AUP graduation ceremony at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.


AUP’s FIAC Event Discusses Contemporary Art Markets

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On Wednesday, October 16, 2019, The American University of Paris hosted a three-hour panel discussion with a group of international art dealers, art collectors and artists who were visiting Paris for the Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain (FIAC), the city’s annual international art fair. The event was entitled Art and Money and took place in AUP’s Quai d’Orsay Learning Commons. The discussion was moderated by the founder of Art Media Agency, Pierre Naquin. Several faculty members from AUP’s Department of Art History and Fine Arts also participated in the panel.

Naquin asked the panelists to debate several themes surrounded the links between art and money. The first topic discussed was the history of the art market, notably the moment in time when art pricing became the prevailing appreciation of quality. Most participants agreed that this moment coincided with the mediatization of contemporary art and the art market.

The discussion then turned to sociology, as panelists interrogated the need for artists to put effort into being market-friendly and the reasons why collectors focus most of their attention on more and more established (or, in other words, expensive) artists. Naquin asked his panelists to think analytically about which mechanisms may have led to these conditions and, finally, to consider how the future of the art market might look and whether the polarization created through this emphasis of value as a quality marker was inevitable moving forward.

At the end of the event, students in the audience asked pertinent questions about the topics discussed, stimulating a lively debate. A follow up panel discussion will be organized in November.