Tuesday 22 October 2019

UK art market defies Brexit to regain standing as second largest globally

The UK market overtook the Chinese market after a successful 2018.

Christie’s art handlers with a display of works by the Old Masters (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Christie’s art handlers with a display of works by the Old Masters (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

By Alex Green, Press Association Entertainment Reporter

The UK has regained its standing as the second largest art market in the world after being overtaken by China last year.

Defying uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the UK registered a successful year of sales, according to a report commissioned by a renowned art fair.

The value of sales from the UK rose 8% in 2018 to just under 14 billion dollars, meaning it now dominates 21% of the world’s total trade.

Art handlers at Christie’s saleroom in central London (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The US remains in pole position, accounting for 44% of sales by value.

China returns to being the third largest market with a total sale value of 12.9 billion dollars – a decline of 3% year-on-year.

Figures from the Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report indicate the UK’s success has emerged from its sales being dominated by trade with buyers outside the European Union.

It also shows UK dealers are still regarded as some of the most important by international buyers.

The total amount of money made at auction in the UK improved by 15% to 5.3 billion dollars.

The report was authored by cultural economist Dr Clare McAndrew and is the result of different research projects from the UBS bank.

PA Media

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