Symposium: Art as Commodity – Kunst wird Ware, April 27, Hamburg

Symposium zur Ausstellung „Kunst wird Ware. Die Geburt des Kunstmarktes im Goldenen Zeitalter der Niederlande“

27. April 2017, 10 bis 17.30 Uhr

Bucerius Kunst Forum, Rathausmarkt 2, 20095 Hamburg

Ridiculous prices, greedy traders, exaggerated artists: the adverse impact of today’s art market seems ubiquitous. And yet the trade is a form of social engagement with art and thus an essential condition of its existence. Talk about art and art markets originated long before there were museums. The birthplace of art trade was the Netherlands of the 17th century. While commissions by nobility and the church stagnated, the increasingly wealthy bourgeoisie was able to afford oil paintings for the first time. Following the demands of the new market, the motifs as well as the techniques changed. Histories and mythological scenes were still life, landscapes and genre images. Prices ranged from a few guilders to vast sums.

This symposium [held in German] sets the scene for the exhibition, September 23, 2017 – Jan 7, 2018.
Free tickets for students are available at BKF counter in advance, but are limited.

 

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Anne Luther: A Plea for a More Sustainable Art Market

In this blog, our member Dr. Anne Luther, a researcher and software developer at The Center for Data Arts at The New School and for Professor Boris Groys at NYU, questions some of the recent practices by speculating collectors looking to make quick profits from the market of contemporary art. A similar call to blacklist so-called flippers was recently made by Thaddaus Ropac at the Barcelona Talking Galleries Conference (16-17 January 2017).

Anne Luther: A Plea for a More Sustainable Art Market (pdf., 109kB)

A plea for a more sustainable art market
by Anne Luther

New York is the center of the international contemporary art market. [footnote 1] Local actors are tightly interconnected, and one can understand strategies and mechanisms of the market in a much more traceable way than in anywhere else. The city has major museums and institutions; the significant auction houses host their ‘record auctions’ here; the most successful galleries are surrounded by an unparalleled density of galleries; and art fairs, art magazines, and art schools are abundant. The network of people working in this local art world is therefore incomparable to other cities: artists, artist assistants, art handlers, writers, art advisors, curators, gallerists and their staff are part of a tightly knit and highly social network that spans art production and collecting. Private collectors have a major influence in this network and have changed the art market in the past five years significantly.
The following will describe the most notable mechanisms responsible for a change in art production in this time period. I will use the term emerging to point to actors in the art world that, in the past five to eight years, appeared for the first time in institutional presentations, art fairs, auctions, and art magazines. Emerging therefore indicates a performance or realization within the art market and is shaped by the network that produces sales, reviews, and institutional recognition of the produced artworks. Continue reading “Anne Luther: A Plea for a More Sustainable Art Market”

New Book: Iain Robertson, Understanding Art Markets (Routledge, 2016)

Iain Robertson, Understanding Art Markets. Inside the World of Art and Business (Routledge, 2016)

red book cover with Uncle Sam, Napoleon, etc. Book by Iain Robertson called 'Understanding Art Markets'

This recently published textbook integrates, updates and enhances the author’s previous books, Understanding International Art Markets (2005) and The Art Business (2008). Part I (’Technical and Structural Mechanisms’), looks at defining issues such as underlying legal and ethical questions or the structure of commodity markets. The book’s central section (Part II, ’The Markets for Art’) surveys the structures of today’s art markets – notably those for old masters, impressionist, modern and contemporary art – but also provides fascinating vistas of the art markets of previous centuries. Part II also includes an illuminating chapter on Chinese Art – a must read for those wishing to gain a better understanding of the underlying values that define the art market in China today. Finally, part III considers ‚external factors‘ such as aspects of art investment, or the roles of the state and the museums. ‚In claiming that the international art market reflects us, Iain Roberson holds up a mirror every bit as beguiling as Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray‘ (Alistair Hicks, Author of The Global Art Compass: New Directions in 21st Century Art). – Iain Robertson is Head of Art Business Studies at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and a TIAMSA member.

CONF : Working on Things (Berlin, 21-22 Nov 16)

 

Working on Things. On the Social, Political, and Economic History of Collected Objects

sozhistkult

Jacob-und-Wilhelm-Grimm-Zentrum, Geschwister-Scholl-Straße 1/3, 10117 Berlin

Venue : Lecture Hall of the main library at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, November 21 – 22, 2016
Registration deadline: Nov 13, 2016

Various kinds of work have to be invested in objects before they become worthy of collection, before they can be researched, preserved, and exhibited. Work on the dinosaur skeleton of Brachiosaurus brancai in Berlin’s Museum für Naturkunde, for example, extended far beyond the decades of the fossil’s preparation in the Museum. This object’s history also includes the colonial forced labour on cotton plantations in German East Africa at the beginning of the twentieth century that produced the packing material necessary for transporting the findings to Europe. Such figurations of work across time and space form the focus of the conference: Which materials and what kinds of immaterial labour were necessary to acquire or produce a given object, in order to transport it, examine it, exhibit it, or valuate it? What existing knowledge, and which social, political, and legal conditions characterized this work? What types of materials, tools, or techniques were used?

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