chapter  1
10 Pages

Primary Art Market

WithJeffrey Taylor

A large part of the commerce in newly made art works goes on un-noticed, and essentially outside of the primary art market. It happens through simple commissions between collectors and artists. By the early nineteenth century, a new breed of dealer emerged from the book and print trade. Modern art requires bold uncompromising vision, and the petty despotism of the sole-proprietor gallery offers a far more consolidated decision-making structure. At the pinnacle of the primary art market sit a handful of elite galleries, often referred to as Alpha galleries. In the 1990s, the center migrated to Chelsea, an area in Manhattan's Lower-West side between 10th and 11th avenues, and it continues to reign as New York's dominant contemporary gallery district. The alternative to running a Chelsea-type gallery for the sale of contemporary art would be the Regional gallery model.