The Portret Project’s Guide to Collecting Contemporary Art


General Overview:

1. Contemporary art celebrates the creativity of the artists of the present.

2. Coined in the mid-20th century, it addresses what is most current, both stylistically and conceptually.

3. Working in a wide range of media, contemporary artists often reflect and present a take on amongst other things sociopolitical issues globally.screen-shot-2015-07-11-at-5-46-59-pm.png-w=767&h=1024 screen-shot-2015-07-11-at-6-27-11-pm1.png-w=768&h=989



  • An art museum is an institution that preserves and showcases a collection of art works, making it available to public audiences.
  • They educate and enhance the visitors’ ability to understand and appreciate museum collections.
  • Museums can be both public (NGMA Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru), and private (Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Delhi; Devi Art Foundation, Delhi)


  • A place meant for the display and sale of works of art.
  • Galleries can exist in the form of a small room, buildings and on-the-go
  • In India, galleries also play an instrumental role in educating audiences and in the development of public discourse around art.
  1. Public art galleries
  • Non-profit and run by cities, art collectives, local and national governments.
  • Delhi – India Habitat Centre Visual Arts Gallery, Lalit Kala Akademi, KHOJ International Artists’ Association, The Gujral Foundation10424324_630394480393540_3778959188246739600_nWHAT ARE AUCTION HOUSES?

    An entity, which engages in the public sale of works of art through the process of bidding where the work is sold to the highest bidder.


    A person or entity that buys, keeps on consignment and sells works of art.

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  • Screen Shot 2015-07-11 at 6.48.04 pm2. Private art galleries

    • They are privately owned enterprises with the focus to sell
    • For example: The Portret Project, FICA, Chemould Prescott, Gallery Maskara, Experimenter, Galleryske and Latitude 28-PRIMARY MARKET

              Artist        >>         Gallery/Art Dealer         >>          Client (Collector/You)

    • Primary Market refers to the first acquisition of the work of art from an artist.
    • The artist is usually living and active.
    • Once the piece is sold on the primary market if it were to be offered for sale once again it would be deemed to enter the secondary market.

            – SECONDARY MARKET 

             Art Collector      >>           Auction house/Dealer/Gallery      >>        Buyer

    • Secondary market refers to the resale of the work of art that has been previously owned.
    • Key players in the secondary market include galleries, private dealers, and auction houses.
    • The valuation of the artwork may increase on the secondary market, depending on popularity, supply and demand, and condition.