AUCTION HOUSES CONTEMPORARY ART GALLERIES
According to an article published in The Art Newspaper in July 2011, the growth in sales of art experienced over the last few years by leading auction houses worldwide has meant art dealers are reconsidering and reinventing the traditional gallery business model.
Galleries compete with auction houses
The article is written by Clare McAndrew and based on a recent study commissioned by Confédération Internationale des Négociants en Oeuvres d’Art (Cinoa) and carried out by the writer’s own organisation, Arts Economics. McAndrew presents the results of the study and outlines some of the ways in which gallerists are innovating in order to stand out against their competitors.
One of the most recurrent themes that dealers cited in the research is the challenge they have faced in recent years of dealing with the increasing power of the auction houses. … Many dealers now compete with them for clients and stock.
Click here to read the article, called “The personal touch can still pay off”, in its entirety on The Art Newspaper’s website.
Retail shopfront in decline
But what is it being replaced with? According to the study, thirty percent of the Cinoa dealers polled made their sales through art fairs and a growing number are dealing from offices or homes or by appointment only. Others have moved online although, as the article states, “it is worth noting that while the Internet has become an integral communication and marketing device, e-commerce for dealers remains relatively patchy” due to “the subjective nature of the market and the need for advice and personal contact.”
For an online success story, click here to read our interview with Alice Zhang, owner of Hong Kong gallery and online art buying site Mischmasch.
Globalisation the way forward?
International “brand” galleries like Gagosian that are rapidly globalising, and “specialised one-man shops” or spaces in “visible thoroughfares such as key cities or destination towns” are among those able to stick with the traditional gallery format and remain successful, writer McAndrew sums up.
Do you believe that the death of the traditional shopfront gallery space is nigh? Leave your comments below.
- Hong Kong home for top-shelf White Cube art – July 2011 – the latest in a string of international contemporary art interests moving into Hong Kong
- What art fairs will contemporary galleries be heading to in 2011? – June 2011 – Art Basel Miami Beach tops most lists, Asian fairs also get a mention
- Contemporary galleries face intense competition, must re-think game plan – January 2011 – top galleries focus on building global brand
- Chinese auction houses climb worldwide revenue rankings – Artprice – December 2010 – 3 Chinese houses appear in the Artprice Contemporary Art Market 2009/2010 Annual Report rankings
- First Malaysian art auction nearly sells out – Art Radar interviews Henry Butcher president – December 2010 – how Henry Butcher fills a gap in the local art market
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