How does one make sense of the art world? How do you tell the real deal from the fads and duds? Dealers, collectors and the like have tended to rely on insider knowledge, opinion, personal taste and guesswork to navigate the field. When it comes to 20th-century or modern art, market values can provide some guidance. But, especially when it comes to a broad, diverse category, such as contemporary African art, looking at auction prices isn’t really going to give you a clear picture of what is going on. The market hasn’t yet had the chance to pin any sort of consistent or reliable monetary value on it, and so the art world has been at the mercy of trends, individual perceptions and other uncertainties to try to decide which artists are important. Besides, it’s such a diverse, disjointed field, it’s impossible for anyone to be able to claim comprehensive knowledge of it. But it seems changes are afoot. A new report by art consultancy Corrigall & Co, run by arts journalist, adviser and a...

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