Economic Freedom and Inequality in the Art Market: The Case of the Commercial Gallery

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This article aims to consider the contemporary art market vis-à-vis the concept of economic freedom. Drawn from a larger study, this paper offers a glimpse of the political function of the art market, which is essentially an economic field. What I demonstrate is an inevitable clash between a free market and between political constructions that effect levels of freedom—concentrating on the parameter of inequality. The article focuses on the case of commercial art galleries, and analyzes their operation under neoliberal conditions, which represent the implementation of the idea of freedom in the economic field. Subsequently, I demonstrate the how high levels of concentration in the art market erode the levels of the equality of the players in the field. Ultimately, I argue that this case offers an example of the more general operation of the art market, which follows neoliberal principles, and thereby undermines the concept of economic freedom that is intrinsic to them.
Original languageEnglish GB
Article number126
Issue number4
StatePublished - 8 Dec 2020


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