Yesterday afternoon, I ventured out into the bordering on bad weather and braved the gray skies to bring you the latest on Chelsea this November. The gallery district is probably much as you remember it, with high-end galleries showing off their blue chip stables and smaller spaces skipping to keep up. Yet there are still pleasant surprises to be found in the warehouse-strewn streets, from lesser known painters that include (gasp!) a ceramicist to commercial shows that may as well be museum retrospectives. Continue below for the blow-by-blow of my blue-chip Chelsea trip.
When Christie’s recently became a sponsor of Hyperallergic, I knew little if anything about Robert Shapazian, whose important contemporary art collection was advertised on this site and sold this week.
The founding director of the Gagosian Gallery during its early, non-world domination phase, I’m discovering (late) that Shapazian was a fascinating character who I wish I had met. The collector/gallery professional had a front-row seat to witness the transformation of the art world from “a relatively quiet and private place” to the contemporary scene, where “branding is the mantra of our time.”
His observations about money and aesthetics are particularly insightful …
The latest exhibition by designer Marc Newson, titled Transport, at Gagosian Gallery raises some interesting questions about the future of design. Namely, is design art?
Where design exhibitions are normally bogged down by oodles of information and panels of educational materials explaining curatorial choices the experience at Transport is vastly different. Here the design objects stand apart to emphasize their sculptural qualities. We’re obviously meant to approach them with a degree of veneration, and the spatial language suggests you are in the midst of the future … and luxury … and you should buy now.
Larry Gagosian, the contemporary art world’s eminent dealer and businessman, may not be at the top of the heap any more in terms of cutting-edge relevancy now that the artists he champions are all resolutely blue-chip and arrive to his white walls pre-canonized, but he remains unchallenged in another realm: art-world world domination.
All young artists are encouraged to publish their work on a self-named artist website (YourName.com) which puts them in the same arena with art-world big leagues like Olafur Eliasson, Jaqueline Humphries, and Wolfgang Tillmans. The issue of self-branding, self-publication and self-advertising come to the forefront when artist websites as a medium of presentation are critically analyzed.
Artinfo’s Andrew Russeth writes about Jeffrey Deitch’s talk last Thursday at apexart and what the gallery owner had to say about the difference between the art world then and today.