma Stern, Still life of chrysanthemums in a vase with a plate of grapes

The index is calculated based on global auction results, which show a growth of 36%, and is composed using the same general principles as most other reputable financial indices, focussing on the market’s most fundamental artists and taking into account their relative weight and importance. Artprice’s so-called ‘Global 500’ – the wider pool of artists who are represented at auctions, and who are ranked in terms of regular sales and turnover – features four South Africans. All are household names in the market here, with the two highest ranked being contemporary artists: Netherlands-based Marlene Dumas at #121 and William Kentridge at #279. An older generation of artists fetching higher prices appears further down the list: JH Pierneef at #314 and Irma Stern at #329. The presence of the two contemporary artists higher up this ranking is significant in that it reflects the growth and diversification of the contemporary market around the world, as well as in South Africa. While the art market in this country is much smaller, it does follow the same broad growth trends.

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