The types of Art Galleries


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    According to The Art Market 2020 report by the economist Clare McAndrew, for Art Basel and UBS, there are 296,580 active galleries, between the primary and secondary market, divided according to the type of art marketed.

    By type we mean:

    Contemporary Art: artists born after 1960

    Post-War Art: artists born after 1910

    Modern Art: artists born between 1875 and 1910

    19th-Century Art: artists born between 1821 and 1874

    Old Masters: artists born before 1821

    For artists, especially emerging ones, choosing their own gallery, the one to entrust the growth of their career and finding a position in the art market is not at all simple.

    In fact it is good that the emerging Artist invests his time not only in artistic research and in the development of his own stylistic figure, but that he applies himself in the study of the different types of art galleries, making a selection based on how they operate, the artists with whom they already collaborate, to the medium they prefer or the fairs in which they participate.

    According to art expert Donald Thompson, there are four main types of art galleries:

    Brand galleries or Megas

    They deal with the most popular artists with very high prices, the so-called blue chips. The gallery owners enjoy contacts with the most famous collectors, with influential curators, with the most prestigious museums, foundations and personalities of art. The brand galleries, participate at the most important fairs in the sector, are also called megas, since they are those who set the law in the market and support exchanges on multiple squares with different locations around the world.

    Traditional galleries

    Traditional galleries have a positioning close to that of brand galleries, carrying out a fundamental scouting activity, working with artists who are emerging or even mid-career artists. After identifying the artists who could potentially have a good success, they implement promotional strategies between collectors and curators with whom they organize exhibitions of their works, presenting the works also on the occasion of a selected list of art fairs. The gallery owners have stable links with their collectors and a network of partner galleries with which they often collaborate to organize exhibitions and to promote their artists.

    Commercial Galleries

    Commercial galleries are “incubators” of artists on the rise or established but who have yet to position themselves in the market, to then become part of a traditional gallery. Commercial galleries work mainly in the area, without giving up a strong online presence. Galleries-Shops The gallery-shops are spaces that work with not yet established artists, often from their own territory or nationally, who showcase their work for a target that is part of the first purchase by art lovers or occasional collectors.

    In addition to those mentioned by Thompson, there are also Research Galleries that stand out for the choice of artists and mediums whose market is still developing and therefore cannot be defined as stable, such as that of Digital Art.

    The plurality of the offer of art galleries allows artists, collectors and operators in the sector to choose the ideal gallery for their needs.

    Are you ready to choose your gallery?


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