Artprice100(C): The Art Market's Blue-chip Artists Yield Nearly as Much as the Top Performing Companies in the American Economy


PARIS, July 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — thierry Ehrmann, Artprice’s founder/CEO, highlights the art market’s excellent performance in H1 2019: “A collector who, at the start of this year, invested in the 100 most successful artists of the last five years (2014-2018), would already be looking at a value accretion of almost a sixth in the value of his/her portfolio.”

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The Artprice100 © index gained +16% over the first half of 2019 while the S&P 500 added +18% over the same period. The similarity in the performances between the American financial markets and a portfolio of works by the world’s top performing artists (defined in a purely objective manner) proves the undeniable attractiveness of the Art Market as an alternative investment.

Fewer transactions

The performance of the Artprice100© over the first half of 2019 was driven by exceptionally strong demand, barely satisfied by supply. The supply/demand imbalance, generated a rapid increase in value, particularly on works by the 100 top performing artists on the global secondary art market.

The turnover slowdown recorded in H1 2019 by major auction houses, including Sotheby’s (-9%) and Christie’s (-28%), reflects a less dynamic high-end market than in previous years. However, prices have shown no signs of fatigue and the contraction in the volume of sales is a reminder that the art market is directly dependent on the number of works in circulation.

In a financial context of sustained negative or near-zero refinancing rates, some collectors are probably preferring to hold certain artworks and not cash in on investments that remain highly competitive. Moreover, the persistence of extremely high transaction costs, both in galleries and in auction rooms, is discouraging short holding periods (under five years), and tempting some collectors to consider private transactions as an alternative.

The Artprice100© index driven by Warhol, Zao Wou-Ki and Wu Guanzhong

Heavily weighted in our Artprice100© index with 9.1% of the portfolio, Pablo Picasso has not contributed to its value accretion for several years. As we have seen over the last four years, his prices contracted -2% in the first half of 2019.

However, Andy Warhol, Fu Baoshi, Zao Wou-Ki and particularly Wu Guanzhong have all clearly enjoyed value accretion, providing the main thrust for the progression of our Artprice100© index in H1 2019. Without setting any new auction records, these artists have all enjoyed strong price inflation. The sale of major works by these artists will no doubt confirm the trend.

On 2 June last, a large drawing by Wu Guanzhong entitled Lion grove garden (1988) fetched $20.8 million at China Guardian. It was previously acquired for $17.8 million on 3 June 2011 at Poly Beijing. Adding 17% over the last eight years, the drawing generated, in financial terms, an average annual return of +1.9%. However, another Guanzhong resale suggests that the bulk of the value accretion on his works has occurred in the last 6 months: an important Guanzhong work entitled Two Swallows was purchased for $7.1 million on 3 June 2011 (at the same sale as Lion grove garden) and fetched $7.8 million in December 2018, an increase of just +9.8%.

Paul Cézanne and George Condo

Investments in Modern artists carry the least risk and demand for their work is continuing to grow steadily offering attractive returns over the long term. Claude Monet and Paul Signac have both signed new auction records this year. Similarly, 2019 is already proving to be a superb year (the best since 2000) for Paul Cézanne. His painting Bouilloire et fruits (c. 1888-90), acquired for $29.5 million in 1999, fetched $59.3 million on 13 May 2019 at Christie’s New York, generating an average annual ROI of 3.6% over 20 years.

At the other end of the spectrum, Contemporary artists offer striking returns in the medium and short term. The most spectacular entry into the composition of the Artprice100© index this year is undoubtedly George Condo. The American artist enjoyed a massive secondary market success in 2018with 78 paintings and 34 drawings selling for more than $63 million, and on three continents (America, Europe and Asia)! The Condo phenomenon has been clearly illustrated by a number of rapid resales of small works including Soft Green Abstraction (1983), which was purchased for $17,000 in April 2017 in Munich and resold a year later in New York for $46,000.

In total, there were seven changes this year in the composition of the Artprice 100© index.

