Artmark: Romania’s art market continues slight upward trend in H1

According to Artmark, the largest operator in the local art market (around 85% of public sales), Romania’s art market continued the slight upward trend in the first half of 2021, despite the crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Contemporary art and the Romanian avant-garde saw the largest increases during this period. These departments’ sales increased by over 30% year-on-year, from EUR 994,000 in the first half of 2020 to EUR 1.5 million in H1 this year. 

When it comes to heritage art, sales in the first half of 2021 (EUR 2.38 million) were similar to those reported in the same period of 2020 (EUR 2.39 million). According to Artmark, this can be explained by a lower offer, “considering the rarer appearance of important patrimony works on the Romanian art market.”

“Current trends for the heritage art market are likely to continue in the future, mainly due to the rarity and gradual decline of the classical art offer. On the other hand, […] the contemporary art offer is growing, and this segment is likely to become dominant in the market in the next 5-10 years, especially in terms of quantity, not necessarily the trading value,” Artmark said.

Artmark recorded auction art sales of EUR 6.58 million in the first half of 2021, slightly up from EUR 6.16 million in the same period last year. 

Sold for EUR 165,000 at a public auction in May, the last Rombac 1-11 plane built in Romania leads the top of best-selling public lots of art or collectibles auctioned on the domestic market in H1. The aircraft was used for the official flights of former presidents Ion Iliescu and Traian Basescu.

Next in the top is the Noaptea Orasului/City Night painting by Ion Ţuculescu (sold for EUR 140,000 at the A10 Summer Auction on June 15), followed by a rare copy of the Enigma cypher machine (auctioned for EUR 135,000 in March), Adrian Ghenie’s Untitled (sold for EUR 129,000 in mid-February), and the Rombac “Super One-Eleven” plane used for the official flights of former communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu (auctioned for EUR 120,000).

The ten most important auction transactions in the first half of 2021 amounted to a total of EUR 1.22 million, up from EUR 922,000 in H1 2020.

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(Photo source: Artmark)