The Gray Market

The Gray Market is a bi-weekly column by Tim Schneider about the art market’s transition from an informal, insular economy to a professionalised, growth-minded industry.

Art marketanalysis

The Gray Market: Why Sotheby’s $700m art-backed debt security is an acid test for the trade’s intentions

The large-scale investment vehicle raises major questions about who gets to decide where, how and to whom art circulates


The Gray Market: Demand for young artists' work is bowed but unbroken in top auctions

Defying market dogma, marquee sales results show “reallocation” to youth

Art marketanalysis

The Gray Market: Why contemporary dealers and collectors are monitoring an antitrust lawsuit over Birkin bags

Hermès's alleged sale strategy for the in-demand bags parallels dealers' waiting list policies, but legal experts are sceptical of the lawsuit's merits

Art marketanalysis

The Gray Market: Anyone wrestling with money's influence on art has 800 years of company

A show at the Morgan Library & Museum traces the modern economy's emergence in the Middle Ages—and how it influenced art from the start

Art marketanalysis

The Gray Market: Rybolovlev’s trial against Sotheby’s has become a slog through minutiae—and that’s good for the auction house

The art market ‘trial of the century’ has transitioned from courtroom drama to bureaucratic headache

Art marketanalysis

Fairs, auction houses and AI: five predictions for the art market in 2024

Will Patrick Drahi sell a stake in Sotheby’s? Will Frieze acquire more regional fairs? Watch this space…

The Gray Market: Our art market soothsayer looks back on his 2023 predictions

How did his forecasts weather the roughest turbulence the trade has experienced in years? Read on to find out

The Gray Market: The 1973 Scull auction was a harbinger of today's market, but its meaning is still misunderstood

Fifty years later, history suggests the infamous sale from the collection of Robert and Ethel Scull is not quite the art market precedent it is remembered as

The Gray Market: Prints and multiples may finally be ready for the market spotlight—it only took a few hundred years of confusion

The latest edition of the IFPDA Print Fair in New York and a slew of moves by mega-galleries look set to reshape this long-overlooked category

The Gray Market: Art fraud has hijacked the conversation again, but calls for stronger regulation miss the bigger picture

Is regulation a wonder drug for curing the art market of its chronic fraud problem? Our columnist explains why that thinking is a myth