Art Basel's 2021 Art Market Report

20 September 2021

The Art Basel and UBS Art Market Report for 2021 found that the art market (and the behaviours of the artists, collectors and dealers who comprise it) changed drastically in 2020. Studio schedules, sales platforms and exhibition models had to adjust and adapt to a socially distanced world. As a result, the way art is made, viewed and collected has shifted notably; this is the new normal.

New Normal Projects was created in response to this new environment, and with the objective of providing a space within it to engage with and collect art.

We’re taking a look at some of the stand-out discoveries from the report:

  • In 2020, online sales accounted for 25% of the global art market, up from only 9% in 2019, the first time the share of e-commerce in the art market has exceeded that of general retail. In terms of value, online sales reached a record high of $12.4 billion, doubling in value from 2019.

  • Millennial collectors (born between 1981 and 1996) were the highest spenders in 2020, overtaking both Gen X and Boomer buyers. This was the first time that younger collectors spent more than older generation.

  • Of the 365 global art fairs planned for 2020, 61% were cancelled, 37% hosted live events and 2% hosted hybrid events. Locally, most recently the Investec Cape Town Art Fair turned their event online, making it their first digital event with online viewing rooms, and have already committed to their 2022 event being a hybrid one, with both online and live aspects.

For more, you can download the full report.