Whispers have turned to shouts around the doom and gloom of the art market following a period of rife speculation. Galleries are closing their doors; others contemplate calling it quits. Artist prices are plummeting. Buyers from emerging markets are disappearing from auction salerooms.
This situation could be a dramatized snapshot of 2016—but the year is actually 1991. The bubble of the late ’80s has burst; the art market is reeling. But, in the midst of this chaos, a group of dealers who now dominate the discourse around contemporary art are getting their start. “The ’90s was the decade which really created the environment we find ourselves in now,” said Jo Stella-Sawicka, artistic director of Frieze, which launched a new section this week, The Nineties, recreating 11 seminal exhibitions from this era under the curation of Nicolas Trembley.