What I have done today-

  • Today I did some reading towards my power point presentation I am required to make for my contextual studies lectures.
  • After moving back from University yesterday, I have spent my time settling back in and getting used to my surroundings again.
  • I read through the following books :                                                                                   Thornton, S (2008) Seven Days in the Art World. London: Granta Publications.Longson, S (2006) Life After… Art and Design. Oxon: Routledge.                                         Wu, C (2002) Privatising Culture. London: Verso


  • I found a lot of helpful quotations surrounding the art economy from the book ‘Seven Days in the Art World’. The book is written in a way which gives the reader an insight to what it’s like to be in every position at an art auction. You can gain the perspective of being the auctioneer, the artist and the critique. Prizes and awards are also discussed in the book. I found the book interesting to read more about being in a such an environment. It appears that a certain selection of people attend an auctioneer, and it is very much an event. Many people have their own seats in the audience, and a lot of well known people attend. It is not rare for the artist not to attend. Furthermore I will use the quotations I have found to back up statements I make in my presentation.


Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton

The auction

‘The contemporary art world is a loose network of overlapping subcultures held together by a belief in art.’ (xi)

‘It’s structured around nebulous and often contradictory hierarchies of fame, credibility, imaged historical importance, institutional affiliated, education, perceived intelligence, wealth, and attributes such as the size of one’s collection’ (xii)

‘the social world surrounding art is often disdained as an irrelevant, dirty contaminant’ (xiii)

‘Even the most business-like dealers will tell you that making money should be a by-product of art, not an artist’s main goal’ (xvi)

‘Art needs motives that are more profound that profit if it is to maintain its difference from- and position above- other cultural forms’ (xvi)- read footnote

‘a high society spectator sport’ (5)

‘Art by living artists was not sold publicly with any fanfare until the late 1950’s’ (6)

‘Now artists can make the front page of national newspapers simply because their work has achieved a high price at auction’ (6)- Is it down to the artist at all then? Surely if you get a good seller, you can sell anything for a high price/ is is all persuasion?

‘we know most of our buyers personally’ (7)

‘they didn’t have the time or the expertise to market artists from scratch’- all about who you know

‘properties, assets, and lots’ (7)- like buying shares in something, not about the content

‘Art is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it’ (11)

‘One’s seat is a mark of status and a point of pride’ (16)

‘Part of the pleasure of the auctions is the opportunity to be seen’ (16)

‘an auction is like an opera with a language that you need to decipher’ (17)

Page 18- Agnes Martin painting story

The crit

‘artists are forced to rationalize their work and defend themselves from a flurry of half-baked opinions that leave them feeling torn apart’ (47)

‘In more senses than one, it costs a lot to be an artist’ (48)

‘artists often don’t fully understand what they’ve made’ (55)

‘Most art schools turn a blind eye to the market, but CalArts seems to turn its back. Some faculty members are pragmatic; they think students need to develop artistic projects that are independent of the fickle swings of the marketplace’ (59)

The prize

‘The clay pieces had a look that was more preschool than art school’ (112- Turner prize discussion)

Abts- pages 122-3- being an artist not famous

Life after… Art and Design

‘you will still need to tackle the subjects of pricing and fixing the price of an item or service for sale at such a price that it will appeal to customers yet cover your overheads and make you a profit’ (17)

Paragraph on ‘are you creating for your pleasure- or that of your client?’

‘I’ll get a full time job in administration while building up my portfolio and getting ready for a cereer as a full time artist’ (25)- Should we be payed to train (build a portfolio)?