Prize & price

The Turner Prize as a valuation device in the contemporary art market

Pierre Pénet, Kangsan Lee

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    High prices garnered by British contemporary artists are often presented as a problem of valuation. This article seeks to connect the rapid ascent of British contemporary artists to the emergence and institutionalization of the Turner Prize, today's most prestigious art award. Although prizes and awards proliferate in fields of cultural production, little academic research has investigated their implications for artists' careers and trajectories. Combining a detailed, qualitative description of the institutionalization of the Turner Prize with a quantitative investigation of its influence on auction prices, we find that British contemporary artists' unusual valuation pattern (fast market ascension and hastened, rather than "deferred," commercial success) largely results from a different relation between value and price rooted in the Turner Prize's three innovative valuation mechanisms: brokerage, deliberation, and institutional labeling.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)149-171
    Number of pages23
    JournalPoetics
    Volume43
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

    Fingerprint

    art market
    contemporary art
    Labeling
    artist
    Trajectories
    institutionalization
    auction
    deliberation
    career
    art
    Artist
    Art Market
    Turner Prize
    market
    Values
    Institutionalization

    Keywords

    • Art market
    • Art prizes
    • Market devices
    • Valuation mechanisms

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Cultural Studies
    • Language and Linguistics
    • Communication
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Linguistics and Language
    • Literature and Literary Theory

    Cite this

    Prize & price : The Turner Prize as a valuation device in the contemporary art market. / Pénet, Pierre; Lee, Kangsan.

    In: Poetics, Vol. 43, No. 1, 01.01.2014, p. 149-171.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Pénet, Pierre ; Lee, Kangsan. / Prize & price : The Turner Prize as a valuation device in the contemporary art market. In: Poetics. 2014 ; Vol. 43, No. 1. pp. 149-171.
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