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The London Contemporary art auctions were up substantially—65% in total sales—from 2017 to 2018 despite Christie's decision to remain on the sidelines as far as mounting an Evening sale. There was a 40% increase in the number of lots offered in 2018. And the average lot value increased 19% from 2017 to 2018.
How do we explain these increases against a market mood of auction fatigue and the overall decline of artists who previously were the engines of market growth? From the data we combed through from our friends at Live Auction Art, it begins to look like the transition in the Contemporary art market is now in full swing. For a number of years, the Contemporary art market was a masterpiece market like the Impressionist and Modern market. It recently became a broader market of a greater number of artists who may rise and fall in market share by the season but also now attract significant value.
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