Bloomberg reported today that Warhol’s work hasn’t kept pace with the S&P 500 over the last 23 years based upon Artnet’s running of the numbers. Except, as Artnet explained to the reporter, the huge quantity of Warhol prints somewhat skews that sample. So Artnet has kindly given us their index without the prints confining the chart to original Warhol works:
This shows a more realistic picture with Warhol’s work crossing the S&P 500 decisively at the beginning of the last art boom. Indeed, it is hard to imagine the recent run up in Contemporary art prices without Warhol’s leadership in the category. More interesting to note are the brief crosses in 2002 and during the late 80s, early 1990s recession.
Artnet also provides a table of the index for those interested in the precise relationships. It should be noted that the 2011 index is calculated as of June 30th.