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Artistes et marchés

Xavier Greffe

The art market is not doing well, the art market is going through a crisis, the art market is picking up again. Often the analysis of that body that is difficult to grasp do not go any further. It is therefore necessary to ask oneself now and then the question: what is the art market, how is it formed, what factors influence its evolution? This is in a way the exercice Xavier Greffe imposed on himself – from wall art to our times - by showing the passage from the artist to the crafstman, the arrival of new consumers by the bias of the Salons, public commissions and the gradual withdrawal of the State, the use of art for other means than aesthetics (educational, medical, etc), to reach the recent development of cultural tourism, expressed in an unbridled consumption of goods, of standard images and emotions. The conclusion is rather depressing: except for a few planetary superstars, the ones who profit from the explosion of the market are the intermediaries, be it the consumers, but not the artists themselves. In their corporation, the romantic figure of the bohemian, pennyless creator is more than ever the current thing.

• Artistes et marchés by Xavier Greffe, La Documentation française, 2007, 304 p., 19,30 €, ISBN : 1763-6191.

Artistes et marchés - Xavier Greffe

Review published in the newsletter #75 - from 31 January 2008 to 6 February 2008