Art Basel & UBS Report on The Art Market 2021

Prepared by Dr. Clare McAndrew Founder of Arts Economics

Art Basel & UBS recently released The Art Market Report 2021, an annual global art market analysis. The report, prepared by Dr. Clare McAndrew, Founder of Arts Economics, identifies important trends and new developments in the market in 2020, covering galleries and auctions, the rapid evolution of online sales, global wealth and art collecting, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The information presented in this study is based on data gathered and analyzed directly by Arts Economics (artseconomics.com) from dealers, auction houses, collectors, art fairs, art and financial databases, industry experts, and others involved in the art trade. Here are our key takeaways.

  • Aggregate online sales reached a record high of $12.4 billion, doubling in value from 2019. Online sales accounted for 25% of total sales in the art market in 2020.
  • In 2020, the largest sector in the fine art public auction market by value was Post-War and Contemporary art (55% by value), which along with Modern art accounted for just over 81% of the value of sales at fine art auctions. (See pie chart: Market Share by Sector of the Fine Art Auction Market in 2020)
  • Some collectors had a relatively high proportion of their overall portfolios of wealth invested in art, with 61% reporting an allocation of over 10%. (See pie chart: High Net Worth Collectors’ Allocation to Art in Overall Portfolio of Wealth)
  • High Net Worth Collectors' Allocation to Art in Overall Portfolio of Wealth

    High Net Worth Collectors' Allocation to Art in Overall Portfolio of Wealth

  • Market Share by Sector of the Fine Art Auction Market in 2020

    Market Share by Sector of the Fine Art Auction Market in 2020