Whitechapel Series: The Market | Author: Natasha Degen

Critical and creative responses to the global art market's influence on issues of value, patronage, institutional power, and public agency.

Transnational markets hold sway over all aspects of contemporary culture, and that has transformed the environment of recent art, blurring the previously discrete realms of price and value, capital and creativity. Artists have responded not only critically but imaginatively to the many issues this raises, including the treatment of artworks as analogous to capital goods, the assertion that art's value is best measured by the market, and the notion that art and money share an internal logic. Some artists have investigated the market's pressures on creative democracy, its ubiquity, vulgarity, and fetishizing force, while others have embraced the creative possibilities the market offers. And for a decade curators and theorists have speculated on the implications of this new symbiosis between art and money, cultural and economic value.

Drawing on a wide range of interdisciplinary sources, in dialogue with artists' writings, this anthology traces the historic origins of these debates in different versions of modernism and surveys the relationships among art, value, and price; the evolution and influence of patronage; the actors and institutions of the art market; and the diversity of artistic practices that either criticize or embrace the conditions of the contemporary market.

Paperback

239 pages

151 x 213 x 23 mm


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