PWC_Emergingy_Report_2015-2019 (Cover)

Data Tools

Top 100 Artists by sales 2015-2019PNG CSV
Top 100 Female Artists by sales 2015-2019PNG CSV
Top 50 Young Artists (Under 45) by sales 2015-2019PNG CSV
Top 50 Black American Artists by sales 2015-2019PNG CSV

Contemporary Auction Incubator Report 2015 – 2019

  • Analyst: Lindsay Dewar
  • Pages: 78
  • Access: Analyst Pro

We are delighted to launch the inaugural edition of the Contemporary Incubator Auction Report.

In this report we take a closer look at what we have defined as ‘incubator’ auctions, such as New Now and Under the Influence auctions at Phillips, Contemporary Curated at Sotheby’s and First Open and Post-War to Present at Christie’s in New York and London. For the future editions of this report, we will add Europe, Hong Kong and Shanghai sales, as well as online sales, to ensure we get a better understanding of the market for these incubator auctions, as we move into a new world influenced by the ongoing threat of Covid-19.

We have used the terminology ‘incubator’ auctions to define two aspects; Firstly auctions that are specifically aimed at cultivating new collectors by offering a lower-value option to the traditional contemporary art day and evening sales, and secondly to describe these sales as stepping stones and market ‘testing’ mechanism for younger, emerging artists as well as established artists with low auction presence in the day and evening sales. These incubator auctions act as bellwether of emerging collector and artist trends and provides a different perspective of the contemporary art market compared to our analysis of day and evening sales.

The report sets out to give an in-depth overview and analysis of these incubator auctions between 2015 and 2019. We have decided to do this through different filters, by artist nationality (i.e. by continent and country), by auction houses (Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips) and by specifically looking at different artist demographics, such as a younger generation of artists (aged 45 years or below), female artists and Black American artists. This analysis mimics the structure of our latest Top Artist Report 2019, a report that looks specifically at artists covered by Post-War and Contemporary Day and Evening sales in New York and London, i.e. a higher echelon of the auction market. For future editions of this report we will take a closer look at some of the artist auction market ‘journeys’ from incubator sales to day and evening sales.

One of the interesting aspects of analysing these incubator auctions is the diversity of artists that they represent, nearly 14,000 lots and around 2,900 artists from over 90 different countries. This provides a unique insight into the auction activity of the artists that are the foundation for the broader contemporary auction market.

ArtTactic also offer bespoke reports on the Post-War and Contemporary market. For further information please contact us on


Analytical Tools: 
Comparative Market Analysis by Artist Nationalities
Map with Artist Population Distribution and market share
Auction House Comparative Performance (Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips)
Continent Analysis (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, MENA, Sub-Saharan Africa, Russia and CIS)
Top Rank & Analysis: Artists under 45
Top Rank & Analysis: Female Artists
Top Rank & Analysis: Black American Artists