Through this Survey, Flash Art asks a group of top gallery owners about the upcoming season.
1) Tell us about the most important exhibitions at your gallery for the next season.
2) Will you introduce new artists to your program?
3) Will the crisis in Europe, the improvement in the American market and the new developments in Asia influence your choices? If so, how?
4) There are several new players joyning the international art fair scene. Is it necessary for
a succesful dealer to take part in all of them? If not, which are your favourites and why?
Owner, Paula Cooper, New York
1) Every exhibition is the most important.
2) It’s still a secret.
4) Art Basel, Art Basel Miami Beach, and FIAC.
Owner, Maureen Paley, London
1) I am very pleased to be showing Liam Gillick in October — this will be his first solo show in my space since I recently began working with him. In late November/early December I am preparing a Keith Arnatt solo show with his estate, which will present a number of key works from his archive.
2) This is a constant. I have recently introduced a number of new artists such as Gardar Eide Einarsson. I am hoping to work again with Tim Rollins + KOS.
3) My choices are influenced by many different factors and always have been, whatever the economic climate. I believe in a sort of Dharmic destiny that is guiding me.
4) I think that to be successful you must be selective. Many artists are engaged in museum exhibitions and shows/activities in the public arena. These are very important, so one must choose art fairs carefully to try to find a balance that makes sense for both the gallery and its artists given their many commitments. Frieze New York and the Independent created atmospheres that did not feel too corporate and worked well with my sensibility and that of my artists this year.
Owner, Eva Presenhuber, Zurich
1-2) On June 9th I opened a huge show with paintings. We are introducing Carroll Dunham, who will join the gallery program. We also showed Abraham Cruzvillegas with one large work in that show, as well as the American painter Chris Martin, who will show his work for the first time at my gallery, as well as Jay DeFeo. After that show, entitled “Painting Now,” I will open a solo show by Doug Aitken. Then Matias Faldbakken and Alex Hubbard will follow. Both artists are new to my program. We also took on Joe Bradley and Oscar Tuazon. Next year in the spring we will have a solo show with works by Jay DeFeo, working together with her estate in San Francisco.
3) I do not know yet if I will show Asian artists. Right now we do not, but it depends. If I find an outstanding young artist I can take into my program, we will see. I do not think that the crisis in Europe will have any influence on my choice of artists.
4) My favorite art fair is Art Basel! It is the best and most serious fair for many reasons. I also think that Frieze in London and Art Basel Miami are very good fairs for us.
Owner, Lisson London / Milan
1) Anish Kapoor from October 10 to November 10, marking 30 years of us working together. Solo exhibitions of Ryan Gander and Julian Opie coming up during summer featuring all new work. This fall, solo exhibitions of Tony Cragg and Lawrence Weiner from November 21 to January 12 (both are currently participating in Documenta 13).
2) Throughout its history, Lisson has been committed to taking on new artists and developing them, most recently Haroon Mirza, who won the Silver Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2011. We have a number of new artists that we are looking at, but it would be inappropriate to say more about this at this stage.
3) For reasons extensively discussed in many arts publications, gallery sales at auction houses have held up beyond everyone’s expectations. I would have to concur that in the face of currency devaluation, art does provide a more secure investment than most. As Robert Hughes, the Australian art critic, has noted, art has become a kind of “bullion.” Consequently, we are further developing the New York office with the addition of Blair Brookes and Jeannie Freilich, who, along with Alex Logsdail, will be focusing on giving our US artists and collectors a more personal and seamless service. Meanwhile, Lisson Milan is also flourishing; our last exhibition of Ai Weiwei was a sellout.
4) Attending art fairs is crucial to the expansion and internationalization of Lisson. There are clearly far too many fairs. The ones that fill the gap long term are the ones that do it exceedingly well and are the ones we will continue to attend (among them Art Basel and Art Basel Miami, Frieze Masters and Frieze New York, which, although not perfect, was a brilliant start).
Owner, Simon Lee London
1) Heimo Zobernig, Sherrie Levine and Jim Shaw.
2) Yes, we will show the work of Josephine Pryde for the first time in September.
4) Art HK because we have a gallery there.
Co-owner, Metro Pictures, New York
1) We are opening the season with an Andreas Slominski exhibition, his third at Metro. This is exciting for us, as his provocative project is not as well known or understood in New York as it is Europe. In November we are organizing a mini-retrospective of Gary Simmons’s work that coincides with the release of a survey published by Damiani.
