A new app for your iPhone. ArtNear (HopNear Inc) is an application connecting you to galleries and museums in your area. It searches for nearby venues based on your location and you can type in an artist's name to find out where they are showing. Cool.
Peter Coe, Untitled (#6), watercolor, 9x12", estimated under $400
I have recommended Pierogi (Williamsburg, Brooklyn) to collectors for years. I recently forwarded their web address to a new collector and noticed that Pierogi's Flat Files are online and searchable. (They may have been online for a year and I am just now noticing. Forgive me.) The fact that the Flat File artists are online means you can search and take notes before you visit the Flat Files in person. You may find something to inquire about while perusing for notes. I am especially thrilled with the search criteria. You can search by price! They have a great selection of works $400 and below. I selected $400 and clicked 'Random Selection'. There are too many great artists to list here, but in the first three random selection searches a few recognizable names appeared: Polly Apfelbaum, James Hyde, Bob and Roberta Smith, David Humphrey, Joel Adas, James Esber, Jane Fine, Ellen Harvey, Allison Shotz, Edward Del Rosario. The list goes on and on. So does the search criteria: there are over 24 Media search selections (including crayon, fabric, and marker) and over 45 Tags search selections (including erotic, kinetic, and humerous). Let the collecting begin!
Received this postcard in the mail on Friday. It was the first time in a long time that I was happy to receive a postcard from a gallery.
If I'm going out on a gallery walk I always check out what's up on the web first. I do not need the hundreds, yes, hundreds of (unsolicited) gallery postcards I receive each week. I think it is time for all galleries to move in this direction. Yay Sara!
One major reason to head out on Saturday is that it is the last day of the show. Don't miss it. Danica's work has been a favorite of mine for years. Another reason to visit is the accompanying show by Karin Weiner titled Paper Trail. I am new to this work, but knew of Karin from her sixspace days. I love the humor in the work - something I can really use right now! The best part is that Karin's prices are very reasonable, most works selling for around $1,500. (The work pictured below is the largest piece in the show and it is priced at around $5,000.)
As an aside, this gallery is one of the 'good guys'. They are open and friendly and very easy to deal with. Especially Kristen, the director. And, they have a wonderful website that lets you view most of the works in their current show. Bravo! If there wasn't a complete website (with images) there would be no post and I may not have rediscovered Karin Weiner - who is now on my list of "Artists to Collect When...". (And, as per an earlier post, maybe I can encourage the gallery to post prices on their website, too?)
Karin Weiner, A Year of Many Snow Storms, mixed media collage, 36"x48"
Deborah Kass, I am Telling You I'm Not Going (diptych), 2002, gouache on paper
Schroeder Romero Gallery has done a fabulous job allowing you to see most of the works in their current show on their website. Bravo! So even if you aren't in New York, you can peruse what is hanging in their gallery.
Why can't all galleries do this? Most already have websites. Most have images of the works or can take digital snaps of the work after they are installed. If I were able to peruse shows in other cities on the web, I know I would be collecting more art from more galleries in more cities. Prices, too, should be posted on gallery websites. Most (almost all) don't provide prices. Very curious. What's the big secret? The time has come for galleries to put tools (images, prices, shipping policies, payment plans, return policies, etc.) on their site to help broaden their collecting audience!
Anyway, check out this show - whether you are in your living room or in NYC.
OK, so the world has bigger problems than which galleries are closing. But, it is happening and will continue to happen. And, dare I say, should have happened a long time ago in some cases. But, in times like these some of the good guys will be forced to close and that is a bummer. (example: Roebling)
That being said, now is an odd time for me to start blogging again. About buying art. Yes, buying art. I'm not buying art right now. I'm strapped, mainly due to supporting the West Prize winners. But, I am pooling funds and hope to be buying again some time soon. Because it is important to buy right now. If you can.
There are a few galleries showing work that is affordable and good. Here are two examples:
This is a wonderfully quiet and solid show by a talented Cooper Union grad. Drawings are $200 framed.
Drawing upon the Russian Suprematists and Philip Guston, film noir and the Sunday comics, the work gallops through time on Olive Oyl's oversized shoes. Seamlessly mixing high and low culture, the artist assigns equal value to Malevich as to Raymond Chandler. Working in wood and metal, Fertman inflects these inert materials with humor and humanity, charming both object and viewer in the process.
This group show has some really strong works on paper pinned to a wall salon style that are between $100 and $500.
...the international group of artists presented in Things Fall Apart mark precipitous global power shifts in their work while positing the darkest moments—when things fall apart—as salient points of departure for change.
