Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Art world mumblings

Art Fag City has some outstanding and humorous coverage of Art Basel Miami up right now. In my recent travels I've heard the comment from more than one in-the-know-type suggesting that the world of the gallery reception maybe on it's way out. The place to make moola is the fair. While many galleries in bigger metropolitan locations are keeping their showrooms open for the time being, and continuing to host opening receptions many are wondering what the possible benefit is of supporting the overhead of a public space when it's not generating the sales possible at major international fairs. In today's economy I would imagine any opportunity to cut overhead would seem like an all too sweet prospect. This is an interesting concept the more you think about it. If it is in fact true and not idle chit chat the composition of many a regional art community will change significantly in the coming years. Outside of simply making sales, the gallery showroom with it's routine reception nights provides a valuable venue for artists to connect. Without this setting the scene could become increasingly isolated. As many of us can well attest, receptions are also a good place to find an opportunity to chat with curators, gallerists, and fellow artists in the hope of getting our work shown. Ah what the future may hold...


Liv Moe said...

okay, so i thought about this some more at the pool this afternoon and came up with more implications:

1. relational aesthetics and the like aside, a high percentage of work is made with the white cube in mind. what would the future of contemporary art look like if it wasn't being produced for a sterile viewing environment or a static viewing environment period. btw, i'm not suggesting that this would necessarily be good or bad per se.

2. i often travel out of town to see shows at galleries. if the gallery showroom were to dwindle how would i see the work of an artist like peter stegall or rachel clarke? folks who aren't at major art institution level yet (i.e. moma, lacma, etc.) but have highly developed work worth seeing.

3. what would the future of art produced for fairs look like? we all know that the art world is a largely commercial enterprise but wouldn't this raise the stakes even higher?

granted this is all largely rhetorical at the moment but an interesting concept to consider none the less.

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