2) Trevor Paglan is having his first exhibition in January. The show is a follow up to a project he is doing with Creative Time that involves sending a capsule of information into space aboard a rocket to be launched in September: a physical gesture or an abstract space experiment concerning fantasy, conjecture and theory about alien intelligence, future cultures, time, space, earth’s survival, etc. In March, Sara VanDerBeek will have her first show at the gallery as well.
3) It is not clear how the economic situation in Europe will affect the art market overall, but it is apparent that along with economic vulnerabilities, the growth of Eastern European and Asian participation has changed the model, making the collecting base more diverse but less predictable.
4) It would be impossible to participate in all the art fairs. We generally “do” Basel, Miami, FIAC and in New York, the ADAA. Art Fairs have become essential as a gathering point; from businesslike trade fairs to celebratory social migrations.
Owner, David Kordansky, Los Angeles
1) New paintings by Thomas Lawson, a legendary figure, one of the main theorists of the Pictures Generation and the co-founder of Real Life magazine. For his second solo show at the gallery, Rashid Johnson will exhibit new wall-based sculptures that incorporate black-mirrored glass. Swiss artist Valentin Carron will present new sculptures and other works for his first Los Angeles solo exhibition. We will organize our first exhibition by Los Angeles-based painter Jon Pestoni, whose paintings generated great interest at Frieze New York.
2) Valentin Carron and Jon Pestoni.
3) No. We seek to show and represent the most critically engaging, visually astute artists from Los Angeles, the greater United States, and abroad. The art always comes first.
4) It is difficult for any gallery to participate in all fairs, but a judicious selection is necessary in a global market. Furthermore, we look forward to the challenge of presenting gallery-quality exhibitions at fairs, often looking to single-artist presentations as a way of doing this. At Frieze, for example, we will feature a solo presentation of new paintings and works on paper by Jonas Wood.
Owner, Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris/Salzburg
1) On the occasion of the opening of our new space in Paris Pantin in October 2012, we are preparing major exhibitions on Anselm Kiefer and Joseph Beuys. The Kiefer exhibition, titled “Die Ungeborenen,” will show new installations, sculptures, paintings, collages and books. We will open parallel Joseph Beuys exhibitions: the Pantin space will host works related to his iconic 1969 performance Ich (Ich selbst die Iphigenie), and the Marais gallery will exhibit works on the subject of “materiality,” curated by Sir Norman Rosenthal.
2) In the Salzburg space in August we will show a new group of works by Michael Sailstorfer. In 2006 we invited him to take part in a group show, and now we are happy to present for the first time a comprehensive solo exhibition.
3) In my opinion, economic developments or even crises don’t influence art. My criteria are quality and non-interchangeability.
4) It is always a theme to open up new markets. Hong Kong, for example, more and more turns out to be an important platform to reach Asian collectors, with more extensive potential than Singapore or Shanghai. Within the last years New York has been the most important metropolis of the art world, so it is logical that the city finally got an art fair of high quality. Frieze New York is the fair that New York deserves.
Owner, Almine Rech, Paris/Brussels
1) I consider all of the shows we do as very important. For instance, Jeff Koons is of course a major show in October in Brussels, but emerging artist shows such as Erik Lindman or Alex Israel — who are having their solo shows in Paris in September and October — are also very exciting. Francesco Vezzoli’s show in November in Brussels will be an exceptional event, as we will discover his vision on a historical period of the 20th century through an unseen body of work.
2) Yes: Erik Lindman and Alex Israel.
3) It will not, as the program is based on the logic of the owner’s contemporary art vision. But of course as some artists emerge from Asia, as their cultures are open now, some may fit the gallery’s artistic line.
4) It is not necessary to participate in all the fairs, and it is impossible in terms of timing and the number of required works! It is important though, especially for emerging artists, to be shown at platforms such as international art fairs.
Tim Van Laere
Owner, Tim Van Laere, Antwerp
1) I am really looking forward to the first Belgian solo exhibition of Jonathan Meese here at the gallery and the second solo show of the young Polish artist Tomasz Kowalski.
2) We recently started working with the German artist Jonathan Meese, the Dutch artist Aaron van Erp and the Armenian artist Armen Eloyan.
