In her end-of-year recap over at the Financial Times, Georgina Adams notes that 2012’s auction sales are likely to add up to $10 billion once all the reports are filed, which is less than last year ($11.8 billion), but more than in 2010 ($9.5 billion).
Postwar and contemporary art led the pack again this year with a $3 billion total — a big increase of 28 percent over last year. Adams offers some explanation for the shift:
Though modern art (and Old Masters) potentially offer the highest prices (just look at the $250m paid for Cézanne’s “The Card Players,” 1895, in 2011) the inventory is more limited in these sectors. Contemporary art offers better supply, and the strong market for postwar artists has brought many works to auction…”
— Rachel Corbett