Context: Art & Markets 

Introduction to the Art Market
Nummer und TypBFA-BFA-Ko.22H.006 / Moduldurchführung
VeranstalterDepartement Fine Arts
LeitungJenifer Anne Catherine Fulton
Anzahl Teilnehmendemaximal 16
ECTS3 Credits
VoraussetzungenCourse language: English
ZielgruppenBA Fine Arts students
Open for exchange-students
Lernziele / Kompetenzen
  • Introducing the landscape of the art market and its key actors – auction houses, galleries, collectors, art fairs, the online market for art and NFTs.
  • Analysing the role of the artist in the art market.
  • Going beyond the headlines, separating the hype from the facts. Why are some artist’s prices so high? What drives the art market? How do high sales prices impact an artist’s career? And how do exhibitions interact with sales? What about the gender imbalance?
InhalteThe global art market reached a total value of $61 billion in 2021, up by 29% compared to 2020. The most expensive living artist is Jeff Koons, his work "Rabbit" (1986) sold for $91 million in 2019. But what do these numbers mean, and how are they arrived at? Why are some young artists priced so high? What determines the value of an artwork?
This introductory module will give an insight into the actors on the art market today and examine its mechanisms.

We will look at the market for contemporary art and how art is priced on the primary (galleries) and secondary (auction houses) market and discuss the underlying mechanisms. The digital market for art through online sales platforms, Instagram sales and NFT platforms has grown exponentially over the last two years: we will examine the prominent actors here and look at how it differs from the physical market, and how the role of the artist has changed. We will visit a Zurich auction house to hear about art auctions, a collector will tell us about how they started their collection and why they collect the artists they do. Finally, we will look at the role of the art fair and the press in creating prices.


Jeni Fulton (*1981) is the Head of Editorial at Art Basel, leading editorial production – essays, interviews, short films and social media. She is the catalogue editor for the Art Market Report, an industry-leading bi-annual publication published in collaboration with Arts Economics and UBS. She holds a PhD on the topic of Value and Evaluation in Contemporary Art, which examined the relationship between art criticism, art writing, and the art market since the 2000s.
Bibliographie / LiteraturWill be handed out during the course.
Leistungsnachweis / TestatanforderungMandatory attendance (minimum 80%); active participation
TermineTime: 09:15 - 17:00 o'clock

CW 44: 31 October / 01 / 02 / 03 / 04 November
Bewertungsformbestanden / nicht bestanden
Termine (5)