Why Do So Many Art Galleries Lose Money?

Why Do So Many Art Galleries Lose Money?

I found this article fascinating, and in light of the recent closing of my Chicago gallery, very timely. I LOVE being a part of the gallery system. There is nothing like the thrill of seeing a body of work you have spent months or years working on being displayed in a gorgeous clean space together, along with the hope that collectors will discover your work through the space. I couldn’t help but interject a few of my own thoughts and highlight a couple of the researcher’s thoughts. I welcome any discussion of this subject! – KH

On Tuesday, the highly respected Wallspace gallery in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood announced it would close its doors permanently on Aug. 7. The lease was up, and “it necessitated a reevaluation,” said Jane Hait, who co-founded the space with Janine Foeller. “It’s a particularly tough climate for people doing work that’s not necessarily super commercial.” The closure of such a celebrated fixture of the New York art scene underscores the fact that—despite the unprecedented avalanche of money blanketing the contemporary art world—it’s surprisingly difficult for galleries to make money.

The news of Wallspace’s closing comes just weeks before the English release of Management of Art Galleries, a slim, Day-Glo orange book that caused a furor when it was published in Germany last year. Written by a 31-year-old German entrepreneur/professor/art adviser named Magnus Resch, the book argues that most galleries are undercapitalized and inefficient, and moreover, that with McKinsey-like business strategies (Resch went to the London School of Economics and the University of St. Gallen, in Switzerland), the entire art market could be turned into a profit-generating machine. “I could have just said, ‘The revenue numbers are terrible,’ but rather than being so negative I’m actually offering solutions,” Resch says in an interview. “It’s based on the analysis that I did.”

 

Joseph Cornell: how the reclusive artist conquered the art world – from his mum’s basement

I really enjoyed this brief life story of Joseph Cornell from The Guardian, an artist I’ve longed adored but never bothered to read up on:

The box is the central metaphor of Joseph Cornell’s life, just as it is the signature element of his exquisite and disturbing body of work, his factory of dreams. He made boxes to keep wonders in: small wooden boxes that he built in the basement beneath the small wooden house he shared with his mother and disabled younger brother, the two fixed stars of his existence.

As a boy, he saw Houdini perform in New York City, escaping from locked cabinets, wreathed in chains. In his own artwork, which he didn’t begin until he was almost 30, he made obsessive, ingenious versions of the same story: a multitude of found objects representing expansiveness and flight, penned inside glass-fronted cases. Ballet dancers, birds, maps, aviators, stars of screen and sky, at once cherished, fetishised and imprisoned.

The same tension between freedom and constriction ran right through Cornell’s own life. A pioneer of assemblage art, collector, autodidact, Christian Scientist, pastry-lover, experimental film-maker, balletomane and self-declared white magician, he roved freely through the fields of the mind while inhabiting a personal life of extraordinarily narrow limits. He never married or moved out of his mother’s house in Queens and rarely voyaged further than a subway ride into Manhattan, despite being besotted with the idea of foreign travel and particularly with France.

Damn, I wanna see this installation space


Chiharu Shiota Trace of Memory

Find Unforgettable Art In A Most Unlikely Place: A Pittsburgh Mattress Factory

The Mattress Factory hasn’t been an actual mattress factory for a while now. Built on a hillside in the Central Northside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, back at the turn of the last century, it was used as a warehouse and showroom for Stearns & Foster until the 1960s.

Today, it’s one of the country’s more unusual art museums. Filled not with paintings or sculptures — and certainly not with mattresses — it is now, four stories of … well, of “stories” in a way. Installations that take you places you don’t expect to go in an art museum.

 

Stories Behind the Work – “Street People Series”

Willie, the man in the image above, was the one that became the most personal for me. Willie sat in a wheelchair with his white cup at the corner of Michigan Ave and Randolph Street. Initially Willie was cool to me, no surprise. Then he told me how he was shot in a store robbery which was why he was in a wheelchair. He wasn’t homeless, he had a small subsidized apt but he couldn’t work so he worked the corners of the loop. When Willie finally showed me his wonderful smile his face morphed into a beautiful map of his life, full of deep ridges. I wanted to capture that. By the end of our meeting I felt a special connection to Willie and I really wanted to do him proud.

Welcome to the Worldwide Headquarters of Me

Much like the new Pixar movie “InsideOut”, my new website is like a visit to the control center of my brain. All the things I make, from my embroidered artwork to my embroidered necklaces to paintings and prints, are here. All the things I think about are on my blog (except maybe stuff about dogs and baked goods). I can share news right on the Home page (see “What’s New” at bottom) and tell my story on the About page.

‘Small Differences’ by Grayson Perry at Pera

Love Grayson Perry. Was first drawn to him through his embroidered tapestries but his ceramics are incredible too. The following is a reprint of a recent article from the Hurriyet Daily News of Turkey. As part of its 10th year celebration program, Istanbul’s Pera Museum is presenting the work of Turner and BAFTA award winner Grayson Perry. Organized in collaboration with the British Council and curated by Linsey Young from the British Council’s Visual Arts Team, the exhibition reflects the artist’s unrelenting fascination with issues of the everyday, religion, class, and identity. The exhibition “Small Differences” includes Perry’s largest single body of work, “The Vanity of Small Differences,” alongside his ceramics, tapestries, and prints. The exhibition focuses on Perry’s interest in the everyday and the different lifestyles of members of society.

 

Etsy vs. Amazon: The Battle Begins

Have you heard about Amazon Handmade marketplace? If you’re not a seller on Etsy you may not have. But earlier this week, Etsy sellers received invitations to apply to be sellers on the new online retailer’s direct challenge to Etsy. “Handmade at Amazon is a new store on Amazon.com for invited artisans to sell their unique, handcrafted goods to our hundreds of millions of customers worldwide.