Despite its 4th position in the global ranking, the French market only represents a very small share of the world’s Contemporary art auction turnover: a little less than 2.8%, behind the United States and China standing shoulder to shoulder with 33.7% each and the United Kingdom with 21.1%.
The primary quality of the Contemporary art market in France is the density of its offer (over 5,500 lots were sold at auction between July 2012 and June 2013, almost as many as the 6,000 sold in the United States). Its second quality is that it consists of highly affordable works since French artists are substantially less expensive than their American, Chinese, English and German counterparts.
The Contemporary artists in the rankings provided by Artprice.com are all born after 1945, a birth date that excludes certain living artists like Pierre SOULAGES, born in 1919, whose work fetches substantially more than Combas’ on the secondary market. As a result, Robert COMBAS is the only French artist among the global top 100 Contemporary artists by auction turnover.
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