I just finished reading Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton. Thornton guides us through seven different days –constructed over a five year research period. Each day is a description of one of the institutional structures that comprise the market for contemporary art: a Christies auction, the famous art school ‘crit’ of Michael Asher, the Basel Art fair, the build-up to the Turner Prize, the offices of Artforum magazine, the corporate studio of Takashi Murakami and the Venice Biennale. A glaring omission is that one of the days was not spent at a contemporary art museum, or even a particular high-end gallery.
Despite the odd inclusion of Asher’s ‘crit’, and Thornton's insistance that "the art world is much broader than the art market," her mapping of an art world, revolves around the highly visible competitive market.