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Top 100 Ranking Artists in African Art 2014


Given the specifics of the burgeoning African modern and contemporary art market, it is essential to go beyond auction results alone in order to analyze it. This study ranks the 100 artists who obtained the best scores according to five weighted criteria:

  1. turnover at auction in 2015 5 (25%)
  2. medium price of characteristic artworks on the first market (25%)
  3. number of exhibitions in museums throughout career (20%)
  4. number of exhibitions at commercial galleries throughout career (20%)
  5. level of recognition among independent art critics (10%)
4 artist profiles
4 different artist profiles emerged through the analysis:
• Global
The Global profile includes artists who are recognized internationally in both the museum and the commercial worlds, with stable prices on the first and the second markets.
• Undervalued
The Undervalued profile includes artists with a strong presence on the art scene, both in the non-profit and the first market sectors. Their artworks appear sporadically on the second market, with undervalued prices.
• High Potential
The High Potential profile includes artists whose recognition in the art circles is underway. Their presence is stronger in museums than in commercial galleries. Their artworks are hardly seen on the second market.
• To watch
The To Watch profile includes emerging artists whose first artworks have recently been seen on the second market for the first time.
For this study’s purposes, the Global and the Undervalued profile can be split in two according to the artists’ birth dates:
  • Modern: artists who were born before 1940.
  • Contemporary: artists who were born after 1940