The Artsy Podcast, No. 2: Art History vs. the Art Market

Artsy’s team of editors takes you behind the scenes of the best stories in art.


For episode two of the Artsy podcast, our editors take a journey from one pole of the art world to the other, exploring the art market and art history.   

The 10 Most Important Takeaways from the 2016 TEFAF Art Market Report

First up, we survey the current state of the art market. The art world has shaken off its New Year’s hangover and the 2016 fair calendar is in full swing. With The Armory Show in New York and TEFAF Maastricht in the rearview mirror, we look forward to Art Basel in Hong Kong. Looming above the art fair bustle is the TEFAF report, released earlier this month, which provided a robust look at the health of the market. Amid a general downturn to the tune of 7%, we talk about the report’s specific findings, which markets are still healthy, and why the report is seen as art-market gospel. Also explored is why MCH Group, the conglomerate that owns Art Basel, announced earlier this month that it will be snapping up regional art fairs.

We Are Living in the Era of Big Art History

We then move to the opposite end of the spectrum to talk about Big Art History, which, according to senior editor Tess Thackara, is the era we are currently living in. What does a Romantic painting by the British artist J.M.W. Turner have to do with a Neo-concrete sculpture by Brazilian artist Lygia Clark? What does the iconic architect Frank Gehry have in common with conceptual artist DJ Spooky? Expansive exhibitions answering such questions by drawing connections across time fall into the category of Big Art History. We discuss what’s prompted an uptick in such sweeping museum shows, if they qualify as historical revisionism, and whether “Unfinished” at the new Met Breuer fits the Big Art History bill.


This podcast is hosted by Artsy Editorial Associate Isaac Kaplan, joined for this edition by Deputy Editor Alexander Forbes and Senior Editor Tess Thackara. It was produced by Joe Sykes, with production assistance provided by Abigail Cain.


Intro Music: “Something Elated” by Broke For Free

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