seven new art words

The Art Newspaper’s (least) favourite neologisms

How many in this picture are suffering from fairtigue and over-sharking?


A term circulating since 2012 and increasingly heard this year as dealers, collectors (and, yes, journalists) struggled to keep abreast of the exploding number of art fairs around the world.


Used to refer to the increasing global reach of the dealer Larry Gagosian who now runs 13 outlets worldwide with another set to open in London next year. The term is also used generically to signify the rising power and ambitions of a small number of dealers who control the top end of the contemporary art market.


Coined by the New York magazine critic Jerry Saltz to describe the market-driven abstract art produced by numerous artists out to make a quick buck. Also known as zombie formalism.


The feeling experienced by art lovers after yet another phoned-in, theory-laden “ennial”, sending them into a funk of despair and prompting a belief that human life has no intrinsic value or meaning.


The activity engaged in by dealers, mostly at art fairs, who refer to themselves as sharks ready to sniff out the blood (ie money) of collectors.


“Fear of being ostracised by fair folk” is an art world specific variant of the popular acronym FOMO—fear of missing out—which encapsulates dealers’ concerns of not joining the lucrative art fair bandwagon.

Tyre Kicker

A term used by art dealers to describe a time-wasting punter who makes gallery staff jump through hoops by asking interminable questions about a piece that he—and it usually is a he—invariably ends up not buying.

{via The Art Newspaper}

Leave a Reply ...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.