The Art Market

About

Artworks that focus on the art market, oftentimes with an element of critique. In particular, such works may concern the commodification of art or the role of the artist within the economic system of the art world—historically central concerns for artists dealing with Institutional Critique. Joseph Beuys most succinctly summed up these interrelated concepts in his formulation: “Kunst = Kapital” (“Art = Capital”). The collusion of the private art market and the public museum is also a central focus of Andrea Fraser, who in her work reveals the personal struggles artists face in balancing artistic independence with commercial considerations. Following a series of works that exposed the authority of the museum, her Untitled (2003) video shows her having sex with a collector who paid close to $20,000 for the experience, showing that even the artist’s body—for the right price—can be bought and sold like any other commodity. In her words: “My first thought was, if I’m going to have to sell it, I might as well sell it.”

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