step by step how to buy young art

5 Rules On How to Buy Polish Young Art

step by step how to buy young art

photo: Slawek Kozdraś

For beginning collectors, young art is a perfect investment – it allows for adding the first few notches on the belt without a need to spend a lot. Young artists’ works don’t carry many risks – they are affordable and can turn out to be a  surprisingly good investment in the future. Is it enough to follow your intuition when buying young art? It is but it’s worth remembering a few tips. 

1. Become a regular in galleries.

They should become the first stop on the amateur collectors’ hunt for new objects. Galleries are part of the primary art market which means they not only sell artworks but also promote artists and search for new talents. To avoid getting lost on the map of Polish galleries, it’s good to have a closer look at two initiatives promoting the national contemporary art market. Cracow Art Week (Krakers) and Warsaw Gallery Weekend are annual events, bringing together the biggest Polish galleries, during which we can visit numerous exhibitions. It’s a unique chance to get to know the newest trends and take note of some more interesting names. It’s also a good opportunity to talk to artists and galleries’ staff to ask them for advice.

2. Get inspired by more experienced players. 

Public institutions’ main purpose is to select and present the best of the best of the national artistic potential. The artist’s presence in public collections is always the sign of a high value of his works. Programmes of big institutions such as Zachęta in Warsaw, MOCAK in Cracow or the National Museum, are carefully curated by the country’s best specialists and art historians who can serve as our inspiration for the selecting process. Private collections, like the famous one belonging to Grażyna Kulczyk, are often well documented in illustrated catalogues. The Internet is another helpful source of information – among many others, we can find the ING Polish Art Foundation collection’s catalogue online, offering us an overview of the most interesting phenomenons of the contemporary art scene. Many Polish artists are present on the international market so it’s always worth keeping an eye on big events such as Frieze Art Market in London or Art Basel.

3. Be up to date with art competitions. 

It’s good to follow the most important Polish contests’ results as they have proven to be an excellent way to predict upcoming trends. The most prominent ones are Spojrzenia, organised biannually by Zachęta in collaboration with Deutsche Bank, Artystyczna Podróż Hestii (Hestia’s Artistic Journey) and Biennale Malarstwa Bielska Jesień (Painting Biennale Bielska Jesień). It’s worth not only paying attention to the podium but also the full list of nominees since we might come across names not yet big but already promising.

4. Pay a visit to the Fine Arts Academy. 

If we put enough effort into our hunt, it might take us to the source of artistic life in Poland. Investing in students’ works carries more risks but, with a bit of luck, we can find real bargains, that might turn into masterpieces one day, while supporting young talents. Academies organize various exhibitions and shows open to the public. They are usually advertised on the schools’ websites and are a great opportunity to meet young artists and start following their careers from the very beginning.

5. Analyze the artist’s CV… and then do that again. 

When we already have specific names in mind, it’s very important to analyze and compare our artists’ resumes. Although it’s certainly the least exciting part of our hunt, we should think of it in a similar way an employer approaches selecting a perfect candidate for a job. There are certain elements worth taking a closer look at. The first thing is a recognizable artistic school’s diploma. Next – exhibitions, both group and solo ones, with the latter being even more desirable. We should pay special attention to the ones organized by recognizable public and private institutions. Finally – participation in competitions and residencies, of which a few are mentioned above.

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About The Author


Art historian and art writer based in London. She is currently studying for an MA in art market and appraisal at Kingston University.

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