A Year in the Art World


A year-long journey through the contemporary art world, uncovering the working lives of artists, curators, gallerists and critics, and revealing what they really do


ISBN: 9780500239926 Category:

Matthew Israel


In the last few decades, the world of contemporary art has become more globalized and visible than ever before. And yet this world has long been perceived as closed and obscure, provoking in the uninitiated a range of responses from reverence to bafflement and rage. Taking the reader on a cross-continental journey through a notional calendar year in the field of art, Matthew Israel lifts the veil on a world that emerges from his narrative as diverse, adventurous, nuanced and meaningful to all. From Los Angeles to Hong Kong via Paris and New York, the author travels among the world’s best-known artists, curators, critics, gallerists and institutions as they work towards some of the art world’s most defining international events.

A Year in the Art World relates the exploits of a curious insider, who ventures deep into the workings of the art industry to ask: what is it that people in the art world actually do? What drives an interest in working with art? How do artworks acquire value? And how has technology transformed the art world of today? Israel combines in-depth personal profiles with expert context to reveal both new and longstanding artworld realities. From biennials in summer to auctions in the fall, this fascinating narrative reveals how ‘the art world’ describes a realm that is both surprisingly vast and deeply interconnected.

Additional information

Weight 584 g
Dimensions 16.6 x 24.4 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 October 2020
Number of pages 256
Format Hardback
Dimensions 16.6 x 24.4 cm
Weight 584 g


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Matthew Israel is a curator, writer and art historian based in New York. He has worked with galleries including Matthew Marks and Gagosian, managed major artist estates and foundations, written widely for the international art press, and spoken internationally about contemporary art and the art world. He received a PhD in History of Art and Archaeology from New York University's Institute of Fine Arts and was Head Curator of Artsy. His most recent book is The Big Picture: Contemporary Art in 10 Works by 10 Artists.