Georgina Adam plumps her forthcoming book in the Financial Times. Her long reporters’s perspective of the art market ranging over nearly 35 years offers a unique benefit. Here Adam references Clare McAndrew’s citation that the far too much of the “value” in the art market is concentrated in fewer than 100 artists:
How will today’s art stars fare in the future? Major political upheavals or financial problems inevitably have an impact on investment and the art market cannot be immune. Almost all the huge prices are, however, being made as a growing pool of ultra-rich buyers battles for a small number of brand-name works. There is a vast hinterland of good art by creators whose names will never be widely known and whose works will never achieve such heights. The overall trend of the market is upwards, historically, but not for everyone, and not always.
The question is whether the greater number of wealthy persons entering the art market—and there are more and more each year with more and more money to spend—will continue to concentrate value or whether they will disperse their buying power downward and outward into Adam’s “vast hinterland.”
It’s important to remember that the art market’s signal virtue is its ability to remake and regenerate itself periodically with new artists and new classes of objects that had previously been seen as lacking value.