The Art Market’s ‘Collective Faith’ Runs Amok
Fine Art

The Art Market’s ‘Collective Faith’ Runs Amok

“Boom” Michael Shnayerson PublicAffairs, $30 Michael Shnayerson’s riveting new book, “Boom: Mad Money, Mega Dealers, and the Rise of Contemporary Art,” traces the growth of a burgeoning postwar art world and its expansion into the head-spinning mega-market it is today. Fueled by insatiable collectors, resourceful, often combative art dealers, and a shifting array of artists, the art market has swelled into a global industry with annual worldwide sales in excess of $67 billion. The staggering exchanges of money, money, and more money will leave you reeling. Buckle up — it’s a wild ride. Mr. Shnayerson, a longtime contributing editor at Vanity Fair, tells the tale — warts and all — with brisk, lively prose through which even the most arcane financial tactics blithely unfold. Assiduously researched, the book weaves the stories of dozens and dozens of gallerists, museum professionals, collectors, and artists, moving from the pre-eminent Leo Castelli, whose eponymous gallery blazed a trail from the waning days of Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art, Minimalism, and beyond, to present-day high jinks with Leo’s onetime protege, the mega-dealer Larry Gagosian, and a bevy of other power brokers and tastemakers. Castelli reigned over the contemporary art world for decades, representing Robert […]

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