Hot Topics in the Art World: Two Years On

Lund Humphries Managing Director Lucy Myers brings you the latest news on our Hot Topics in the Art World series, published in association with Sotheby's Institute of Art... 

Georgina Adam (author of The Rise and Rise of the Private Art Museum) and Series Editor Jeffrey Boloten discuss the Hot Topics in the Art World series in a panel at the Art Business Conference, London in September 2021. Photograph: David Owen.

The first volumes in our Hot Topics in the Art World series were conceived in the anxious early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, as we already sensed that nothing would ever be quite the same again. It was in many ways a fertile time to plan a new series on the urgent art-world issues of the day, although there were too many Hot Topics and we didn’t yet know how they would end.

The series took its first steps into the world in the optimistic months of Autumn 2021, as we ventured out into offices and galleries again. We published three excellent volumes, on Private Art Museums (by Georgina Adam), Restitution (by Alexander Herman) and Art Fairs (by Melanie Gerlis), and launched them with a mix of online and in-person events. While the topics themselves have continued to develop in interesting and occasionally unpredictable ways since 2021, the bigger picture drawn by each of the writers remains as relevant as ever. 

As the series celebrates its 2nd birthday, we’ve just published on Commercial Galleries (by Henry Little), Philanthropy in the Arts (by Leslie Ramos) and Art in Saudi Arabia (by Rebecca Anne Proctor with Alia Al-Senussi). The series has covered Curating, Censored Art and How not to Exclude Artist Mothers in small-format, brightly coloured books which are instructive, engaging and sometimes polemical. Many of the books are being translated into other languages; all are available as ebooks. While the reverberations from the Covid-19 pandemic are present in all of the books, we’re now able to see the pandemic as just one strand in an ongoing, longer-term process of transformation of art-world structures and trends.

Hot Regions of the Art Market

Rebecca Anne Proctor (left) and Alia Al-Senussi (right) at the launch of their book Art in Saudi Arabia: A New Creative Economy? at the Goodman Gallery, London, December 2023 

Over the next year we will have published books on two regions of the world whose art worlds are both at an interesting stage of development: Saudi Arabia (Art in Saudi Arabia by Rebecca Anne Proctor with Alia Al-Senussi, just out), where a huge investment is being made into contemporary art as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 initiative; and Hong Kong (Art in the New Hong Kong by Enid Tsui, Autumn 2024), whose art market is at something of a crossroads. Both books are written by art-market journalists with many years of experience of writing about their respective regions.

Coming up in the Hot Topics Series

There is no shortage of new Hot Topics to cover. Coming up next Spring are The Art Institution of Tomorrow by curator Fatoş Üstek, a fascinating manifesto for a new kind of art institution, and Art Auctions by Kathryn Brown, which traces the extraordinary trajectory of the auction house from bastion of conservatism to 21st-century global trend-setter.

In Autumn 2024 we’re due to publish on a topic which certainly wasn’t on our radar in 2020 and yet now is amongst the hottest of them all: AI and the Art Market. If you’re interested in dipping your toes into this subject, author Jo Lawson-Tancred will be chairing a panel on the subject of her book at the London Art Fair on Wednesday 17th January. Gareth Harris (author of Censored Art Today) will also be at the London Art Fair, chairing a panel for the Fair’s Museum session on Tuesday 16th January on the subject of his next Hot Topics volume: Towards the Ethical Art Museum.

Thank you to our publishing partners Sotheby’s Institute of Art for their ongoing support of the series and to Series Editors Jeffrey Boloten and Juliet Hacking for their invaluable input into individual volumes. It has been an exciting ride.


Lucy Myers 

Managing Director, Lund Humphries