In

Out

George Condo
Huang Binhong

Giorgio Morandi
Huang Zhou

Robert Motherwell
Anish Kapoor

Jean Paul Riopelle
Li Keran

Rufino Tamayo
Xu Beihong

Frank Auerbach Pieter Brueghel II

Hans Arp Giorgio de Chirico

Four women… and two Old Masters

Unfortunately, we see no change regarding female artists. This year again, only four of the artists in the Artprice100© are women: Yayoi Kusama (Japan), Joan Mitchell (US), Louise Bourgeois (France) and Barbara Hepworth (UK). Yayoi Kusama now represents 1.3% of the index compared with 0.9% last year. Her price index rose 20% in H1 2019.

The relegation of Pieter Brueghel II for reasons relating to market liquidity has exacerbated the rarity of Old Masters in the index. Numerically, the composition of the index is dominated by Modern artists, numbering 49, followed by Post-War artists (29), Contemporary artists (12), 19th century artists (8) and lastly… Old Masters (only 2).

Composition of Artprice100© index for H1 2019

Artist – Share – Period

1. Pablo PICASSO (1881-1973) – 9.1% – Modern
2. Andy WARHOL (1928-1987) – 6.4% – Post-War
3. Claude MONET (1840-1926) – 4.5% – 19th Century
4. QI Baishi (1864-1957) – 3.9% – Modern
5. Jean-Michel BASQUIAT (1960-1988) – 3.7% – Contemporary
6. Gerhard RICHTER (b. 1932) – 3.3% – Post-War
7. ZAO Wou-Ki (1921-2013) – 2.9% – Post-War
8. FU Baoshi (1904-1965) – 2.5% – Modern
9. Alberto GIACOMETTI (1901-1966) – 2.4% – Modern
10. Amedeo MODIGLIANI (1884-1920) – 2.2% – Modern
11. Cy TWOMBLY (1928-2011) – 2.2% – Post-War
12. WU Guanzhong (1919-2010) – 2.1% – Modern
13. Roy LICHTENSTEIN (1923-1997) – 2.0% – Post-War
14. Lucio FONTANA (1899-1968) – 1.9% – Modern
15. Alexander CALDER (1898-1976) – 1.8% – Modern
16. Marc CHAGALL (1887-1985) – 1.8% – Modern
17. Joan MIRO (1893-1983) – 1.7% – Modern
18. Willem DE KOONING (1904-1997) – 1.7% – Modern
19. Henri MATISSE (1869-1954) – 1.5% – Modern
20. Fernand LÉGER (1881-1955) – 1.4% – Modern
21. Christopher WOOL (b. 1955) 1.4% – Contemporary
22. Yayoi KUSAMA (b. 1929) – 1.3% – Post-War
23. Jean DUBUFFET (1901-1985) – 1.3% – Modern
24. René MAGRITTE (1898-1967) – 1.2% – Modern
25. Peter DOIG (b. 1959) – 1.2% – Contemporary
26. Wassily KANDINSKY (1866-1944) – 1.2% – Modern
27. Jeff KOONS (b. 1955) – 1.2% – Contemporary
28. David HOCKNEY (b. 1937) – 1.1% – Post-War
29. Henry MOORE (1898-1986) – 1.0% – Modern
30. LIN Fengmian (1900-1991) – 0.9% – Modern
31. CHU Teh-Chun (1920-2014) – 0.9% – Post-War
32. Paul GAUGUIN (1848-1903) – 0.9% – 19th Century
33. Pierre-Auguste RENOIR (1841-1919) – 0.8% – 19th Century
34. SAN Yu (1895-1966) – 0.8% – Modern
35. Richard PRINCE (b. 1949) – 0.8% – Contemporary
36. Sigmar POLKE (1941-2010) – 0.7% – Post-War
37. Joan MITCHELL (1926-1992) – 0.7% – Post-War
38. PU Ru (1896-1963) – 0.7% – Modern
39. Auguste RODIN (1840-1917) – 0.7% – 19th Century
40. Edgar DEGAS (1834-1917) – 0.7% – 19th Century
41. Paul CÉZANNE (1839-1906) – 0.7% – 19th Century
42. Yves KLEIN (1928-1962) – 0.6% – Post-War
43. Camille PISSARRO (1830-1903) – 0.6% – 19th Century
44. Richard DIEBENKORN (1922-1993) – 0.6% – Post-War
