Georgina Adam does a little back-of-the-envelop calculating with Artprice.com and discovers 2011 may have been the biggest year for art auctions ever. The total figure isn’t tallied but Artprice is fairly confident $11bn will be easily broken.
Unfortunately, the total figure comes with an asterisk (too much of the sale volume is from China where auction house practices remain suspect for a variety of reasons:)
just before Christmas it had already recorded a total of $10.7bn for this year, beating last year’s $9.5bn. A large chunk of this increase is due to China, which in 2010 already accounted for 33 per cent of the global art market. “So far in 2011, China represents between 35 and 40 per cent,” says Artprice’s head economist Martin Bremond.
This year’s total could still climb, as Artprice did not yet have the full sales when it reported these figures. “We could be in for quite a surprise yet: another $1bn or more is not impossible by the end of the year,” says Bremond.
The Art Market: Record Breakers and Fakers (Financial Times)