2022 Art Market Recap

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The following synopsis is excerpted from Arts Economics, UN Comtrade and Wondeur AI:

The volume and value of artworks purchased across all generations more than doubled from 2019 through to 2022.

Markets for contemporary art have emerged in regions where they previously barely existed such as Africa. If growth continues at the same pace in the second half of 2022, the year could see cross-border trade reach record levels for both imports and exports. Understandably this has given rise to a celebration.

Most of the high net worth (HNW) collectors surveyed (78%) were optimistic about the global art market’s performance over the next six years, up 4% from similar polling at the end of 2021 and a slightly larger share than were optimistic about the stock market.


Across all markets, the median expenditure of HNW collectors in the first half of 2022 (at $180,000) was higher than the entire year in 2021. 93% of HNW collectors bought art through a gallery or dealer.

92% HNW COLLECTORS noted that their most popular destination for viewing art by new and emerging artists for collectors in all regions was New York, with Los Angeles and Miami in third and fourth place behind London.

The process of quality sorting is especially important for unique and differentiated goods such as art, where it is difficult to simply observe or verify quality ex ante; and information on the seller (and creator) is important ( verses for homogenous goods where the identity of buyers and sellers is either well known or not important). Differentiated goods like art and antiques are therefore often not suited to impersonal exchanges on standardized markets, creating a demand for intermediaries to resolve information problems.

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David Bowie At The Carlyle 1982

Art Zelin

Edition 22/50

Stamped and signed by the estate

This sample of actively collecting HNW collectors tended to have a relatively high proportion of their overall wealth portfolios invested in art. A majority of 66% reported an allocation of over 10%. Boomers had the largest collections, with an above-average median of 55 works. The other segments were more on par with each other, converging on a median of about 45 works. Collection size also expanded with wealth, and those individuals with wealth above $50 million averaged 73 works versus less than half that (33) for those with wealth between $1 million and $5 million.

Across all markets, collectors reported that they had already purchased 10 works from January through June 2022, and expected to purchase a further 10 in the second half of the year. The volume of works purchased across all generations more than doubled from 2019 through to 2022

Total average art expenditure for 2022 more than doubled 2021’s figures at $372,000. This indicates strong confidence in the market and continued purchasing intent by HNW collectors.

The rapid escalation in online purchasing has been one of the most important developments in the art market over the last few years. 

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Tom Petty 12/25

Steve Jobs 15/50

Pink Floyd in the recording studio 32/50

Edie Sedgwick: 1966-137-008-001 Manhattan, New York, USA 1966