art business

I don’t recall when I was first exposed to art. There is a vague remembrance of art lessons in primary school, and I liked it. No teacher was pivotal in my appreciation of art. The real change came when 25 years ago I met my partner Filip. Him being an art historian, there were always art books around, and on our many trips, we visited museums, palazzos, churches, and cathedrals. Over the years, he taught me the history of art. Having seen all the classics, our focus recently shifted to contemporary art. Travels are currently planned around exhibitions and art fairs. Recently, we were in Paris to discover Anri Sala in the Bourse de Commerce. Flabbergasting!

When you love art, you occasionally consider buying a piece. A print or a unique work. We love the process of discovering new artists, revealing our preferences to each other, and, when it’s a match, considering buying the work. As our tastes have grown to one another over the years, that is primarily a done deal. One of the great joys of 2022 was engaging more with the artists and gallerists like Albert Pepermans and Greet Umans of Schönfeld Gallery or Nathan French from Shame Gallery.

Besides reading the catalogs, I also started reading about the art business. Here are some books I would like to recommend:

Magnus Resch is an art economist. His approach to art is very much data driven. I read “Management of Art Galleries” and “How to become a Successful Artist.” Although I’m neither an artist nor a gallerist, it gave me much insight as a collector. Both books are available through Phaidon, who really offer a lot of excellent books on art. “Artifacts, fascinating facts about art, artists and the art world” is another book full of data on the business.

“Art lovers (0.25% of all collectors) are old-school-collectors, typically in their late fifties. They buy art not just to fill empty walls but because they love art, are inspired by it, and find it exciting to support working artists. Art lovers want to collect, but they also involve themselves in the wider market, establishing connections with the artists and public institutions to which they might loan artworks as part of a public education program. After their death, they will probably donate their collections to museums or other public institutions.”

Magnus Resch describing one of the categories of collectors. Feels familiar.

Russell Tovey (the actor) and Robert Diament (gallerist) have a very successful podcast “Talk Art”, which lead to the book with the same title. They aim to make art as accessible as possible for everybody and turn it away from the elitist claim it has.

Gallerist can give you excellent tips to start a collection. Sofie Van de Velde wrote (in Dutch) “Expeditie Kunst. Start je eigen kunstcollectie”. Or (also in Dutch) “Ontroerend Goed. Van kunst kijken naar kunst kopen”, by Manuela Klerckx and Oscar van Gelder. Art critic Jerry Saltz wrote “How to be an Artist”.

Apps I like are Artsy (a huge database), Art Basel (the art fair in the world) and Limna (on pricing). Not an app but an exciting new website is  Collecteurs, which brings together collectors and artists. 

Art has become a passion. A passion we love to share.

2 reacties op “art business”

  1. I recently saw an exhibition of Anselm Kiefer at Gagosian in NYC. Overwhelming!

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