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Can we reconcile the idea of the Avant-Garde and the market?
Jenson’s definition of the avant-garde departs from its strict association with the political left and replaces it with a category of marketability, such that the market and the avant-garde have a symbiotic relationship, that is codependent and interdependent. Picasso’s marketability for his avant-garde artwork and the Futurist’s marketability for their avant-garde work are two examples that illustrate this symbiotic relationship. Picasso relied on art dealers instead of relying on public arenas. This calculated approach to the market is really seen in the way in which he aligned himself with Kahnweiler, an art dealer who represented only the best artists. In that, Picasso could align himself with other great artists through the private dealer. Picasso joins the elitist circle, preferring the one-man art show. His initial avant-garde style attracts the dealer and consequently the market, however, ultimately reverts from an avant-garde style to one of neoclassicism. Stylistically, Picasso goes back and forth depending on market desirability. The Futurists also manipulated the market by taking their avant-garde approach and ensuring that it be entered into art history. Like Picasso, they also started out as avant-garde and became less so depending on the market. In fact, they took out an advertisement in Figaro, a mainstream periodical.