According to the latest survey by The Society of London Art Dealers (SLAD), the number of Old Master and Victorian art dealers has fallen from 35% to 28% since 2014. Dealers in post-war artists now account for 52% of the membership, up from 43%.
Of the members surveyed, those dealing in contemporary art now account for 48%, up from 32%.
SLAD’s Jeremy Eckstein said: “This swing from ‘old’ to ‘new’ over a short period of time reflects the changes in the global market.”
The shift in the nature of the membership base has resulted in a marked increase in the proportion of stock acquired direct from artists, and a corresponding decrease in that acquired at auction.
Members remained optimistic, with 44% predicting 2017 to be better than last year, perhaps on the back of a reported improvement in pre-tax profits, with 47% reporting an increase.
This 2017 biennial survey is based on members’ trading results during 2016, updating on the previous survey which was published in June 2015, which related to 2014.