2012 Wednesday 28 November / DAI Public Lecture by Olav Velthuis / The Contemporary Art Market Between Stasis and Flux / Location: Festival of Independents / Kunstvlaai 2012

tag: Amsterdam

In this talk Olav Velthuis will discuss three key developments in the contemporary art markets of the last decade. First of all, contemporary art has taken over the role once played by pop music as a locus around which fan cultures and celebrity worlds develop. Secondly, contemporary art has subject to financialization: it has been turned into an asset class. Speculators now see art as a safe haven in the turbulent times of financial crisis. Thirdly, a new global market architecture has emerged which channels the wealth of emerging economies to artists in Europe and the United States and vice versa. These reconfigurations have both been propelled by and have further fortified the role of art fairs and auction houses in the contemporary art world. But in spite of these reconfigurations, the contemporary art market's underlying structure has remained by and large the same.


Olav Velthuis is Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology of the University of Amsterdam. Before, he worked for several years as a Staff Reporter Globalization for the Dutch daily de Volkskrant. He is currently studying the emergence and development of art markets in the BRIC-countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Velthuis is the author of Imaginary Economics (NAi Publishers, 2005) and Talking Prices. Symbolic Meanings of Prices on the Market for Contemporary Art (Princeton University Press, 2005). Together with Maria Lind of Tensta Konsthall (Stockholm), he recently edited the book Contemporary Art and Its Commercial Markets A Report on Current Conditions and Future Scenarios (Sternberg Press, 2012). His journalistic writings on art markets have appeared in among others Artforum, the Art Newspaper and the Financial Times.

Lecture in the context of DAI's Roaming Academy, tutored and curated by Renée Ridgway

Where: lecture room at the Kunstvlaai

When: 19:30