The Avant-Garde and the Art Market in Denmark

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    At the end of the nineteenth century, artists acknowledged, once and for all, that they were dependent on market mechanisms to distribute their work.This involved several parameters. how could the understanding of art be propagated? How would their art be received by the public? And last but not least, how could they make their work financially viable? To deal with these issues, artists needed allies who could promote their art through exhibitions and criticism, and auction houses and art dealers who could work on sales and other profitable initiatives. The main players in Denmark were the museums, but their acquisitions of work by contemporary young artists were virtually non-existent. the professional apparatus as we know it today simply did not exist.

    Exhibitions, reviews, sales and other kinds of financial support were all closely connected, but it was difficult for the individual artist to deal with them all; the artist had to develop a self-image which could encompass two worlds, one concrete and one abstract. As no account of the relation between artists and the market in Denmark in this period has previously been presented, it is important to investigate the prevailing social and cultural conditions of the first decade of the twentieth century. Let us first consider how an artistic career emerged at this time by turning our attention to the academy of fine arts and its policies.

    Translated title of the contributionKunstmarkedet og Avantgarde i Danmark
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationA Cultural History of The Avant-Garde in the Nordic Countries 1900-1925
    EditorsHubert van den Berg, Irmeli Hautamaki, Benedikt Hjartarson, Torben Jelsbak, Rikard Schönström, Per Stounbjerg, Tania Ørum, Dorthe Aagesen
    Number of pages680
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam
    Publication date2012
    ChapterLocations of the Nordic Avent-Garde
    ISBN (Print)978-90-420-3620-8
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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