Pricing Contemporary Art

What are fair prices for art? How can this be judged?


In this morning masterclass Mary Corrigall showed how the patterns in pricing in the South African art market reveal how the prices of art are generated. Both tangible and intangible influences on the price of art will be touched on. The art market's inbuilt fine-tuning methods designed to respond to demand and reward collectors will be addressed as well as the differences in prices on the exhibition, art fair and auction markets.


This masterclass was delivered in a Webinar format.

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South African Art Market

Our new publication, South African Art Market: Patterns & Pricing was first launched at the inaugural meeting of the Circle - AVA 50 Collectors in Cape Town on the roof of the AVA. 

The new members got the first preview and were given a copy as part of the membership benefits. Following a moving introduction to this new initiative, Mary Corrigall revealed the names of the galleries classified as first, second, third and fourth tier, according to a set criteria centred on validation patterns. 

Filling the Gaps:

Curating as a reponse

Curators are rarely the prism through which insights into the art market are derived. However, the limitations curators have faced – namely, an absence of platforms and sustained institutional resistance to decolonial narratives – have driven them to reconfigure, adapt the ecosystem.  

The Underline show, taking place at the Museum of African Design during this art fair weekend in Joburg, presented the work of 12 curators.

Mary Corrigall gave an informal talk, detailing how a generation of curators were driven to fill discursive and structural absences. 

Introduction to the Contemporary African Art Ecosystem

ON October 7 (2018) at Somerset House Mary Corrigall gave the first public presentation of some of the findings detailed in Corrigall & Co's inaugural art report.  It is the first to map the contemporary African art ecosystem. With a decade long overview, the report shows why, how and where African art has gained visibility via curators. 

Understanding the Contemporary African art boom

What conditions and which African tastemakers and artists have been driving this veritable boom in African contemporary art? Following a lecture by Mary Corrigall on Saturday February 16, is a panel discussion with Tokini Peterside, director of Art X Lagos art fair, Emma Menell director of London’s Tyburn gallery, Owen Martin, chief curator at the Norval Foundation (pictured above) and Matthew Partridge, contemporary specialist at the auction house.

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South African Art Market

The Norval Foundation is one of Cape Town's most respected private art institutions. 

It was a great honour for Mary Corrigall to introduce her landmark report which is available for sale in their museum shop. 


In this talk the focus was on how the status of a gallery is established, the criteria used in the study to define each gallery's position in the ecosystem and how this has come to influence the value of art in South Africa. 

It is kind of awkward being at a confere

South-Centricity in the Contemporary African Art Ecology

At this gathering of art market specialists from around the world Mary Corrigall shared the research and methodology Corrigall & Co generated in plotting the African art ecosystem as contained in A Decade of Curating at The Art Market and the Global South: New Perspectives and Plural approaches. This conference was co-organized by the Institute of Art History, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, TIAMSA - The International Art Market Studies Association and was held at the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga (National Museum of Ancient Art ), Lisbon, Portugal in November 2019. 

Are South Africans ready to engage with art from Africa?

Despite their international acclaim many artists from beyond SA's borders are unknown to locals. What informs this cultural myopia? This is the topic of a discussion hosted by the Franschhoek Literary Festival on May 19. Emma Bedford, senior art specialist at Aspire Art Auctions, and, Patrick Bongoy, an artist from the DRC, will join Mary Corrigall in a discussion mediated by radio personality
Tamara Le Pine-Williams.

How does contemporary African art gain value?

Who or what conditions, sectors in the contemporary African art ecosystem confer validation?Hosted by Strauss & Co on Thursday April 11,  the lecture by Mary Corrigall will be followed by a panel discussion with Thembinkosi Goniwe, independent curator, artist, writer, academic, and Christopher Till, director of the Javett Art Centre.

3rd Floor
25 Woodlands House
17 Woodlands Road
Cape Town
South Africa
Consultations : artists, galleries, art fairs and collectors.
Data-driven art reports on the contemporary African art market.
Evaluations of contemporary artworks.
Art tourism. 

© 2020 by CORRIGALL & CO

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