Yvon Lambert Slams Art Speculators

Yvon Lambert Photo: via Vabien Blogspot

Legendary gallerist Yvon Lambert slammed the investor-centric speculative art market and bemoaned art advisers’ ever-larger roles within the market in an interview with Germany’s FAZ. Earlier this month, Lambert announced that he will shutter his commercial space after nearly 50 years in the business.

In the interview he calls the “explosion in prices for young artists,” over the past year or so, “extremely unhealthy,” going on to note that mega-galleries are very much a part of the price-pumping game.

“It’s like day and night,” Lambert told the paper when asked about what the art market was like when he began his gallery in 1966, as compared with today. Lambert lamented that even 20 years ago much was different, with major changes having been brought forth by the internet’s ever-increasing penetration into the art space.

Previously collectors would come into his gallery to engage with the work and there were always questions about collecting and living with art in general, he recalls. Now, discussion, if any, often turns towards potential monetary return.

“You can’t ignore speculation any longer,” Lambert said, adding that art advisers had in many ways replaced the discursive role of the gallerist. But, he continued, when people, “come here and want to make an investment, I send them to the bank.”

“Art advisers are a sad, American invention,” he told the paper, calling them little more than interior decorators.

Following a grand finale at his Paris gallery space—courtesy of Anselm Kiefer—Lambert says that he’ll turn his focus to his private collection, shown in a mansion in Avignon, in the South of France. He has been a central figure of the French art world since the 1970s, associated with the likes of Daniel Buren, Christian Boltanski, and Bertrand Lavier, as well as American Conceptual artists Carl Andre and Brice Marden.

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