45. Ed RUSCHA (b. 1937) – 0.6% – Post-War
46. Keith HARING (1958-1990) – 0.5% – Contemporary
47. Martin KIPPENBERGER (1953-1997) – 0.5% – Contemporary
48. Louise BOURGEOIS (1911-2010) – 0.5% – Modern
49. Alberto BURRI (1915-1995) – 0.5% – Modern
50. Frank STELLA (b. 1936) – 0.5% – Post-War
51. Damien HIRST (b. 1965) – 0.4% – Contemporary
52. Egon SCHIELE (1890-1918) – 0.4% – Modern
53. Ernst Ludwig KIRCHNER (1880-1938) – 0.4% – Modern
54. Georges BRAQUE (1882-1963) – 0.4% – Modern
55. Georg BASELITZ (b. 1938) – 0.4% – Post-War
56. Pierre SOULAGES (b. 1919) – 0.4% – Modern
57. Juan GRIS (1887-1927) – 0.4% – Modern
58. Salvador DALI (1904-1989) – 0.4% – Modern
59. Edvard MUNCH (1863-1944) – 0.4% – Modern
60. Paul SIGNAC (1863-1935) – 0.4% – Modern
61. DONG Qichang (1555-1636) – 0.4% – Old Master
62. Fernando BOTERO (b. 1932) – 0.4% – Post-War
63. WEN Zhengming (1470-1559) – 0.4% – Old Master
64. George CONDO (b. 1957) – 0.4% – Contemporary
65. Sam FRANCIS (1923-1994) – 0.4% – Post-War
66. Alighiero BOETTI (1940-1994) – 0.4% – Post-War
67. Bernard BUFFET (1928-1999) – 0.4% – Post-War
68. Max ERNST (1891-1976) – 0.4% – Modern
69. Robert RAUSCHENBERG (1925-2008) – 0.4% – Post-War
70. CHEN Yifei (1946-2005) – 0.3% – Contemporary
71. Maurice DE VLAMINCK (1876-1958) – 0.3% – Modern
72. Barbara HEPWORTH (1903-1975) – 0.3% – Modern
73. Pierre BONNARD (1867-1947) – 0.3% – Modern
74. Donald JUDD (1928-1994) – 0.3% – Post-War
75. Max BECKMANN (1884-1950) – 0.3% – Modern
76. Tsuguharu FOUJITA (1886-1968) – 0.3% – Modern
77. Alfred SISLEY (1839-1899) – 0.3% – 19th Century
78. Laurence Stephen LOWRY (1887-1976) – 0.3% – Modern
79. Morton Wayne THIEBAUD (b. 1920) – 0.3% – Post-War
80. Nicolas de STAEL (1914-1955) – 0.3% – Modern
81. Enrico CASTELLANI (1930-2017) – 0.3% – Post-War
82. Anselm KIEFER (b. 1945) – 0.3% – Contemporary
83. Michelangelo PISTOLETTO (b. 1933) – 0.3% – Post-War
84. GUAN Liang (1900-1986) – 0.3% – Modern
85. Kees VAN DONGEN (1877-1968) – 0.3% – Modern
86. Francis PICABIA (1879-1953) – 0.3% – Modern
87. Piero MANZONI (1933-1963) – 0.3% – Post-War
88. Tom WESSELMANN (1931-2004) – 0.3% – Post-War
89. Giorgio MORANDI (1890-1964) – 0.3% – Modern
90. Günther UECKER (b. 1930) – 0.2% – Post-War
91. Josef ALBERS (1888-1976) – 0.2% – Modern
92. Robert MOTHERWELL (1915-1991) – 0.2% – Modern
93. Rufino TAMAYO (1899-1991) – 0.2% – Modern
94. Hans ARP (1886-1966) – 0.2% – Modern
95. Emil NOLDE (1867-1956) – 0.2% – Modern
96. Paul KLEE (1879-1940) – 0.2% – Modern
97. Jean-Paul RIOPELLE (1923-2002) – 0.2% – Post-War
98. Alexej VON JAWLENSKY (1864-1941) – 0.2% – Modern
99. Albert OEHLEN (b. 1954) – 0.2% – Contemporary
100. Frank AUERBACH (b. 1931) – 0.2% – Post-War
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Having produced more than 60,000 books and auction catalogues, Artron is the world’s largest art book printer with a total print volume of 300 million a year. It has more than 3 million professional members in the arts sector and an average of 15 million daily visits, making it the world’s leading art website.”

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