What Next for the Art World

Posted on 16 September, 2020 at 5:15

I have been reading through the fascinating ArtNet Intelligence Report for Fall 2020. (Link below) It has excellent overviews of how the art world has been affected by and is responding to COVID-19. As with many industries, there have been serious blows and also new opportunities.


The key sentence that jumped out at me was in the Editor’s Letter:


“Still, we can all count on at least one thing to stay the same in the years ahead: the surest way to get left behind will be to pretend the old rules still apply.”


This is echoed in a further article, “… a moment when every assumption that governed the industry for decades is breaking down at astonishing speed…”


This is a time when the art world is realising that it can’t rely on what has worked before. New approaches and ways of working are required at all levels from the big auction houses, to the galleries, to the art fairs, to individual artists. From virtual exhibitions and private views, online auctions, and initiatives such as the Artists' Support Pledge, people have been trying new ways to show, sell and buy art.


As an artist, this can be both disconcerting, but also tremendously freeing. This is a time to take control and create new possibilities for imagining what the art world can be and achieve. (And indeed, what the term "art world" means.) The report has some fascinating interviews with innovators who have their own ideas of what could come next, but the truth is that it is all up for grabs.


I am working with clients at the moment who are taking the opportunity to look at questions such as:


  • who do they want to be in the world (art and otherwise)?
  • how can they be more responsive to a changing landscape?
  • what could an art career/practice look like in future? (And how do they, as artists, want it to look?)
  • how can they experiment with new ideas (both in their art itself and in how they promote and sell it)?
  • what type of collaborations are possible and desirable now?

And perhaps the most important one:


  • where it seems possible to try anything, what is getting in their way?

These conversations are extremely exciting, as they always are when people are discovering answers for themselves. I am looking forward to seeing where they lead, on both individual and wider levels.


Where are you stepping out and trying new things in the changing art world?



You can read @ArtNet's excellent report here

Categories: Creativity