The Gray Market: Could Auction Houses Really Help Save Struggling Galleries? (and Other Insights)

Our columnist follows the bread crumbs left by the rumor that Art Agency, Partners will offer gallery advisory services for a hefty fee. It’s not exactly an analytical breakthrough if I tell you that the art industry is deeply troubled and, in many cases, deeply paranoid right now. A lot of people in the trade […]

Is Everything We Know About Gallery E-Commerce Wrong? How David Zwirner and Gagosian’s New Initiatives Break the Rules

With their new online viewing rooms, the mega-galleries are challenging ideas about what can (and can’t) sell online in a changing art market. Galleries have been offering works to buyers digitally since at least the early days of smartphones. But back then, emailed JPGs and PDF checklists were usually used to whet clients’ appetites for […]

Why Frieze Los Angeles Would Be Dead on Arrival (and Other Insights)

This week, our columnist draws on his LA gallery experience to chart the pitfalls of Frieze’s potential westward expansion. THE RUMOR On Thursday, Charlotte Burns and Allan Schwartzman reported in Art Agency, Partners’s “In Other Words” newsletter that “the Frieze Art Fair is looking to launch a Los Angeles event in January 2019.” A Frieze […]

5 Disruptive Trends Art Galleries Need to Understand If They Want to Survive

At this year’s Talking Galleries symposium in Barcelona, the debates boiled down to a few core issues. Here they are: 1. The Scale and Pace of the Gallery Sector Have Become Cancerous for Many. 2. Different Tiers of Galleries Are Now Playing Different Games With Different Rules. 3. The Art Industry Must Break Out of […]

Why Would Anyone Pay $450 Million for the ‘Salvator Mundi’? Because They’re Not Buying the Painting

An attempt to psychoanalyze the buyer of Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi.’ Every May and November, many around the art world wonder aloud—with varying degrees of frustration—why so much of the media fixates its auction coverage on star lots and gaudy prices. The 36-hour frenzy following Christie’s sale of Salvator Mundi (circa 1500), the so-called “Last da […]

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 […]