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 “examination of today’s contemporary art market,” a snapshot of a rapidly “evolving” art environment, and a first-hand account of how the 2008 financial crisis torpedoed a number of middle-class galleries, including his own.

Since publication fourteen months ago, the book has garnered positive reviews, resulting in a number of appearances for the author on the art talk circuit. Little did Winkleman know, though, how prescient his words would appear in late 2016—in light of a global art market slowdown and a renewed spate of gallery closings in New York and Los Angeles.

On August 29, Winkleman posted the following quote from his book’s introduction on his Facebook account. “It can happen like that in the contemporary art market,” he began. “In late 2008, just as I was finishing my book How to Start and Run a Commercial Art Gallery, it felt like someone he had turned off the spigots of the contemporary art market all at once.”



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