This project addresses the triangular relationship between Black artists, public institutions and the commercial art market, by examining how value is produced in the global art market through the lens of race. It also examines the ethical tension between the increasing value of Black art in the face of the ongoing devaluation of Black life.
Increased representation in commercial galleries has provided tangible, material benefits to Black artists, in contrast with public institutions which are slow to respond to changing audience interests and demands. This study will investigate the nature of these different kinds of representation and whether there is any indication of sustained long-term change. Additionally, it will examine the economic, social and philosophical implications of the increased global circulation of these works, and what this means for the artists in question.