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An interesting summer read. — Blue Heron Fine Art Blog

An interesting summer read.

by Jim Puzinas on May 20, 2009

With summer right around the corner, most of us are looking for a good summer read.  I just finished reading a fast and interesting book exploring the modern contemporary art market, Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton. This book was released at the end of last year and is a good primer for those wishing to understand the many facets in the contemporary art market today.

Seven Days in the Art World, by Sarah Thornton

Seven Days in the Art World, by Sarah Thornton

In her book, Thornton delivers seven narratives that deal with artistic development, art fairs, art prizes, art critics and art auctions. Several years in the making, Thornton was able to sit in, much like a “fly on the wall” to deliver her first hand observations  to readers. The book chronicles a major evening sale of contemporary art at Christies, NYC, and the two important art fairs of Art Basel, Switzerland and The Biennale, Venice. We learn about an  important element called “The Crit” in the development of many contemporary artists today at the California Institute of the Arts, as well as what it takes for an artist to win Britain’s famous Turner Prize.  Most interesting to me was the interview with contemporary artist Takashi Murakami, to whom Thornton devotes the entire chapter “The Studio Visit”.

The major contemporary spring art auctions at Sotheby’s and Chrisitie’s were just held last week, to mixed results. To those who take the time to read it, this book may shed some light on many of the dynamics that are involved in the fast changing contemporary art market today.

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