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A Year in the Art World

Matthew Israel


A year-long journey through the contemporary art world, uncovering the working lives of artists, curators, gallerists and critics, and revealing what they really do

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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

'Readers are introduced to curators, critics, gallerists and institutions across the globe'

'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'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 23.4 x 15.3 cm

Extent: 256 pp

Illustrations: 40

Publication date: 1 October 2020

ISBN: 9780500239926

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 art historian based in New York. He has worked with galleries including Matthew Marks and Gagosian, managed major artist estates and foundations, written widely for the international art press, and spoken internationally about contemporary art and the art world. He received a PhD in History of Art and Archaeology from New York University's Institute of Fine Arts and was Head Curator of Artsy. His most recent book is The Big Picture: Contemporary Art in 10 Works by 10 Artists.