I recently spent another day wandering the galleries of Chelsea and came across one gallery whose behavior was remarkable. Actually, I can't blame the gallery, just the person who hired the person sitting behind the desk at the gallery. I popped into this gallery to see a show by an artist whom I have collected pretty heavily. When we approached the desk to inquire about prices and whatnot we told the young lady seated there that we were big fans and collectors of the artist's work. She replied with silence. So we picked up a catalog sitting on the desk and pointed out to her works in the catalog we own. She nodded and said, "Yeah, he's a great artist." That was the end of the conversation. She went back to doing whatever she was doing before we interrupted her.
In these times it is truly hard to believe that a retail business can survive with this "only if I have to" attitude. Time will tell, I suppose.
NB: The above image has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the gallery I am referring to in this post. Jennifer and William's edition can be found between Winkleman Gallery and Schroeder Romero Gallery - two of my favorites and the very best behaved galleries out there.
I'm tired of bad behavior in the art world. I'm so tired of it that I'm going to start naming names...sort of. Every time I am treated poorly in an art world situation - art fair, gallery, studio - I'm going to write about it here. I won't name the culprit directly. (It isn't my style. I'm too passive-aggressive.) But, I will share some clues.
To balance out the negativity I am also going to start listing good behavior here, naming names directly.
First the bad...
I was introducing some new collectors (friends of my parents) to galleries in Chelsea a few weeks ago when we wandered into a gallery on 26th Street that starts with T and ends with M. I went up to the desk to inquire about one of the paintings in the group show. The woman sitting behind the desk looked directly at me, grunted (maybe it was a moan) and pointed at the painting on the wall. She then turned to her associate and began talking to him, ignoring me and my request for more information. I knew a little about the work, so I spent some time with the collectors sharing what I knew. As I was talking I heard someone bark, "You can't be in there!" I turned to see that one of my friends had wandered into the gallery office to admire a painting on the wall. After being told to leave the office he asked if he could look at the painting. The gallery associate pointed at the office door and said, "Only from there."
State secrets? Nuclear material? Gold bullions? I ask you, what could possibly have been cause for barring a collector from admiring a painting in an empty office?
We left. Everyone felt a little uneasy given that it was the second gallery of many that we planned to visit that day. I was so embarrassed and prayed that we wouldn't run into any more rudeness. It pained me to hear my friend say, "Sorry about that. I'm new at this. I don't know the rules."
[n.b. I use the drawing above by David Rathman only as a visual example of bad behavior. It is a detail from a drawing I own. There is absolutely no connection between this drawing and the gallery that I discuss in this post.]
Two of my favorite galleries (I have many) have recently moved into new Chelsea digs. One came across the river from Brooklyn, the other just hopped up a few blocks to a lovely new space. Check out their inaugural shows...
Who's up when? What night is the opening? What is going to be showing on our trip to _______ (insert NY, London, Los Angeles, etc.)?
Keeping track of who, what, when, and where in the world of contemporary art can be tricky and sometimes overwhelming. Here are a few free email services to which I subscribe to keep abreast of openings and shows:
zingrecommends by zingmagazine
Weekly email updates of New York shows in list form. Pro: Thorough; Con: No links
Twice a month emails listing worldwide art openings. Pro: Their website; Con: Currently more UK/Europe focused. (NB: check out the very cool and downloadable maps of New York and London updated every two months. Includes location of art fairs. Great tool if you are planning a visit to one of these cities.)
Weekly email list of "filtered cultural stimuli", which means the highlights and only the highlights. (The list includes events in art, music, film, theater, reading, multi-media, and more...) Target cities: NY, San Francisco, Chicago, London, Los Angeles. Pro: Each listing includes a brief write-up and all of the pertinent info - date, time, location, and links; Con: Too few art listings.
A blog about the New York contemporary art scene delivered to your email box. This list of openings is generated by one man, Douglas Kelley, and appears about once a month. The emails often contain his personal reviews of shows or goings-on in the art world. Pro: Thorough; Con: Not always accurate so check before you go. (NB: To get on the DKS email list you need to send an email to email@example.com with 'YES' in the Subject line.)
A daily, and sometimes more than once a day, email generated by a "New York-based information bureau dedicated to world wide distribution of information for contemporary visual arts institutions via the Internet." Most emails announce museum shows. Pro: Interesting global view; Con: Frequency of emails.
And, if you are planning a trip to Chelsea, don't leave home without checking out Chelsea Art Galleries, an extremely informative and easy to navigate website on all things Chelsea. The coolest aspect of the website is the ability to build a printable "gallery tour" by clicking on your galleries of choice. Edward Winkleman recommends Chelsea Art Galleries, too.
Please add other lists or services in a comment. Thanks.
Update: ArtCal is another great resource for openings and gallery shows. Thanks Barry.