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books

Isabelle Graw’s High Price: Art Between the Market and Celebrity Culture

Isabelle Graw, High Price: Art Between the Market and Celebrity Culture, translated by Nicholas Grindell (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2009), 248 pages.

THIS BOOK ABOUT PRICE, value, celebrity, and the merging of work and identity comes at a propitious time. Largely written at the height of the speculative bubble for contemporary art, it issues into an utterly changed scene that offers a sharp perspective on what for so long appeared to be merely business as usual. Price and fame were certainly closely tied: As the author notes, in the wake of the financial crisis, reporting on the art world in the lifestyle press has almost ceased.

Isabelle Graw is well known as an art critic and theorist, a cofounder of Texte zur Kunst, and an academic author. One of the key claims of this book is that artists are the prototypes of celebrities and that because all service-industry workers are expected to act

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