A Year in the Art World

Matthew Israel

An insider’s detailed chronicle of the inner workings of the contemporary art world.

The world of contemporary art has become more globalized and transparent in the last few decades, yet it is still perceived as closed-off and obscure. In A Year in the Art World, Matthew Israel takes the reader on a cross-continental journey through a year in the field of art, lifting the veil on a culture that emerges as diverse, adventurous, nuanced, and meaningful. From Los Angeles and New York to Paris and Hong Kong, Israel encounters artists, curators, critics, gallerists, and institutions, uncovering the working lives of these art-world figures from the renowned to the unseen.

Drawing on exclusive interviews and expertly researched content, Israel ventures into the inner workings of the art industry to ask: What is it that people in the art world actually do? What drives interest in working with art? How do artworks acquire value? And how has technology transformed today’s art world? Anchoring the narrative in the history, economics, and cultural dynamics of the field, this fascinating story reveals how “the art world” describes a realm that is both surprisingly vast and deeply interconnected.


Pleasingly wonky… Israel logs many miles, some overseas, in order to meet with art world movers and shakers who operate largely out of the limelight… [He] lets the lucky reader tag along on his yearlong tour of the art world.

— Shelf Awareness

Israel achieves his goal…of writing accessibly to explain a somewhat elitist industry… Containing notes, an index, and color images, [A Year in the Art World] is recommended highly for public libraries, museum libraries, and academic libraries supporting studio and art history programs of all levels.

— ARLIS/NA Reviews


Matthew Israel


Matthew Israel is a curator, writer, and art historian with nearly twenty years of experience working with some of the most influential contemporary artists and art institutions. He currently lives and works in New York.