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© Seed Gallery New York
Primary Art Market

The primary market means that the work of art being sold has never been bought before. It is being offered for sale for the first time hence it is either coming from the artist’s studio or the gallery representing the artist.

A gallery that exclusively works with emerging artists and represents their work to the public for the first time can be considered to be active on the primary art market rather than the secondary art market. The primary art market presents works by artists who are still alive and marks the time when the price for an artwork is established for the first time.

As soon as an artwork is purchased on the primary market and the purchaser, whether a collector, a museum, a corporate collection, a foundation or an art dealer, decides to sell it, the work has now entered the secondary market. For example, most artworks at an auction house form part of the secondary market. Fundamentally, the works of art have already been purchased before. To put it literally, the primary art market is the first-hand market and the secondary art market can be viewed as the second-hand market.



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