There has been speculation among auction house employees recently that changes in the laws governing auction houses and art dealers in France will unleash a rush to Paris as the French try to reclaim their role as the center of the art world.
For those with a historical bent, the art market shifted to New York in the latter half of the 20th century, a product of American wealth, the emergence of powerful artistic movements centered in New York and the Cold War. (If only for the title, it’s worth citing Serge Guibault’s How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art.)
Yet the evidence so far suggests London is rapidly becoming the new capital of the art business. Here’s the Art Newspaper on recent Yvon Lambert’s recent gallery opening in London:
“The collector base is important in the city,” he continued, adding that “the big difference today is Americans go more easily to Britain than to France; for art, London is the destination now.” He acknowledged, nevertheless, that now is a “difficult time”, given that the gallery’s opening has coincided with the worst financial crisis that the world has known since 1929, but he added that: “I’ve had a long career and it’s never been the right time to take an important decision.”
What Recession? London Gets New Contemporary Spaces (The Art Newspaper)