Melanie Gerlis was at a Olav Velthuis’s recent presentation of his research where he revealed that idea of a vast global art market has been overblown in the press. However, as Clare McAndrew’s recent TEFAF report showed, a tiny portion of the art sold (8%) accounts for the vast majority of the market’s value (82%):
Velthuis was presenting his preliminary research into the art markets in Brazil, Russia, India and China where he has found that the majority of businesses are organised “extremely locally”, despite aspiring to the borderless ideals of international artists who command global demand—which he said has been “vastly exaggerated”.
He acknowledged the “small top segment” of private-jet setters who operate in a global art world—but said that this area is covered disproportionately through both the media and academia, thus fuelling the myth. Sitting in the audience was the Courtauld Institute’s professor, Julian Stallabrass, who was quick to point out that this top segment may be small, but accounts for a significant proportion of the art business.
Another way to look at globalization is the volume of art imports which peaked a few years ago at €17bn or only a quarter of the estimated global art market.
Is the global art market a myth? (The Art Newspaper)