Here’s another reason to think the Contemporary art market will continue to have sustained buying strength. The competition among museums is becoming ferocious judging by this FT quote from the Met’s Sheena Wagstaff:
Wagstaff insists that the Met’s weaknesses in contemporary art are actually a source of strength. “The beauty of what we can offer is that if someone does give us an iconic, stunningly wonderful Gerhard Richter or Sigmar Polke, then there’s a pretty much ironclad guarantee that they would be up in perpetuity, and the donor’s munificence would be acknowledged in a way that is not possible in other institutions.” Or, to put it another way, a major donation of contemporary art won’t face competition for wall space.
Only the Met, she emphasises, can put new work in its proper timescale and geographical context. Instead of ripping the latest thing out of context and displaying it in a chic vacuum, she and her team have the erudition to trace themes across continents and millennia.