ART+, all about the art market
June 2022 1785 

The ART+ yearbook

ART+ compiled the Art Market Yearbook, which summarises the most important events at Czech auctions in the year 2009.

Czech auctioneers sold approximately 10,500 artworks last year at the total worth of 750 million Czech crowns, which represents a new record on the Czech art market. However, the entire half of this amount devises to the 100 of most expensive paintings. The latter is evidenced by the Art Market Yearbook compiled by the technical server in cooperation with the Art + Antiques magazine.

The ART+ Yearbook comprising of eighty pages was published as an attachment to the February issue of the Art + Antiques magazine. Besides summarised statistics and analysis of the review of the complete range of works sold in auctions in the year 2009, worth more than one million Czech crowns, this Yearbook contains fifteen case studies focused on individual market segments and authors that underwent the most interesting price development process last year. “There had not been anyone dealing with the art market in such detail in the past. I truly believe that our Yearbook will become a very precious tool to evidence all the substantial events of the last year“, says the editor in chief for this project, Jan Skřivánek.

Skřivánek sees the most important characteristic of last year in the entry of new buyers into the market, as these people consider art as an alternate investment opportunity. „Art has always played this role, yet the investment approach rose in significance last year, compared to the period before“, explains Skřivánek. That was reflected in the increased interested of buyers related to works from the most famous authors ranging at top price levels. “No future price correction can ever render the paintings from these famous artists totally non-saleable. Investors in search for security and certainty might consider these attributes more important than the risk of price fluctuations between ten or twenty per cent“, informs the ART+ Yearbook.

ART+ Yearbook was published as complement to February issue of Art+Antiques magazine

There were numerous top price records produced in consequence to this trend. For example, none of the paintings in the top ten was worth less than 10 million Czech crowns. This threshold was exceeded by 6 works only the year before. The painting by Kupka, themed Zhroucení vertikál (The Collapse of Verticals) became the most expensive work ever sold at Czech auctions, priced at 26 million Czech crowns. Further top price records could be seen at works by Emil FIlla, Toyen, Jan Zrzavý or Jakub Schikaneder. There were 100 paintings and 2 statues sold at prices exceeding one million Czech crowns each. The most of these items bearing a one-million price tag (21 pcs) in the list are the works by Václav Špála. “That gives us more one-million apiece worth paintings by Špála than over the entire previous decade. The collectors spent more than 55 million Czech crowns on his paintings last year“, adds Skřivánek.

The ART+ Yearbook also includes the newly established index of the Czech art market, which has been calculated back to the year 2003. The ART+ index has been calculated using details as the turnover, the level of total increase and the worth of unsold items. Several key categories used for detailed market description are then converted into a single figure. Whereas the index value showed continual rise over the previous years, the last year brought fluctuations in both directions. According the opinion of authors of the ART+ Yearbook, the trend was influenced by both the buyers´ behaviour as well as the change of business strategy of some auction houses. The interim comparison shows that the ART+ index rose by 107 points last year, which represented 51 points increase since September 2008. That figure corresponds with the growth shown in the first half of the year 2008. “We might say that despite the crisis, the art market experienced a slight hesitation only to continue in growth at the same rate identical with previous periods“, states the ART+ Yearbook.

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