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  • The Contemporary Art Market

    It Had to Start Somewhere
    Photograph of a Sotheby's auction in Canada with the focus on someone holding a sign reading the number 185.
    Photo Courtesy of Globe and Mail

    Kathryn Markel doesn't take too kindly to the contemporary art market. "A while ago, I realized that my antipathy to the art market - not the art world, which I love, but the art market - began because I started in the business in the early 70s. At the time, there was no art market. Artists were making art that they never thought they would sell. Sol LeWitt made art from instructions, Michael Heizer made earthworks. Artists weren't thinking about the art market. They just wanted the approval of their peers." The scene was democratic and focused on community and exploration. Many artists were making prints for the first time, even using the Xerox machine as a tool for distribution. With personal photography being more accessible, the art world was documented and shared. In this new, acutely political world, art was going to be for everybody.

     

    But, that couldn't last long. Slowly, those artists whose works allegedly couldn't be sold began to get attention and the relentless commodification  of art began.

  • Photograph of a luxurious setting with a work by Meredith Perdue hung on the wall.
    Meredith Pardue's Work in Its Home

    Every week, we'll be your guide as you navigate the world of buying art in our series, The Collector. 

     

    If you're an intelligent, affluent, sophisticated consumer just starting to dip your toes into the world of art, the contemporary art market can seem overwhelming and intimidating. How do you know what you like? Where do you find it? Is it a good value? You've got to replace those college posters and the impulse buys you found in souvenir shops on vacation.  But where to start?????

     

    It going to take some time, but you are going to love learning about the art world and the art market.

    Here are the three first steps to take for buying original art:

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