Structure of the Contemporary Art Market and the Profile of Italian Artists

Alessia Zorloni
International Journal of Arts Management, vol. 8, n. 1, 2005

The author examines the supply side of the contemporary visual arts industry using the conventional analytical apparatus of industrial organization theory. After defining the contemporary art market, the author describes, from a theoretical point of view, the process by which art works are distributed and sold and the structure of the market at the global level. Four distinct markets are described: classical contemporary, avant-garde, alternative and junk. Finally, the author assesses the Italian art framework and recommends, on the basis of the findings of the analysis, the establishment, in Milan, of a museum of contemporary art and an art bank, a large collection of works available for rental purposes.