Authored by Morgan Baird

Morgan Baird is the founder of Art Auction Analytics. He has a passion for art earning an MA in Art History. This combined with a deep interest in how markets run thanks to an MBA in Finance and Corporate Accounting has motivated him to write about the art market.

The Post-War & Contemporary Art Market – Strong and Steady in May

Feb 22, 2022Art Market Updates, New Art Market Trends0 comments

First published on June 3, 2021

The major New York auctions were held in May, so it was a big month on the auction calendar. And the news was good.  Artist Market Values (“AMVs”) held steady and there are no signs of a softening market – or a correction – in the near term. The market tracked to form:

  • Index indicators – The AAA 100, AAA Blue-Chip 35 and AAA Conceptual 32 behaved slightly differently, with the AAA 100 holding; the AAA Blue-Chip 35 bumping up a point; and the AAA Conceptual 32 dipping two points.  All within the norm.
  • Bellwether Artist Indicators – These four highly traded blue-chip artists stayed within established AMV ranges.

We expect more of the same in June with the big end-of-month London auctions, followed in early July by the usual summer auction hibernation.

Index Indicators – Observations

  • The art market in May.  Near-term stability is a good sign.
  • A flattening out of the AAA 100 and AAA Blue-Chip 35 is not a bad thing. Consistency and some incremental growth mean staying power.
  • AAA Conceptual 32 decrease was no surprise.  Conceptual artists have slightly underperformed and we do not see this changing any time soon.

Bellwether Artists – Observations

  • Consistency into June conveys sustainability.  That any changes to AMVs through May were modest indicates that the market will maintainable its stride going into the fall auctions.
  • Nothing is amiss. Nothing right now suggests stormy weather ahead.  
  • Despite a slight dip, Kusama’s AMV is remains at the high end of her range.  A dip of this sort should come as no surprise because blue-chip artists tend to revert to normal. We do expect her AMV to remain at the higher end of her range.

Our next art market update will be in early July to wrap up the 1st Half of 2021. In the meantime, we have a bunch of indexes available. Just ask; if it is not in our stable, we could develop one for you. 

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