Art: June 2006 Archives


Wendy Heldmann, Finding noon sleep in winter 4, 2006
acrylic on paper, 20" × 30"

I first spotted Wendy's work (online since I didn't see it in person) in a group show at Sixspace titled There Goes The Neighborhood.

I'm happy to welcome her to the ArtCat family. Check out her new website. I'm proud to announce that this is how her site looks 48 hours after she signed up. I like to think it's a combination of ArtCat's ease (including the new help website) and Wendy's enthusiasm.

I was reading this article in the New York Times on artists leaving their long-time galleries for others just now. I don't think I could parody the language in it -- it's pre-parodied. Here are a few choice quotes:

Mr. Gagosian has emerged as the leading Lothario in the courtship wars. In addition to his two spaces in Chelsea and his Madison Avenue gallery, he has an outpost in Los Angeles and two in London, allowing him to offer artists exposure beyond the parameters of their primary dealers.

In wooing more established artists, he might organize a focused exhibition of historically significant works — many of which are borrowed back from collectors — and publish an accompanying catalog with a text by a prominent art historian or author.

(Through an assistant, Anita Foden, Mr. Gagosian declined to be interviewed for this article. "He's very, very busy," she said.)


Yet over time, some artists say, they feel shortchanged by galleries that put a priority on celebrity status.

"I think the biggest issue is finding a dealer who believes in your work," said the painter Inka Essenhigh, speaking by phone from her Manhattan studio.

She recounted a rocky period from 1998 to 2001, when she moved from the Stux Gallery to Deitch Projects to Mary Boone to 303 Gallery, finally settling in there. "Jeffrey told me he was looking for artists with star qualities," Ms. Essenhigh said of Jeffrey Deitch, one of her former dealers. She compared his gallery to Warhol's Factory. "Jeffrey wanted to be Andy," she said. "He wanted his Edie and Paul America. He wanted me to have a drug problem. He wanted me to create a scene where I went to parties. It was a lukewarm endorsement at best."

(Reached by telephone in Greece, Mr. Deitch said, "I'd never be so pretentious to say I modeled myself on Andy, although it's very flattering.")

I don't know if I will get into trouble for saying this, but the article mentions works by John Currin and Lisa Yuskavage going for as much as $1 million each. I find both artists' work kitsch at best, and basically dreck. I can't believe the crap people will buy once it has some kind of imprimator.


Update: Edward Winkleman gives his perspective, as a gallerist, on the New York Times article.

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