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A Year in the Art World

An Insider's View

Matthew Israel


A panoramic insider’s account of the global art industry, revealing the fascinating but mysterious workings of the world of contemporary art

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Over the last few decades the contemporary art world has become more globalized and more visible than ever before – and yet in many ways it remains closed and obscure. What actually happens behind the doors of a contemporary artist’s studio? At an auction house before a major sale? In the vaults of an art storage unit? How can art museums keep up with Instagram – and why does everyone seem to hate art fairs?

Join curator, writer and art historian Matthew Israel on a year-long journey through the contemporary art world. From Los Angeles to Hong Kong via Venice, Basel, Paris and New York, from biennials in summer to auction houses in autumn, Israel reveals the joys and anxieties of this sometimes baffling, often intimidating field. Blending an insider’s knowledge with in-depth profiles, interviews with key art-world figures and a keen ear for an anecdote, A Year in the Art World is a compelling, generous companion for any art-lover curious about how art is being made, valued, sold, cared for and looked at today.

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'A tell-all book by the curator and art historian Matthew Israel takes readers on a year-long ride through the art world, from the heady heights of auction houses and art advisors to the practical matters of studios and shipping... A Year in the Art World will give some indication at least of what life was like in the fast lane of the pre-coronavirus art circus'
The Art Newspaper

'Israel is interested in why art matters now, and he chatted with some of today's premier artists, dealers, and curators to provide concise and comprehensible answers to complex questions'

'A must-read for anyone curious about the inner workings of the industry'

'A cheeky, breezily enjoyable flit around the madness of the contemporary art scene'
The Tablet

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 19.8 x 12.9 cm

Extent: 256 pp

Illustrations: 39

Publication date: 6 July 2023

ISBN: 9780500297087

Contents List

Part I: Winter
1. A Studio Visit
2. Fabricators
3. Gallery Directors

Part II: Spring
4. Museum Directors
5. Art Fairs
6. Artist Estates
7. Art Writers

Part III: Summer
8. Curators
9. Biennials
10. Art Schools
11. Art Online

Part IV: Fall
12. Art Advisors
13. Auctions
14. Conservators
15. Storage, Shipping and Handling

About the Author

Matthew Israel is a curator, writer and Ph.D. art historian. From 2021 to 2023 he was Commissions Lead at Open Arts at Meta. From 2019 until 2021, Matthew was Co-Founder and Chief Curator of Artful; between 2011 and 2019, he was the founding Director of The Art Genome Project at Artsy and later its Head Curator. He is the author of severally critically acclaimed books on contemporary art, including Kill for Peace: American Artists Against the Vietnam War (2013) and The Big Picture: Contemporary Art in 10 Works by 10 Artists (2017).