2020 Market

Like many sectors, the global art market suffered from the socio-economic effects of sanctions imposed during the emergence of Covid. Overall sales decreased around 20 percent compared to data published for 2019. Segmenting this shows that online platforms increased their relative share of overall sales while auction houses, art fairs and galleries struggled in many cases through the restrictive lockdowns and public safety measures. On a positive note these difficulties have generated innovation with most commercial galleries and agents now utilising advanced digital technologies to better promote their artists and works. From the sample of auction lots reviewed, there seems to be steady demand for modest yet quality pieces by local and internationally recognised artists. This is evidenced when important works on paper by Kiki Smith, Brett Whitely, and others surpassed pre-sale estimates by multiples of four and beyond.