The AIAM Index gives an indication of the general health of the industry, which is currently up up 26% from 2000 levels
Compiled by Adrian Newstead in collaboration with the Australian Art Sales Digest.
The AIAM100 is a value measure of secondary market activity in collectable Australian Indigenous Art. It gauges sales of artworks by the top 100 artists each year. By charting annual fluctuations in several critical factors it reflects the relative state of the market as a whole.
Each artist is ranked according to their career, and annual AIAM index. Detailed profiles, market analysis and performance indicators are provided for a growing list of artists (currently 130) along with the artworks that have achieved their ten highest results at auction.
The AIAM100 provides professional advice on the Indigenous art market in line with other investment categories, thereby serving the interests of artists, galleries and collectors.
Since the earliest colonial period, the trajectory of interest in collectible Aboriginal art has been exponential. By the early 1970's the primary retail market was just under $1 million. It reached $2.5 million by 1980, $45 million by 1990 and $150 million by 2000. Secondary (auction) sales were first recorded in 1988 and in that year they totaled $660,000. By the end of the 1990's this had reached $5 million. It doubled by 2003 and peaked at $26.4 million in 2007.
Based on publicly verifiable sales records, the market for collectible Australian indigenous art was 71% stronger in 2016 than it was in 2000 and up 24% on average across the past 16 years since these records were first calculated. 2016 was the strongest year on record other than those between 2004 and 2007, the period generally referred to as the ‘great international art bubble’.
Sales of works by the 100 highest performing artists doubled between 2014 and 2015 while the average prices of their works increased from $9,714 to $16,037. Seven of the highest 10 records of all time have been set since 2007 with 3 of these since 2009. During 2016 new record prices were set for Michael Nelson Tjakamarra ($687,875), William Barak ($512,000), Albert Namatjira ($122,000), Daniel Walbidi ($79,300), Mick Kubarku ($60,039), Owen Yalandja ($51,462), Robert Campbell Jnr. ($48,880), and Maringka Baker ($26,840), while Emily Knwarreye was the most traded artist with 27 works offered for sale in that year, followed by Albert Namatjira with 24.
2016 saw the most significant annual rise in the fortunes of the Aboriginal art market since the onset of the GFC. The growth in confidence, and the upward trajectory in sales totals and average prices for the top 200 indigenous artists, indicates that the market will continue to grow at a rate considerably faster than the overall economy.
During this same 12 month period, international, online art market sales also increased by 24%. Though the Gallery sector is slowly adapting to the online marketing environment, 92% of online art buyers expect to purchase at least as much, if not more art online during the next 12 months according to the Hiscox Online Art Trade report 2016