Just recently a new client asked how he could hone his art eye, what could he read. This is not the first time I have been asked this question.
For novice art buyers it is an intimidating new milieu. It must be especially intimidating for those coming form a tech, financial or engineering background where they are use to dealing with hard, cold numbers. This is a world of subjectivity, emotion, nebulous words and passion. Lots of passion. So trying to educate yourself is a good way to feel more comfortable.
I think there is no substitute to exposing yourself to art in order to educate your eye.The more you look the more discerning you will become.Each new piece of art you look at gives you a context for viewing the next.
If you are interested in contemporary art do not neglect to look at the classics. While many of the modern artists sought to reinvent our relationship with art I feel strongly that the work is rooted in the past. I studied Italian and Northern European Renaissance art while in college and constantly make connections between it and contemporary work.
Along with looking at art to train your eye, it is good to read to train your thinking. One of the simplest tricks for exposing yourself to art I learned from Fred Lynch, one of my artists. By reading the little reviewlets of gallery shows in the beginning if the New Yorker you will begin to recognize some of the names and galleries of teh New York scene. There is generally a single line summing up the show. It is a manageable amount to read and digest.