Up until now most of the discontent being expressed in the art world has emanated from artists who were the first to feel the impact of the recession and critics who see the art world and the art market being conflated as being a bad thing … but now collectors and galleries are starting to vent.
New York Times reporter Randy Kennedy has written about a case that has a Miami collector angry at the David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea:
Mr. Robins asserts that he sold a painting of a dark figure by the highly praised South African-born artist Marlene Dumas through the David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea in 2004 with an agreement that the sale remain confidential. But the gallery, which did not yet represent Ms. Dumas, told her about it, Mr. Robins claims, causing her to become angry with him because, like many artists, she prefers to see her paintings remain long term in prominent collections.
According to Kennedy, other collectors are also unhappy:
… some collectors contend that it is the dealers and artists who are guilty of manipulation by operating in such a highly selective manner, artificially suppressing the supply of popular artists’ work in order to drive up prices. And if they have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for a work of art, the collectors ask, why should they necessarily be required to keep the painting — or to try to shepherd it into a museum collection — if they decide they no longer like it or want it?
Jeffrey Deitch and others are also interviewed in the piece but the article becomes a little surreal when Adam “Art Critics, Get Real!” Lindemann is interviewed:
“I think sometimes there’s a fair amount of hypocrisy from some of these dealers,” said Adam Lindemann …
“I’m not buying a can of sardines here,” Mr. Lindemann said. “I’m buying something that I’m in love with. But times change, and sometimes you need to sell things.”
Oh, but Mr. Lindemann, didn’t you write, “The truth is, in America, once you accept someone’s money, you accept the strings attached … ” in your March 10 attack on critics of the New Museum? So the rules apply to everyone else but not to you and your friends?
“Lawsuit Describes Art ‘Blacklist’ to Keep Some Collectors Away,” New York Times (April 16, 2010)