Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Amsterdam
Olav Velthuis is Professor at the Department of Sociology of the University of Amsterdam, specializing in economic sociology, sociology of the arts and cultural sociology. At the department, he is director of the program group Cultural Sociology; he used to be director of the MA programs in Sociology. His research interests include the globalization of art markets, the interrelations between market and gift exchange, the valuation and pricing of contemporary art, and the moral and socio-technological dimensions of markets for adult content. In a cross-comparative fashion, he has recently studied the emergence and development of art markets in the BRIC-countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China). The project was financed by a VIDI-grant from the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO). Before moving to the Universiity of Amsterdam, he worked for several years as a Staff Reporter Globalization for the Dutch daily de Volkskrant. Also, he worked as an Assistant Professor at the University of Konstanz and as a Post-Doc at Columbia University.
Velthuis is the author of Talking Prices. Symbolic Meanings of Prices on the Market for Contemporary Art (Princeton University Press, 2005), which received the Viviana Zelizer Distinguished Book Award of the American Sociological Association for the best book in economic sociology (2006). The American magazine Newsweek referred to it as " the best study of what art spending means ". He is also the author of Imaginary Economics (NAi Publishers, 2005), which was translated into Dutch and Italian. Together with Maria Lind of Tensta Konsthall (Stockholm), he edited the book Contemporary Art and Its Commercial Markets A Report on Current Conditions and Future Scenarios (Sternberg Press, 2012) and with Stefano Baia Curioni the book Cosmopolitan Canvases. The Globalization of Markets for Contemporary Art (Oxford University Press, 2015).
Apart from art markets, Velthuis has among others studied the market for literary fiction, cultural consumption and lifestyle, financial markets, and journalism. His academic work has appeared in leading journals in social science including Theory & Society, Socio-Economic Review, Economy & Society, Journal of Consumer Culture, Journalism, and the Journal of Cultural Economics. His journalistic writings have appeared in among others Artforum, the Art Newspaper and the Financial Times. His work has been cited in international media including Newsweek, Die Zeit, Corriere della Sera, The Independent, Il Sole 24 Ore, the FreakonomicsBlog of the New York Times, and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Velthuis has given keynote lectures and workshops at a variety of national and international cultural institutions including Tate Modern (London), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Toneelgroep Amsterdam, the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art (CIMAM), Tensta Konsthall (Stockholm), Art Basel, Rijksacademie (Amsterdam), Witte de With (Rotterdam), Christie's (London) and De Appel (Amsterdam).
He is president of The International Art Market Studies Association (www.artmarketstudies.org) and used to be board member of the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture (Fonds BKVB), which was the main government-sponsored foundation for visual artists in the Netherlands.
“How Contemporary Art Markets Are Made in the
Until the 1990s, markets for contemporary art were by and large non-existent in most regions in the world except for Europe and North America. Nowadays, many of these regions have flourishing art districts hosting scores of galleries; they host international art fairs; international auction houses scout these regions for new buyers, while private museums are being built by well-established collectors. This lecture will explain how these markets were constructed so rapidly in the global south. In doing so, it will go beyond often-heard economistic explanations which see the emergence of these markets predominantly as a response to wealth creation and the rise of a class of super-rich in these regions. Instead, the lecture will focus on the evaluative and organizational work conducted by artists themselves, international curators and local cultural entrepreneurs. Empirically, the lecture will draw on both qualitative and quantitative data collected in a five-year, cross-comparative research project on the emergence of art markets in Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Ana Letícia Fialho.
Visiting Professor at Universidade Federal de São Paulo
Ana Letícia Fialho manages programs and projects, lectures and researches in the arts and creative industries. She is currently a Visiting Lecturer on the postgraduate program in the History of Art at the Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil (UNIFESP). She completed her post-doctoral studies at the University of São Paulo, Brazilian Studies Institute in 2016. She has a Ph.D in the Sciences of Art and Language from the School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHSS) in Paris, France (2006), a Masters Degree in Cultural Management from the University of Lyon II, France (2006), and a LL.B. in Law from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (1997). Between 2016 and 2018, she was Director of the Department of Production Strategy at the Creative Industries Secretariat of the Ministry of Culture, Brazil. She was Executive Manager and Consultant for the Cinema do Brasil program from 2007 to 2019. She has been a Consultant on Market Intelligence and Research Coordinator for the Brazilian Association of Contemporary Art Galleries/Latitude Program since 2012 and was Executive Curator at the Fórum Permanente from 2007 to 2013. She has contributed to a number of publications, including Sociologia das artes visuais no Brasil (SENAC, 2012), O valor da obra de arte (Editor: Graca-Couto, Ronaldo, Metalivros, 2014); Art et société : Recherches récentes et regards croisés, Brésil/France. (Editor: Quemin, Alain: Villas Boãs, Gláucia., 1ed.Marseille: OpenEdition Press, 2016). She was Joint Editor, with Leandro Valiati, of the Atlas Econômico da Cultura Brasileira (MINC/UFRGS, 2017), which was short-listed for the Jabuti Award in 2018.
“Contemporary Art Markets in Latin America: Internationalization in Disequilibrium"
This paper aims to investigate the connections and determinants related to the recent growth of international visibility of Latin American contemporary art scenes, the expansion and internationalization of its art markets and the impact of those process on the (re)writing of a “global art history” (or histories). Taking a close look to recent developments of the contemporary art systems in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Chile, we can see a disequilibrium in the process of internationalization of art markets and other spheres of the art system, in particular the institutional and curatorial circuit. The misbalance between the art market and the institutional field in the region may affect the way contemporary art production and critical/curatorial thinking about contemporary art production circulate internationally. Despite globalization and intense cultural exchanges being a current phenomenon in contemporary art systems all around the world, shifting and reviewing mainstream narratives, as well as making the contemporary art world geopolitically wider and more diverse remain somehow a challenge where specific context must be taken into account, as well as unspoken hierarchies.