theartsdesk at the London Art Fair: Debate | Visual arts reviews, news & interviews
theartsdesk at the London Art Fair: Debate
A topical debate about the real value of art
“The new job of art is to sit on a wall and get more expensive,” the late Robert Hughes once said. In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, gallerist and dealer Larry Gagosian was particularly revealing. “I wish I was in luxury goods,” he confessed, “because then I could just call the factory and say, ‘I need 10,000 more of whatever’” – though he did add that he couldn’t, because “then it’s not art, it’s something else.”
Meanwhile, the influential American critic Dave Hickey recently announced that he was walking away from the art world because editors and critics had become a “courtier class” to hedge-fund collectors who, he claimed, knew nothing about art.
But how much has art as commodity taken over from art as art? And how do the crazy prices at auction houses affect our relationship to art and change our viewing experience? What has happened to connoisseurship? And are critics really the “courtier class” to taste-makers who know nothing of what they put on their walls?
With me to discuss these questions are critic, broadcaster and author of Art Crazy Nation Matthew Collings, theartsdesk critic Mark Hudson and The Art Newpaper’s markets expert Melanie Gerlis. The event is free with ticketed entry to the fair.
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
more Visual arts
A glimpse inside artists' collections offers fresh insight into their own work
Magnificent new extension has light and space enough for new art and new visitors
An oh-so-cool response to the outpourings of Abstract Expressionism
Kent's festival of art has grown up, but it hasn't lost its spark
Japan's queen of spots reigns in the garden of the imagination
Geldof’s rubbish and Hendrix's staircase: history, memory and the value of things
Reality bites: icon buildings abandoned for mass migration and a global housing crisis
Exceptional loans from New York make a familiar story sparkle with life
The award-winning photographer talks about her new book, 'Occupied Pleasures'
More is always more when evoking the American Dream
Forgotten for over 1,000 years, eerily evocative treasures take centre stage at the British Museum
More whimper than bang as insightful series on modern masculinity ends in the City