The global market for modern and contemporary African art performed strongly in 2016 with a sell-through rate of 72% in a morose context of the international art market and the slowing down of African economies. This segment proved to be an exception.
The huge direct and indirect investments, mainly in western countries as well as new structural initiatives in Africa ranging from US$ 300 million to US$ 400 million in the last five years. Modern art led the market with a sell-through rate of 76%, and 55% in value of the total amount of sales, reaching US$23.3 million. Bids that exceeded the symbolic threshold of US$1 million rose by 200%, including 50% for modern art and 50% for contemporary art.
Strauss & Co, based in Johannesburg, South Africa, is the leading auction house for the total amount of works sold with 31% in value and 57% of lots. Auction houses based in the African continent counting for 46.1% of the total value, fetching US$19.6 million and 93.2% of lots London held the most important place in the market in 2016, considering the number of operators in our study that organised sales (40% of the total), the number of proposed lots (2.9% of the total) and of sold lots (28.1% and US$11.9 million in the year) and institutional and commercial exhibitions.
The enlargement of the buyers’ base in all categories. In contemporary art, the works sold beyond their high estimates, representing 58% in value, or US$8 million, and 37.9% between their estimates or US$5,7 million with regard to the total number of sales in this category. Female artists continue to lead this market for the second consecutive year and constitute a very important market share. They represent 60% of the top five most expensive selling lots in all categories and 66.5% in value for this same ranking.
Download the report for free here CLICK HERE