Monday, March 26, 2012

You Can't Scare Me, I'm Sticking to the Links

by Robert Boyd

How To Help the Striking Sotheby's Art Handlers: Art Fag City asks that people "Stop Shopping at Sotheby's". This seems a bit unrealistic. Most people who are interested in or otherwise involved in art have never purchased anything at Sotheby's and probably never will. Furthermore, amongst those who do buy from Sotheby's, you can't really argue that they, say, buy from Christie's instead because the items they are bidding on are unique. You can't get a substitute for that art object you want from Sotheby's at Christie's or Phillips de Pury or Heritage. And finally, the buyers of art at Sotheby's are the 1%--their sympathies are likely to be with Sotheby's management more than with the working class. No, who should be targeted are the consigners. Consigners should be more-or-less indifferent about who auctions off their possessions. If you can convince someone who would have sold through Sotheby's to instead sell through Christie's, you hurt Sotheby's. [Art Fag City, "Stop Shopping at Sotheby's", Whitney Kimball and Will Brand]

Forrest Bess, untitled, not dated

Forrest Bess is All Over the News: The New York Times critic Roberta Smith has a long article on Bess which also criticizes the Christie's sale (benefiting M.D. Anderson) for containing too many lesser works. (There is a nice slideshow, too.) Then over at Hyperallergic, longtime Bess devotee John Yau has a penetrating two-part article about the man from Bay City. ["A New Vision of a Visionary Fisherma" by Roberta Smith, The New York Times; "Without Elaboration" by John Yau part 1 and part 2, Hyperallergic]

Exit Art
Exeunt Exit Art

Institutions that die with their founders: Exit Art was founded in 1982 as a scrappy alternative art space by Jeanette Ingberman. It's known for its commitment to emerging artists and art by "the art-world underdog, focusing almost entirely on work by minorities, women and non-mainstream artists." So says Rachel Corbett in Artnet. Ingberman died last year, and now Exit Art is shutting down with one final valedictory exhibit. The final day for Exit Art is May 20. This got me thinking. Are there many spaces like this that are run by a single person for her entire life? Spaces that close after the founder's death? I'm thinking this because I usually think the intention of non-profit space is to go on indefinitely, even though many fail to reach that goal. Even when an institution is strongly identified with one person, there is often a succession plan for the event of the founder's death. (The Menil is probably an example of this--it seemed to run quite smoothly after the death of Dominique DeMenil.) I wonder if Ingberman planned for Exit Art to exit when she did? ["Exit Art Exit Interview" by Rachel Corbett, Artnet; "The Fantastic Dream: a memorial to Jeanette" by Melissa Rachleff Burtt, Artnet]


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