The French art market database creates a new index focusing on blue-chip artists exclusively.

Touted as a scientific index, ArtPrice100® represents the latest tool in ArtPrice’s kit for art buyers and investors alike. Aimed at helping the decision-making process of buying or investing in art, ArtPrice100® was launched by ArtPrice on 31 January 2018.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, 'Infantry', 1983. Image courtesy Sotheby's.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, ‘Infantry’, 1983. Image courtesy Sotheby’s.

ArtPrice100® is an index that monitors and measures the gradual, long-term growth of the art market, by focusing on 100 blue-chip artists. ArtPrice determines these blue-chip artists by identifying the 100 top-performing artists at auction across the past five year-period who also meet an additional criteria, with stipulations such as that at least ten works of comparable quality are sold per year. Each artist is weighted in the index proportionately to his or her annual auction turnover during the past five years.

The top five artists that sit atop the ArtPrice100® list published in 2017 are, in order, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Zhang Daqian, Qi Baishi and Gerhard Richter. Other artists that were ranked amongst the top 100 include Jean-Michel Basquiat, Roy Lichtenstein, Zao Wou-ki, Xu Beihong and Wu Guanzhong. A work by Jean-Michel Basquiat had recently made headlines in May 2017 for selling for USD110.5 million at Sotheby’s, becoming the sixth most expensive work ever sold at auction. ArtPrice had previously reported Basquiat as the highest-grossing American artist at auction, with 80 of his works fetching USD171.5 million.

Zao Wou-Ki, '29.09.64', 1964, oil on canvas 230 x 345 cm. Image courtesy Christie's Hong Kong.

Zao Wou-Ki, ‘29.09.64’, 1964, oil on canvas, 230 x 345 cm. Image courtesy Christie’s Hong Kong.

ArtPrice hopes that the identification of the top 100 artists for the market, based on its analysis of their performance over a five year period, will allow the quantifying of the “most stable segment of the Art Market”. Much of this analysis is derived from the market information that it gathers; ArtPrice boasts a complete index of 673,081 artists listed on the database. The result, ArtPrice hopes, is a “new benchmark in a financial world constantly searching for new investment opportunities in efficient markets”.

Making a comparison to major stock indices such as the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 in its announcement, ArtPrice’s Artprice100® aims to provide a reliable and durable benchmark for art investment. CEO Thierry Ehrmann remarks that the new index ignores the most volatile artists (those most subject to the price impact of fashion and speculation) and focuses exclusively on the art market’s blue-chip artists”, resulting in the ability to show “that art is an extremely competitive financial investment over the longer term”.

Wu Guanzhong, 'Peach Blossoms', 1973, oil on canvas, 61.1 x 46.3 cm. Image courtesy Sotheby's.

Wu Guanzhong, ‘Peach Blossoms’, 1973, oil on canvas, 61.1 x 46.3 cm. Image courtesy Sotheby’s.

ArtPrice was founded in 1987 by CEO Thierry Ehrmann, who is also the founder of its parent company The Server Group. The Server Group manages databases of art auction quotations, one of which is ArtPrice. To date, ArtPrice reports over 30 million indices and auction results covering more than 700,000 artists; it also provides a library of 126 million images or prints of artworks from the year 1700 to the present day, accompanied by annotations by art historians. It currently has over 400 million members.

Junni Chen


Related topics: News, technology, business of artauctionsmarket watch

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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