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The art market is increasingly controlled by the major auction houses and a handful of high-powered dealers. Indeed, the two sectors have grown quite similar, with personnel moving fluidly from one to the other, and auction houses hosting exhibitions and orchestrating private sales. The art business long resisted corporate expansion, because too much was tied up in the expertise of the singular dealer (whose name was usually on the door) and his or her personal relationships with artists and clients. Rather than achieving economies of scale, expansion diluted a dealer’s efficacy while raising costs. However, the business model followed by today’s most successful galleries relies on vast teams of registrars, preparators, social media mavens, researchers, writers, and sales associates to achieve market saturation on a global scale. Large staffs are also used to lure artists, estates, and collectors with a range of services that cannot be matched by smaller organizations. Gagosian, with 17 locations, employs 250 people; Hauser & Wirth (seven locations), 200; David Zwirner (five locations), 165; Pace (nine locations), 150. According to Jose Freire, director of Team Gallery, these are the only four galleries that count. “And everyone else is not them.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"The biggest topic in British political circles on Monday wasn’t the country’s impending departure from the European Union. It was milkshakes..."
"I often disagree with Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., but I've been disturbed by the idea that he should be run out of the Republican Party just because he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses."
"The Icelandic band Hatari, whose members are quite vocal in their animosity towards Israel, held up Palestinian flags... Madonna, likewise, had two of her performers wear Israeli and Palestinian flags on their costumes."
"To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" premiering at the Cannes Film Festival, I turn to movie critic Roger Ebert's old review of "Raiders of the Lost Ark." (Trust me on this one.)"
"The money is already here—and has been for years. In the midst of a housing crisis, an injection of cash into the superheated real-estate market seems likely to cause an uptick in evictions and displacement."
"Parents concerned about YouTube debate whether to let their children have their own channels; some forbid it, others send them to summer camp..."
"‘I Had Completely Lost the Knack for Staying Alive..." Warmer weather brings daffodils, rhubarb at the farmer’s market — and, for some, despair."
"With his new book, Howard Stern proves that his rightful place is among the prophets and moral visionaries, not the ‘shock jocks’"
"I’m terrified of parenting in the anti-vaxxer age: Anti-vaccine propaganda isn’t just harmful to children. It threatens to erode our entire sense of community."
"...doctors are starting to think more about specific nutrients that feed tumor cells. That is, how what we eat affects how cancers grow..."
"...it represents an impressive achievement: a victory of humankind against the chaos that pervades the universe."
"If trends continue, in 20 years the majority of the world’s Jews will be living in Israel. The United States will see a continuing decline in overall numbers, with a growing observant Jewish population..."