Quemin, Alain: Elaborating a Ranking of Leading Contemporary Art Galleries: Does Nationality Matter and to What Extent is Internationalization Necessary to Control the Market?

For several years now, art market studies have known a very fast development. Still, collectors and collections tend to have drawn more attention than actors who intervene on the art market; today, professionals and dealers remain less documented and analyzed.

In this communication, we intend to present first a ranking of the leading contemporary art galleries in the world. For many years now, we have studied the multiple rankings that exist in the contemporary art world and we were struck by the fact that artists tend to monopolize attention in that domain. The Power 100 that combines all kinds of actors is the only exception of significant importance. Having analyzed the construction mode of the most remarkable rankings, we decided to elaborate one for contemporary art galleries. The methodology that we used will be presented as well as the result that we obtained.

In a second phase of the presentation, we will analyze the territorial dimension that is revealed by our ranking, first in terms of countries of origin associated with the diverse positions in the ranking: what are the positions and what is the share of the United States, that usually plays a central part in the contemporary art world today? What is the part of a very limited number of countries – Germany, the UK, France, Switzerland and Italy – that we identified as playing a secondary role in some of our previous research? Then, what is the part of the rest of the world and especially that of the Southern hemisphere? Finally, does our ranking reveal such a thing as the so-called globalization?

In the last phase of our presentation, the territorial impact will be evaluated under a different perspective from the previous one: through the multiple international locations of some art galleries. Is this trait necessary to belong to the group of leading contemporary art galleries in the world today, or is it possible to occupy top ranks in the ranking and have only one location? Key words: contemporary art – galleries – art market – ranking – internationalization