In a rare and timely act of magnanimity for the commercial art world, a group of top international galleries has banded together to mount a fundraising exhibition benefitting several unconfirmed charities presumably, but not definitely, dedicated to COVID-19 relief.
“It’s more than 0, but it’s less than 100,” said a PR representative in response to Hyperallergic’s question regarding the percentage of sales proceeds that would be donated, withholding the names of the selected beneficiary organizations but assuring that they were “prominent,” “crucial to global relief efforts,” and “not run by anyone problematic.”
It’s a welcome feel-good story at a time when one is sorely needed: the world’s mega-dealers, concentrated in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan and monopolizing the market in a $64.1 billion industry, uniting to provide an undisclosed fraction of their massive earnings to support a good cause, probably.
In order to comply with social distancing guidelines, the exhibition will launch in a custom online viewing room described as a “cutting-edge interactive virtual art experience” which happens to be “really not so different from the PDFs we’ve been using to sell artworks for years now,” said one gallery director, chuckling.
“We are more committed than ever to supporting not only our peers in the cultural sector, but all those affected by this terrible pandemic,” reads an unsigned press release, highlighting that the show will notably include multiple works by “exciting new artists that have recently left their smaller galleries to join our roster.”
In response to Hyperallergic’s request for a price list, another gallery spokesperson said that “prices are only available upon request.”
The eminent galleries’ initiative may or may not help the arts community or any other community. “It’s hard to say,” responded one dealer. “But we will definitely get a tax break.”