South African fine art prices have risen by about 33% over the past 10 years in US dollar terms, according to in-house indices compiled for the latest South Africa Wealth Report.
Global fine art prices have risen by 18% over the same period.
According to the report – by New World Wealth and AfrAsia Bank – Irma Stern is currently the most valuable South African artist. Stern’s paintings can fetch up to $2.5m (about R35m) each, with an average price of around $350 000 (R5m) per painting.
The global top-end art market is valued at around $75bn, of which African art accounts for around $1bn, and of which $460m is held in South Africa specifically.
The SA Wealth Report’s top 10 bankable artists for 2019 (in no particular order):
Sydney Kumalo (sculpture)
Anton van Wouw (sculpture)
The top-10 list is rounded off by Alexis Preller; Vladimir Tretchikoff and John Meyer.