Art Market 2018: Upcoming trends revealed by international experts, Part II

As we continue our review of top experts opinion regarding the future of 2018’s art market, we compile foresight from two connoisseur: Georgina Adam, art sector journalist who contributes (among others) to The Art Newspaper and the Financial Times. As well as art critic Lluciá Homs, who holds weekly column dedicated to the art world in the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia. If you are in Barcelona, you have to opportunity to share their insight as they are both participating in this years edition of Talking Galleries.

Georgina Adam in her editorial for The Art Newspaper underlines the following tendencies for 2018:

  1. The financial guarantees are coming back in force: Georgina Adam predicts that “the record of Salvator Mundi will reinforce the use of guarantees in the auction market: the amount (undisclosed) amount the third-party guarantors must have made on the Leonardo will surely trigger a clamour from others to offer these incentives.”
  2. Auction catalogues with cross-category sales: A new phenomenon was observed in New York last as Sotheby’s and Christie’s included highly priced lots (Da Vinci’s painting and Michael Schumacher Ferrari’s) in their post-war and contemporary art sales. But it definitely worked! “I expect to see more of such inclusions, with the price being more important in determining who an item sells to, as opposed to its traditional “category”¨observes Adam.
  3. Private sales: until the Salvator Mundi sale, our expert was inclined to think that private sales would continue to increase. However, clients might now believe that public sales are the way to achieve unprecedented record-prices as we’ve seen happen in 2017.
  4. Old Masters: While number of experts anticipate that this segment of the market will decline, Adam believes the contrary: “Many dealers claim the Old Master market is in decline, dealers say that the problem is a lack of top-notch works. […] There are still great works tucked away in private hands, and the Leonardo price might tempt them out.¨ So Adam is expecting a “revival of interest in Old Masters in the coming year, both in improved supply and in buyers looking more closely at this sector.”.

In the absence factual data from the 2017’s market, which we will obtain directly from TEFAF and ART BASEL in the following months, Adam advances that sales have increased significantly in 2017. A prediction that Lluciá Homs agrees with in his article for La Vanguardia, “Mercado Robusto”. He also reports that the art sector can feel relieved after the menacing political scene that inaugurated the year (rise to power of Trump and Brexit).

Predictions regarding 2018’s art market wouldn’t be complete without including information about art galleries. Georgina Adam and LLucia Homs both confirm the crisis happening within the “Mid-size Galleries” versus the exponential growth of the “Mega Galleries”. Adam dares to predict that this segment of the market, medium and small size galleries, will be where we will see the greatest changes take place given that “the galleries explore new business models, from shared spaces to collaborations and partnership agreements”.

As we await for the actual data and let the year go by, these were the initial impressions of some art market experts. Soon, we will publish our predictions for Spain and we will keep you updated on the latest news we get from major events such as Talking Galleries or TEFAF 2018.


The Art Market Newspaper, “What will 2018 hold for the art market” by Georgina Adam

La Vanguardia, “Mercado Robusto” by Llucia Hóms, 31st December 2017.

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