in other words

Everything you ever wanted to know about the art market but didn't know who to ask

Allan's Intro


BY Allan Schwartzman
Co-founder Art Agency Partners and Chairman, Sotheby’s Fine Arts Division


New York – I used to be known principally as a curator and writer. By the mid-1980s I was writing both critically and journalistically about art and the art market. I had become frustrated that most art writing looked at art either in an aesthetic or theoretical vacuum. To my mind, ever since Andy Warhol widened public awareness of art, its roles within popular and high culture, and its market value, most art could no longer be viewed purely as art, but also should be evaluated as a commodity within a broader system. The idea of art as a commodity had become part of the content of art, both consciously and subliminally. This belief led me deeper into writing about the art market, and its impact on our perception and evaluation of art.

One day I got a call from a collector who, through my writing, was familiar with my way of thinking. He invited me to help him evolve his art collection. My advisory business grew naturally from there and, over the past 20 years, I have been focused on working with individuals and institutions to develop collections and plan estates and museum development.

I miss the opportunity to write regularly about art and the market, so we are launching this bi-weekly report. Our intention is to publish frank, insightful analysis of the market from a variety of perspectives. We want to speak to a focused audience, including collectors and dealers; museum directors and curators; artists and others, in the same direct manner we do to our advisory clients. Our goal is to provide precise analysis of the market in general, and of certain artists in particular. We also want to draw attention to works of art we feel are interesting or overlooked.

We will also produce a podcast, featuring wide-ranging conversations with prominent curators, critics and collectors on such topics as why it is proving difficult to pinpoint the great artists who have emerged during the 2000s; a one-on-one conversation with the new director of a major New York arts organization; and globalization and its failures.

We want to host interesting conversations about art and the market, so we welcome your thoughts. If you would like to get in touch with us, please email Charlotte Burns.

We hope you will enjoy receiving our newsletter.



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