The art markets

Project: Research

Project participants


The research follows two directions:

1) Mapping the regional art and cultural scenes.
A first piece provides a socio-economic analysis of the region that puts a focus on the inclusion of cultural actors and networks of any artistic discipline.

2) Drawing a geography of art. Pattern of success in the regional German art markets.
The second piece focuses on the process of globalization of the art market.

The effort of a detailed socio-economic analysis – the first part of the research project - is supposed to uncover the degree of involvement of artists and cultural actors into the local value creation and allows an understanding of the artistic value creation itself, its opportunities and constraints.

The aim of the paper on the patterns of success in the regional German art markets is twofold: On the one hand, authors want to provide the antecedents of the internationalization of artists and, on the other hand, try to evaluate the degree of internationalization as a function of symbolic capital and economic capital.

The emergence of a worldwide network of wealthy collectors, professional intermediaries, branded museums, blockbuster exhibitions and oligopolistic auction houses has been interpreted as sound evidence of the internationalization of the art market. In fact, market power in the art world is extremely concentrated in few wealthy hands, localized in specific cities and closely related to global financial flows. By using panel data on German artists, the research draws the main patterns of internationalization of one of the biggest economies in the art world and measures the relative autonomy of this market from the economic power.

The first step of analysis is based on existing secondary data on socio-economic figures and cultural activities in the region such as e.g. artist's residencies and the location of organizations, operating figures of cultural organizations, or data tourism connected to cultural events. The database ARTFACTS is the starting point for the empirical analysis: It covers all German artists that have been registered by ARTFACTS between 2004 and 2011 depending on their appearance in relevant exhibitions. The dataset covers approximately 10.000 registered German artists. The diversity of countries that have been conquered via exhibitions has been analysed in terms of its dependency on the artist’s generation, sales, number of overall exhibitions and the duration of each exhibition.