Q3 2020 Art Market Report

Red Eight Gallery has just released our dedicated Q3 2020 Art Market Report with the latest findings from our expert analysts. Overall the report paints a positive image for art investors despite the unprecedented damage the global Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked on the wider economy. 

Market Resilience Across 2020

The art market has remained resilient in the face of Covid-19 headwinds, making it a very attractive investment during turbulent times. Although the COVID-19 pandemic closed galleries and distracted investors from their collections in the first half of 2020, the Art Basel/UBS “The Art Market 2020” report indicates that most remained active in the market, with 92% purchasing a piece of art in the first half of the year. 

Even stronger proof of the health of the art market is that records are still being set even during this strangest of years; the recent online auction at Sotheby’s featuring Keith Haring Foundation’s 144 lots entitled “Dear Keith: Works from the Personal Collection of Keith Haring” achieved sales of $4.6m, three times the presales estimate. 

The Rise And Rise Of Online Art Sales

All indications suggest that collectors still have a big appetite to acquire work, and they are increasingly turning to online tools and platforms to assist with purchasing artworks. 

Historically, online art sales have not performed as well as might have been expected. Hiscox has reported that online art and collectible sales stalled in 2019, generating an estimated $4.82 billion. Growth in this market has steadily declined in recent years, falling from 12.5% in 2017 to 4% in 2019. The pandemic looks set to reverse this trend. Online-only auction sales by Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips generated $370 million in the first half of 2020 alone.

Historical trends demonstrate that while buyers are reluctant to buy solely online, the pandemic is driving a tech-driven digital revolution in art sales. The figures from large auction houses are stark: Q1 and Q2 2020 sales made via online auctions at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips were $444 million, a massive 388% jump from $91m during the same period in 2019.

Virtual Viewing 

As well as selling online, galleries and art fairs have had to develop ways of creating authentic and engaging online viewing experiences as an antidote to widespread lockdown rules around the globe. Art Basel Hong Kong’s online viewing rooms set up in March at the very beginning of the pandemic were a sign of how successful the move to online can be. Meanwhile, with no galleries and exhibitions to visit, David Zwirner set up an online viewing room for a month called ‘Platform: New York’. The project hosted 12 smaller New York galleries, again with great success. 

Click the button below to download our full Q3 2020 Art Market Report and discover how the lucrative art market has remained resilient in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.