The semi-annual gallery report of Art Basel Ubs 2021

    The report presents the latest findings from Arts Economics’ research into the global art market.

    The Mid-2021 Art Basel Ubs Report, written by economist and founder of Arts Economics Clare McAndrew, aims to provide a detailed overview of art market trends through data gathered during a survey of 700 gallery owners operating in 50 different countries and information declared by over 500 wealthy collectors.

    According to the Report, more than half of gallery owners claimed a 51% increase in sales in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2020. Specifically, galleries with a turnover of €10 million or more performed better, seeing a 21% increase in sales, while mid-range galleries saw a 3% decline.

    Sales on the Asian continent were positive, with gallery owners reporting an average increase of 18%. In Europe, on the other hand, dealers reported an average drop of 7%.

    As far as collectors are concerned, Millennials lead the way with a total spend of $378,000, three times higher than Gen X and Boomers

    Numerous purchases were made by female collectors with a total of $410,000, more than double that of their male counterparts. It was also ascertained that works by women artists in collections are on the rise, representing 42% of the total compared to 39% found in 2020.

    ONLINE MARKETPLACE AND APPLIED TECHNOLOGIES 

    The digital acceleration shows no sign of stopping. Online channels accounted for 33% of total gallery sales, more than double the share recorded in 2019, as art market players invested even more in technology. Specifically, the most profitable digital channels were websites, social media and email, while online viewing rooms only contributed 4%, down from 9% last year.

    As a result, digital art is also a growth area. For collectors, traditional media still accounts for the safe and largest share of spending, at 31%; despite this, digital accounts for a significant 12%, with almost half of respondents saying they plan to purchase digital works in the next 12 months.

    BLOCKCHAIN AND NFT

    It’s no mystery that the Blockchain and NFT universe are attracting more and more art industry professionals. This is confirmed by Clare McAndrew‘s report which, citing data from nonfungible.com, noted that in 2021 Crypto Art sales on the ETH network reached a growth of $1.3 billion. The number of buyers also saw substantial growth: at the end of the second quarter of 2021, it went from just over to 9.10053.198.

    The interest shown has therefore had a positive impact on the market, although doubts remain as to the quality of the NFT placed on the dedicated platforms. For this reason, the report proposes to gallerists and collectors a “quality control and information sorting“, as well as the need to “provide knowledge and expertise and develop long-term relationships“.

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