Business, But Not As Usual

Tension in the Tectonic Plates Underlying the Market.  Everything you ever wanted to know about the art market but didn’t know who to ask

The good news: the figures are big, demand is deep and there are more collectors buying art than ever. Meanwhile, there is real tension in the tectonic plates underlying the market. This is likely to cause significant disruption, not necessarily bad, later this year.

We interviewed many international dealers and other trade figures for this article, asking each how and where they were planning to focus their energies in 2018. Most feel that a huge shift is underway in terms of how we experience art and collect it; how tastes are determined and what will thrive.

Primary galleries—the heart of the art market—have functioned more or less in the same way since Leo Castelli opened in New York in 1957. Now, more than half a century later, we are in a moment of seismic movement. Some of these changes are about money; some about access; others about intellectual and emotional shifts on the part of the dealers, artists and others.


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