3) No, I think that in order to have strength as an artist and as a gallery one should define their own vision about art, thus focusing on their objectives, not those of the market.
4) No, it is not necessary at all to take part in all of these fairs. I do strongly believe that Frieze New York will become a major player. As I am always working with all the artists of the gallery in direct and close collaboration, I like to show qualitative works at the fairs and not ask our artists to simply produce works. One of the main reasons I like to participate in art fairs is to introduce our artists to museum directors and curators. Being able to arrange a museum show for one of our artists or having their work in an important collection is one of my main goals at an art fair. Fairs are definitely important, but I also still believe in an old school approach of organizing high-level solo shows at the gallery.
Owner, Carbon 12, Dubai
1) We have a good number of significant exhibitions to come: Olaf Breuning in March 2013, and a show by Gil Heitor Cortesao, which comes three years after his Dubai debut at Carbon 12. We are also excited about 2011 Emdash Award winner Anahita Razmi’s show in January 2013.
2) Olaf Breuning’s solo show will be his first in our gallery and in Dubai. Anahita Razmi’s solo show will be her first in a commercial gallery, and James Clar will be doing his first solo show at Carbon 12. We are also having the first solo exhibition of UAE-based Egyptian artist Hazem Mahdy in December 2012.
3) Not at all. Marketing considerations are not part of our decision-making. We started our gallery after the 2008 economic meltdown, and therefore we are not used to speculating about this aspect. It is all about the program we have built and planned since the opening of the gallery.
4) I don’t believe it’s necessary to do everything, especially for younger galleries. I think each gallery should find the right fit in the right fair. We are very proud of our home fair, Art Dubai, which is gaining in quality every year. We loved Cologne and can’t wait to go back. Art Basel and Basel Miami are future goals, and FIAC is also one of our top choices.
Owner, Die Galerie, Frankfurt am Main
1) Die Galerie is working in the field of modern as well as contemporary art. According to this paradigm the annual exhibition concept aims to include both parts with extraordinary exhibitions. In June until September we will show sculpture by Igor Mitoraj. The two exhibitions for the fall season are solo presentations by Andrè Masson and Johannes Heisig.
2) Heisig’s show will be his first at our gallery and will be accompanied by a catalogue.
3) Die Galerie is an internationally art gallery with a strong focus on modern art. We have followed this concept for more than 33 years. Art of the 20th century fortunately was not affected by the crisis as much as contemporary art. So we feel vindicated and will continue our own way. We will strengthen our engagement in the American and Asian markets, and we are increasing our fair activities and collaborations with galleries in Asia and in the United States.
4) From time to time I have the feeling that the art fair world is a traveling circus, where always and everywhere the same artwork is exhibited. In regard to the numerous art fairs, galleries must analyze the main emphases and clientele of art fairs thoughtfully. We are watching all fair newcomers and developments with interest. But above all it is a question of quality, not of quantity.
Co-Owner, Galerie Gmurzynska, Zurich/St. Moritz (CH)/Zug (CH)
1) Since we represent the David Smith Estate in Europe we will open a survey of important figurative works by the artist, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics and photographs, curated by the artist’s daughter Candida Smith with an in-depth publication. There is also a major exhibition of large scale “Banners” from the greats of the American Pop Art coming up, curated by Bill Katz, again with an important publication. Last but not least we are going to show a serious survey bringing together Yves Klein and John Cage for the first time with all their parallels and their differences, as well as looking at their influence on contemporary art. This exhibition will be accompanied by a book publication edited by the exhibitions curator Joachim Pissarro.
2) We’ve added Wifredo Lam to the gallery stable by representing the artist’s estate worldwide. In terms of younger artists we have added Marco Perego.
3) The gallery has existed for 50 years and has seen several changes in the economic and cultural environment. It is important for a gallery to stay true to its core values but to adapt to changes at the same time. It is the quality of what you show and how you show it that matters. The art world and number of buyers has grown, however the number of substantial artists or artworks that are available at any given time has not grown proportionally.
4) We are more attracted to fairs with a balance of contemporary and modern at a high level. We therefore will participate in Art Basel, the newly revived Expo Chicago in September and the newly instigated Frieze Masters, as well as London’s PAD and Art Basel Miami.