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Corporate Art Collections in Europe: Impact, Influences and Responsibilities in the Art World

Laraki, Nora (2022) Corporate Art Collections in Europe: Impact, Influences and Responsibilities in the Art World. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.93627) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:93627)

Language: English

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This thesis is an inquiry into the changing role and growing influence of corporations as collectors and modern patrons of contemporary art in Europe. As pressure increases on public funding, corporations have become an important source of income for artists and cultural institutions. This is a relatively new and ongoing development in Europe, where the governments have a long-standing tradition of supporting and funding the arts in various ways.

This thesis is a critical analysis of power imbalances in the neo-liberal market, highlighting the ethical implications of corporate intervention in the arts. The basis of this study forms a qualitative analysis of data collected from in-depth interviews, case studies, text- and picture analyses, accompanied by a comprehensive statistical analysis of European corporate collections. Researching art as a social product, I have positioned this project on the intersection of art history and sociology, drawing on Gramsci's concept of cultural hegemony and Bourdieu's notion of the field. The findings of this study show that corporate collectors occupy influential and powerful positions within the art ecosystem. Many of them have gained significant recognition and legitimisation by entering strategic partnerships with the public sector. Moreover, contemporary corporate collectors can positively influence artists' careers, however the evidence in this study shows that this can be problematic as corporate collectors can in some cases actively censor and influence artistic production to conform to their demands. Furthermore, this study suggests that while corporate collections generally seem to follow the trends of the art market, their buying patterns indicate a strong bias towards male artists and Eurocentric values. The ethnographic approach of this research project additionally provides an in-depth insight into and documentation of the operations and workings of corporate collecting in Europe.

A practical outcome drawing on the findings of this study is the proposal for a code of ethics, put together by summarising and structuring the discussions I had with corporate collectors outlining their consensus about responsibilities and their role in the art world. Significantly, publishing this code of ethics could potentially help to hold corporate collectors accountable, offering more transparency to the public and their employees as well as increasing the systemic support for marginalised artists.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Thomas, Ben
Thesis advisor: Friday, Jonathan
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.93627
Uncontrolled keywords: Contemporary Art Collections, Corporate Art, Corporate Art Collections, Deutsche Bank, Damien Hirst, Anish Kapoor, Bourdieu, Gerhard Richter, Soho House, culture hegemony, marginalised artists, art patronage, medici, Rockefeller
Subjects: N Visual Arts
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
Funders: Organisations -1 not found.
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2022 10:10 UTC
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2023 12:30 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Laraki, Nora.

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