Auction houses, galleries, art fairs and online sales combine thousands of venues where art is traded on a daily basis. Every year Dr. Clare McAndrew of Arts Economics compiles the TEFAF Art Market Report, to be presented at the homonymous art fair in Maastricht. Aujourd'hui has selected a few facts from the report, considered by many to be the only comprehensive data tracking source of all the simultaneous worldwide sales.

  • The global art market reached a total of over €51 billion in 2014, an increase of 7 percent over 2013, and the highest level ever recorded.
  • The distribution of sales by value in the global art market was dominated by the three major art markets: the US (39 percent); China (22 percent); and the UK (also 22 percent).
  • Approximately 1,530 lots were sold at auction for over €1 million in 2014 (this includes 96 lots for more than €10 million), up nearly 17 percent from 2013.
  • The dealer sector (including dealer and gallery sales and private sales within the art trade) was estimated to account for around 52 percent of the global art and antiques market by value, or some €26.4 billion in 2014.
  • In 2014 postwar and contemporary art was the largest sector of the fine art market, representing 48 percent of all fine art sales by value. Auction sales of postwar and contemporary art reached €5.9 billion, up 19 percent on 2013 and the highest total ever recorded.
  • Sales of modern art were the second largest, accounting for 28 percent of the global fine art auction market with auction sales of €3.3 billion.
  • In 2014, there were 180 major art fairs with an international element, covering fine and decorative art. The top 22 fairs generated visitors in excess of one million.
  • Sales made at fairs accounted for a reported 40 percent of all dealer sales in 2014 or an estimated €9.8 billion (the second largest sales channel after in-gallery transactions).
  • In 2014, sales of art online were estimated conservatively to have reached €3.3 billion, or around six percent of global art and antiques sales by value.
  • Art fairs were again the second largest item of expenditure at €2.3 billion or 19 percent of the total despite only being incurred by dealers.