Global market for contemporary art
- Véronique Chagnon-Burke
Although the art market has been a major force in the development of contemporary art, it has also introduced some unique challenges (see Art market in the 21st century). Contemporary art―ranging from works executed in the 1960s to those created by current living artists―is increasingly defined by varied and unconventional media. It often challenges traditions rather than unifying aesthetics or philosophies. Fame and artist name recognition have come to play increasingly larger roles in measuring success, complicating efforts to assess quality among the plurality of styles and media. Art historians have historically found it difficult to talk about contemporary art and the market; trying to put a monetary value on art seems to cheapen its aura, while the definition of contemporary art is itself a contested territory. A robust critical literature is still developing, in tandem with resources to provide market data to researchers and market professionals. With only auction results and scarce hard information on the primary market, one’s insights, knowledge, and access to undisclosed information remain paramount to evaluating the success of financial participants, analysts, and commentators. Finally, the market for contemporary art operates in connection with the global economy and is subject to economic fluctuations as well as shifts in taste and investment security which influence the behavior of institutions and private collectors alike....