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Thu, Jan 18, 2024 1:55pmGrey Clock 3 min

Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Gerhard Richter top a list of 50 artists leading the momentum for works valued at US$1 million or more, according to a report released Tuesday by Sotheby’s and ArtTactic, a London art market analysis firm.

The list ranked artists with an average of five artworks of US$1 million or more that sold each year between 2018 and 2022 at Christie’s, Phillips, and Sotheby’s—a methodology aimed at showing consistency. The analysis also considers sales value, liquidity, average prices, bidder confidence, and market momentum for each artist, and draws on Sotheby’s internal data on bidders and private sales.

Works by the top five artists alone made up more than a third of all US$1 million-plus sales at these top global auction houses in those years, the report said.

Shifts may be afoot, however. A “Power Rank” of top artists in the US$1 million-plus category, based on data from July 2022 to June 2023, “aims to identify artists whose markets show signs of growing momentum and interest,” the report said.

The top artists of this 12-month Power Rank are Jasper Johns, Lucian Freud, Paul Gaugin, Wassily Kandinksy, and Willem de Kooning.

“The Artists Who Power the $1 Million+ Market” is the second report by Sotheby’s and ArtTactic to explore this segment of the auction world, which proved to be “especially resilient” in 2021 and 2022, during the height of the pandemic and the beginning of the war in Ukraine. Despite representing a “small fraction” of works sold at auction, art that fetches at least US$1 million has “a tremendous impact on the market at lower levels,” the report said.

The analysis considers auction results at Christie’s, Phillips, and Sotheby’s in four categories: contemporary (including Post-War), impressionist and modern, Old Masters, and Chinese works of art. The list of top 50 artists from 2018 to 2022 who are powering the US$1 million-plus sector also includes insights from Sotheby’s private sales and its bidding activity data. Though the latter information is from Sotheby’s alone, similar activity is likely taking place at other auction houses, the report said.

“We all know that the art market has never been as transparent as the financial markets, so any information we can give our clients in terms of trends, analysis, and insight will allow them to make more thoughtful and educated decisions about their purchases, whether they see them as an investment or are pursuing a passion,” Mari-Claudia Jiménez, Sotheby’s head of global business development, said during a roundtable discussion with her colleagues and ArtTactic CEO Anders Petterson that’s included in the report.

The rare insight into private-sale data revealed that works by Alberto Giacometti, in addition to Monet, Basquiat, Picasso and Warhol, made up nearly 80% of Sotheby’s private transactions in the first half of this year. From 2019 to the first half of 2023, these same artists represented only 44.7% of private sales.

Sotheby’s internal bidding data—also rare to see—shows a rise in bidding for works with estimates between US$20 million and US$50 million in the first half of this year. “Despite market uncertainty,” this lofty segment has attracted 6.1% of bidders in the market for works valued at US$1 million or more, up from 3.8% in 2022, the report said.

Nearly 75% of Sotheby’s bidders raised their paddles for works priced between US$1 million and US$5 million from 2018 to 2022, though the percentage slipped to 72.4% in the first half of the year as 13.8% of collectors bid on works valued between US$5 million and US$10 million (up from 12.5% in 2022).

ArtTactic dug deeper into this internal bidding data to understand what category of works these collectors favored, where they live, and how old they are. The data “provides collectors with additional context to understand some of the drivers behind emerging trends,” the report said.

Among its findings: Contemporary art was favored by 56.1% of bidders; North Americans bid the most, representing nearly 36.4% of those vying for works of US$1 million or more; and Generation X is making their mark, accounting for the largest share of bidders in the market at 40.2%.

This generational shift is significant. Younger collectors are more comfortable buying across art categories, from Old Masters to Contemporary, for instance.

“The data in the report shows that our collectors, even the youngest ones, are interested in the entire span of history,” Brooke Lampley, Sotheby’s head of global fine art, said during the roundtable. “Education is such an important factor in the art market, and people are learning about art history in many different ways today.”

These younger collectors are interested in art in part because they are more exposed to it than previous generations, Lampley said. Private collectors today are exposed through the numerous art fairs they attend in addition to public auctions, which generations ago were attended more by dealers and others in the trade who then sold the works, she said.

“There has been a great effort to make people feel included in the art world and to make it accessible, both by galleries and auction houses,” Lampley said.

Notably, there are no women artists among the top five of the list of 50 powering the US$1 million-plus market, although four made the larger list. Joan Mitchell ranks No. 17, Yayoi Kusama ranks No. 19, Cecily Brown ranks No. 39, and Helen Frankenthaler ranks No. 47.


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Saudi Arabia’s 2024 Summer TOURISM Plans Unveils New Incentives and Global Attractions

“Saudi Summer is Next Door” plans to boost tourism in the Kingdom over four months across seven destinations.

