The Kippenberger Conundrum: How the Wildly Prolific Artist’s Artist Became an Eight-Figure Auction Darling

It was the peak of the 2014 fall auction season in New York, and though nearly two decades had gone by since Martin Kippenberger’s death of liver failure in 1997, the artist’s market had never been hotter. Prior to its bellwether postwar and contemporary evening sale, Christie’s had set the estimate for a prized 1988 […]

Galleries hit by cyber crime wave

Hackers are stealing large sums of money from art galleries and their clients using a straightforward email deception. The Art Newspaper has so far identified nine galleries or individuals targeted by this scam. They include Hauser & Wirth, the London-based dealers Simon Lee, Thomas Dane, Rosenfeld Porcini and Laura Bartlett and, in the US, Tony […]

Art-Fair Economics: Why Small Galleries Do Art Fairs Even When They Don’t Make Money

As the middle market shrinks, many dealers are finding they can’t afford to do fairs—but they can’t afford not to, either. Think art fairs are all about sold-out booths, comfortable shoes, and exclusive dinner invitations? Think again. For many small to mid-size galleries, fairs—like Art Basel in Basel, which opens to VIPs today—are an increasingly […]

The False Narrative of Damien Hirst’s Rise and Fall

The rise and fall of Damien Hirst is an oft-told tale of hubris and nemesis. An art-world superstar in the nineteen-nineties and early two-thousands, Hirst made white-hot works—the most infamous of which involved animals immersed in formaldehyde—whose prices only ever went up. He got rich, his galleries got rich, his collectors got rich, everybody was happy. But, then, […]

The Art Market Moves East: How Gagosian, David Zwirner, and 14 Other Western Art Businesses Are Trying to Expand to Asia

China has been described as “the largest growth market for the art business, anywhere.” See how auctioneers and dealers are tapping into it. In the past year alone, no fewer than six galleries have opened or announced plans to open an outpost or office somewhere in Asia. Amid announcement after announcement, it may feel like […]

The Gray Market: Why Museums Can’t Compete With Private Collectors (and Other Insights)

FALSE EQUIVALENCE: Although I always advise caution about these reports, sales at this year’s freshly entombed Frieze and Frieze Masters were allegedly strong from the jump. Numerous exhibitors were eager to broadcast their results (or at least, pretend to) on VIP preview night. But rather than resurrect the issue of dubious honesty from self-interested actors in a consequence-free […]

Dick Bellamy: The Man Hiding at the Center of Everything

He was slight and unassuming with a bushy mop of dark hair and deep circles under his eyes hinting at the alcoholic dissipation of a poète maudit. His voice was a suggestive murmur, both musical and raspy from smoking too much. Most people called him Dick. To friends he would announce himself as George, a […]

When Dealers, Too, Were Romantics

“Dealers are as important as the artists themselves,” the gallery owner Leo Castelli once said. “Hecannot exist without us, and we cannot exist without him.” Gendered language aside, Castelli’s remark captures the fragile symbiosis between those who make art and those who sell it. Lately, however, dealers have been having trouble keeping up their end of […]

The art buyer’s dilemma: How to pass on your collection

Art collectors face a dilemma as they update their estate plans: What to do with a collection that is potentially worth hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars? Whether they’ve bought the pieces as an investment or to fuel a passion, collectors heading into their retirement years are trying to figure out whether to […]

Jordan Wolfson review – shock jock with a baseball bat

A giant marionette dangles on a chain, rats smoke, a boy dances in urine and the artist beats a man to death … a controversial new show explodes in a frenzy of cartoon sex and violence. A virtual reality headset over my eyes, headphones over my ears, a gallery assistant helps me grab the metal […]

‘What Next?’ an Uncertain Art World Asks, Sticking to Proven Brands

LONDON — The art market is almost as old as art itself. But it’s only in the last decade or so, with increased globalization, digitization and the rise of art as a multibillion-dollar investment vehicle, that the market has been viewed as an industry. And where there is industry, conferences are sure to follow. On […]

Recent London Gallery Closures Show Struggle at Art Market’s Middle

Ever since the global financial crisis of 2008 and the art market’s subsequent decline a year later, the middle market has come under increasing pressure. According to economist Clare McAndrew’s Art Market | 2017 report, the middle market—defined for dealers as works priced between $5,000 and $50,000—is the “most difficult segment” in which to operate. […]

Odd Man in: The Sculptor Robert Morris, at 86, Is Still Blazing Trails

During his long, illustrious career, Robert Morris has constructed sculptures that startle, question, challenge and flout expectations. Since the early 1960s, he has made, in a range of materials, spare, geometric forms; Dada-like objects; ephemeral works; land art; environments with sound systems that play scripted narratives; proto-selfies; dramatic pastel pictures with elaborate sculpted frames; performance […]

The Controversial Artist Who Just Won’t Go Away

Julian Schnabel has occupied many roles through the years: the default figurehead of the star-studded 1980s art world; the fall guy for that era’s particular brand of monied hedonism; an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker; for some, the greatest painter of his time — and others, the most overrated. He’s experienced ups and downs with critical and […]

Why the Upper East Side Is the Best Place to See Art in New York

Artspace Article Published: April 3, 2016: Stretched out alongside the east flank of Central Park like a satisfied cat lying in the sun, the Upper East Side—longtime home to tycoons and celebrities—is still the most luxe neighborhood in New York City, where foreign billionaires plant their money in $100 million manses and ridiculous trend stories […]

Welcome to the Garden of Forking Paths: Ed Winkleman on How to Navigate the Art Industry’s Strange New Landscape

There’s no question that contemporary art galleries are struggling these days. The market is sluggish, the essential handshake-based rules of the art trade are being confused by the proliferation of artworks on the internet, and, at the same time, competition for artists and a globalizing terrain are forcing dealers to take on more costs by […]

Why the ‘Uber effect’ is proving elusive for online platforms

Barely a month goes by without the launch of an online initiative that aims to disrupt the art market and bring the “Uber and Airbnb effect” to art transactions. But witness the crowds pacing the aisles at a big-league art fair, or spilling out of the salesrooms during the evening auctions, and the impact of […]

How the Artist Adrian Ghenie Became an Auction Star

Many say it was the 2011 exhibition at the Palazzo Grassi museum in Venice that first ignited art buyers’ interest in a young Romanian artist named Adrian Ghenie, whose heavy palette-knife paintings are haunted by historical figures like Stalin, Hitler and the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele. Then, in 2015, Mr. Ghenie drew more attention when […]

The Middle Market Squeeze, Part II: Galleries Get a Reality Check

Every age gets the kind of gallery it deserves. In August of 2015, ex-gallerist, private dealer, art fair director, and author Ed Winkleman published his second book on contemporary art galleries in six years. Titled Selling Contemporary Art: How to Navigate the Evolving Market(Allworth Press), the book provides what an Amazon online review calls an […]

Clean, Well-Lighted Places: On Our Nostalgia for the Golden Age of Art Dealing

The notion that collectors sit atop the hierarchy of today’s art world is axiomatic. They build private museums and control the boards of traditional ones. Through their acquisitions, they determine the fates of artists, and often overshadow curators, historians, and critics—all those ink-stained intellectuals who used to play a larger role in determining art’s value. […]