2012 Artnews 200 report: 87% of top art buyers own contemporary works

Contemporary art is leading the way when it comes to filling the portfolios of the world's biggest art buyers. That is according to the recently published Artnews 200 report, which has revealed the globe's top 200 spenders on art.

84% of the leading 200 collect contemporary art, according to the survey, with Modern works in second place, finding a home in 37% of portfolios.

Yves Klein le rose de bleu Christie's world record auction
Yves Klein's Le Rose de bleu sold for a new artist record of £23.5m last month

However, the most notable mover in the past 12 months is the Postwar/Abstract Expressionism sector, which has risen from 10% to 14% - a change that investors in the art market may wish to seize upon.

The figures will not surprise those who witnessed Christie's contemporary art auction in London last week, where the world record for Jean-Michel Basquiat grew by 23.3%, and a new $36.7m record was set for Yves Klein.

Francis Outred, Christie's head of post-war & contemporary art in Europe, commented following the sale: "We are now operating in a truly global art market where the demand for masterpieces defines the collector's passion."

New money from around the world is playing a major role, with 10% of the top 200 new to the list - a record in its 22 year history.

Milton Esterow, the editor of Artnews, told Art Daily: "New collectors keep emerging from many countries, including China, Indonesia, India, Russia and South America. But experts say that Americans are still driving the market in a huge way."

97 of the 200 are based in the US, a fall of 7%, while growing numbers of high-net worth Germans are entering the scene, with 21 collectors in the top 200, a rise of 40% since 2011.

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