Wed, May 22, 2024 4 min

Saudi Arabia has unveiled its plan to attract international tourists this summer. The strategy includes appealing visa options, complimentary airline tickets for families, a lineup of major events, and opportunities for tax-free shopping.

The initiative, organized under the guidance of Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA), is named “Saudi Summer is Next Door.”


Extensive Summer 2024 Tourism Activities

The initiative will span four months, ending in September, and will be hosted across seven key destinations: Aseer, Al Baha, Taif, the Red Sea, Jeddah, Riyadh, and AlUla.

It features over 550 tourism products and more than 150 specially tailored offers and packages for families and various interest groups including adventure enthusiasts, luxury seekers, and cultural and heritage buffs.

The launch event of the Saudi Summer Program 2024 was attended by notable figures such as Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, in addition to more than 250 key partners from both public and private sectors, prominent media personalities, and influential opinion leaders.

Showcasing Global Events and Cultural Richness

This year’s program will also welcome back the Jeddah Season and introduce the Aseer Season, each filled with various activities and events for families. The Kingdom will host several significant events as part of the summer program, including the first Esports World Cup in Riyadh, an eight-week competition featuring top esports athletes, and various boxing tournaments in Riyadh and Jeddah.

During the event, Al Khateeb highlighted the latest global tourism trends, the Kingdom’s growth in the tourism sector, and the record-high tourist numbers that have propelled Saudi Arabia to the top of the UN World Tourism list and the G20 nations list.

Al Baha

Al Khateeb emphasized, “Saudi Arabia is witnessing a transformative period in tourism, driven by our vision to position the Kingdom as a premier global destination. The Saudi Summer Program 2024 is our commitment to showcasing the rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and unparalleled hospitality that Saudi Arabia offers. “We invite local and international tourists to experience the diversity of our seven unique destinations and take advantage of the exceptional offers and packages designed to create unforgettable memories. “This initiative, supported by our strategic partnerships and groundbreaking efforts like the eVisa and increased flight connectivity, demonstrates our dedication to making Saudi Arabia more accessible and appealing to tourists worldwide. “We look forward to welcoming visitors from all corners of the globe to explore and enjoy the vibrant experiences that await them this summer.”

Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, also remarked, “Saudi tourism is witnessing unparalleled development at all levels, achieving great leaps in recent years, which I witnessed during my multiple visits to this hospitable country.”


“Saudi Arabia has global indicators related to the number of tourists, which has qualified it to top the UN World Tourism list of significant tourist destinations.”

“All of these great achievements for Saudi tourism would not have been possible without proper planning by those in charge of the sector in the Kingdom and the great potential it possesses in terms of diverse climates, stunning natural landmarks, and the generosity of Saudi people who are distinguished by their hospitality, raising the ceiling of ambitions for new achievements.”

STA CEO Fahd Hamidaddin said: “While temperatures in the region rise to high levels during summer, temperatures in the highlands of Saudi Arabia in the southern region decrease to the extent that we even witnessed snowfall in Al Soudah yesterday.” “Through the promotional campaign for the Saudi Summer Program 2024, we seek to highlight the uniqueness of our destinations and their climatic, natural, and cultural diversity, along with the exceptional events and activities happening during summer. “This year’s summer program includes more than 550 tourism products and 150 special offers designed in collaboration with STA’s partners, which include attractive offers from hotels, airlines offering free tickets for children in partnership with major travel, tourism, and aviation companies, and exceptional products in the Aseer Season and Jeddah Season like tax-free shopping offers and many new and exciting experiences such as private beaches for tourists and ladies’ beaches.”

“The campaign slogan “Saudi Summer is Next Door” embodies an open invitation to explore the magic of Saudi destinations and their diversity. This diversity is expressed with simple words that reflect the uniqueness of each destination, such as “Closer,” “Cooler,” “More Beautiful,” and “More Affordable.”

The private sector is a very important component of the success of tourism programs and initiatives, and the Saudi Tourism Authority is committed to empowering it by fostering demand for products and offers that align with the aspirations of tourists globally.

The launch of the Saudi Summer Program 2024 marks a period when visiting the Kingdom has become easier, smoother, and safer through measures such as the availability of the eVisa to citizens of 66 countries, a 20 percent reduction in eVisa prices, and a significant increase in the number of weekly flights from

Gulf cities to Saudi summer destinations, now totaling 1,100.

Residents of the GCC can also benefit from the GCC residents visa, which allows them multiple entries and a stay of up to 90 days in the Kingdom over a year. Moreover, the number of hotel rooms available to travelers is set to increase, with an additional 25,000 rooms expected to be added this year.


Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

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