The Ministry of Artistic Affairs
Thursday, November 3, 2011

We recently came across a fantastic new book by Noah Horowitz. Formerly the director of the online VIP Art Fair, Horowitz was appointed the director of New York City's important The Armory Show art fair this week. Earlier this year, his highly educational book "Art of the Deal: Contemporary Art in a Global Financial Market" was published by Princeton University Press.

This work is based on Horowitz's doctoral dissertation at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London and offers insightful illumination of the current crossroads of contemporary art and high finance. A positive review of the book is available from Sotheby's here and the following is a description from the publisher:

Art today is defined by its relationship to money as never before. Prices of living artists' works have been driven to unprecedented heights, conventional boundaries within the art world have collapsed, and artists now think ever more strategically about how to advance their careers. Artists no longer simply make art, but package, sell, and brand it.

Noah Horowitz exposes the inner workings of the contemporary art market, explaining how this unique economy came to be, how it works, and where it's headed. He takes a unique look at the globalization of the art world and the changing face of the business, offering the clearest analysis yet of how investors speculate in the market and how emerging art forms such as video and installation have been drawn into the commercial sphere.

By carefully examining these developments against the backdrop of the deflation of the contemporary art bubble in 2008, Art of the Deal is a must-read book that demystifies collecting and investing in today's art market.

Noah Horowitz is an art historian and expert on the international art market. He has edited and contributed to publications on contemporary art and economics for institutions including the Serpentine Gallery, London; the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo; and the United Kingdom's Intellectual Property Office. He received his PhD from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, and currently lives in New York, where he is a member of the faculty of the Sotheby's Institute of Art and director of the VIP Art Fair.


"Calmly, trenchantly, Horowitz examines the intricate relationship between the contemporary art market and the value of its objects. This book will prove indispensable to anyone who wants to know how the art market works and what tomorrow's art economy might look like."--Alexander Alberro, Barnard College, Columbia University

"In recent decades, the world of contemporary art has developed into a global business. To fully grasp how this has changed the art world and our relationship to art, we need a thorough analysis of the financial forces involved. The best place to start is this groundbreaking study by Noah Horowitz, which, leaving the common chitchat about art and money to others, takes the discussion to a more fundamental level."--Daniel Birnbaum, director, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, and curator of the 2009 Venice Biennale

"This book is extremely stimulating and thoroughly enjoyable. Horowitz brings deep insight to his analysis, and he weaves in beautiful historical examples. His discussion of front- and backroom business by dealers, loss leaders, and profit makers is telling. Think about the art world using his concepts. Your views will change."--Richard J. Zeckhauser, Frank P. Ramsey Professor of Political Economy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

"Art of the Deal is cogently argued, thoroughly researched, and richly documented. It is also, to my knowledge, highly original, and not only in its subject matter--giving a textured financial analysis of contemporary art, in all its market manifestations--but in the rigor of its financial analysis. I don't know of another book like it in the field."--James Cuno, president and director, Art Institute of Chicago