The Art Market in 2016

Nota bene

Editorial by thierry Ehrmann, Founder and CEO of

The emergence of a “new world order” on the Art Market raises serious questions about East-West relations, but also about the role of museums and the ubiquity of technology.

Editorial by Wan Jie, President and Founder of Artron Art Group

Despite a fragile economic context, the Art Market stabilized in 2016. China and the West are getting closer, while the democratisation of art is prompting more people to collect art.

Financialisation of the art market

Financial pressure has sharpened competition between Art Market players leading to better price stability and enhanced liquidity.

General consolidation of the art market

China has become the world’s leading art market while Western sales have seen a significant drop in spectacular auction results. However, transaction volumes have never been so high.

European art… a pillar of the Western art market

The top results have rewarded the best in European Art generating records for Old Masters, Impressionists and Modern artists, and intense demand for the German English and Italian superstars, among others.

Top price American art

The American market is largely focused on its national artists, starting with the blue chip Pop Artists, but increasingly interested in its Abstract and Contemporary artists.

Characteristics of the Chinese Art Market in 2016

Modern Chinese painter Zhang Daqian is the world’s top auction performer. He epitomises the power of the Chinese market, which alone accounts for 38% of global turnover.

Art from around the world

15% of the Top 500 artists are from outside Europe, the USA and China. The Japanese are still very present, as are artists from certain Latin American and South-West Asian countries.

Top 100 auction records

80 works fetched over $10 million in 2016 including Claude Monet’s La Meule (1891) that generated the year’s best result at $81.5 million.

Ranking of the Top 500 artists by auction turnover

In 2016 the ranking saw a lot of movement. It is now essentially composed of 41% European artists, 30% Chinese artists, 15% Americans artists and 15% other nationalities.