Using the covers of old encyclopedias, law books and African American reference books, Samuel Levi Jones makes collages on canvas that question what changes as time passes. Jones employs books as symbols of obsolescence to further represent how the ideas expressed therein can also run their course. (At Chelsea’s Galerie Lelong through Jan 28th).
Samuel Levi Jones, 101, deconstructed encyclopedias, law books and African American reference books on canvas, 49 x 60 inches, 2016.
British artist Andy Goldsworthy works in the fields and forests near his home in Scotland using natural elements as his media. His pieces have a tendency to collapse, decay and melt, but, as he tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross, “It’s not about art. It’s just about life and the need to understand that a lot of things in life do not last.”
The list of elements Goldsworthy has worked with includes ice, snow, mud, wind and the rising tide. In one piece, he used twigs to fashion a giant spider web hanging from a tree. In another, he decorated a stone wall with sheets of ice. He has also lain in the rain to create “rain shadows” in the shape of his body on city streets.
Goldsworthy refers to his creations as “ephemeral works.” He says, “When I make an ephemeral work, when it’s finished, that’s the moment that it ends, in a way.”
But Goldsworthy’s ephemeral creations aren’t completely lost to audiences upon completion; a new book,Andy Goldsworthy: Ephemeral Works: 2004-2014, presents a collection of photographs of his work. There’s also an exhibition of Goldsworthy’s photos opening Oct. 22 at the Galerie Lelong in New York.
Advice for Aspiring Art Dealers from Leading Gallerists Part 1
What does it take to become a successful art dealer today? It’s a question that has taken on increased importance in an art market that is changing rapidly due to the proliferation of art fairs, digital technology, rising operating costs and art speculators. Despite the shifting landscape, galleries continue to play a vital role in nurturing artists’ careers and preserving their legacies for posterity. From curating exhibitions, to publishing scholarship, to building long-term relationships with collectors, art dealers remain at the center of art history while it’s still in the making.
Since launching our blog Inside Stories last year, we’ve interviewed over 30 members for our “Gallery Chat” series, in which the ADAA’s distinguished art dealers talked about how and why they first became interested in art and what has kept them motivated through the ups and downs of their careers. One of the most thought-provoking questions we posed has been “What advice would you give an aspiring dealer today?” The answers have been as varied as our membership, which includes relatively young galleries like 11R and Susan Inglett Gallery alongside established powerhouses such as Sperone Westwater, Galerie Lelong and Barbara Krakow Gallery.
For this two-part series, we’ve rounded up their insights for the aspiring dealers who will carry the torch in years to come.
“It’s good to be hungry and porous—take in everything! There is no longer just one art world, there are many. Find your niche. It isn’t just about art. It involves a close relationship with artists, their lives and their work, which after all is their lifeblood. To be a committed dealer is much the same.”
“Getting access to great work is the main thing today. A lot of people may have the money but how are you going to be the first person to have the privilege to say yes or no to a work of art? Be honest, straightforward and transparent.”
“I think that the people in the art world—from artists to curators to all gallery employees—don’t have a choice. They’re people who have to be in it. Then, there’s a natural kind of selection because it’s too hard and getting harder all the time. It’s just for the tough ones—that’s who ends up succeeding and surviving. And in a funny way, maybe that’s how it should be.”
“My first impulse would be to say, “Be patient,” but I don’t think it’s a good idea to be patient anymore. Actually, you have to be quite aggressive. Just have good nerves. No matter what, try to keep calm.”
“In the beginning, the best thing you can do is identify the people in our field who are doing what you aspire to do. Visit the galleries, and often. If you can, try to form a relationship. Most dealers will be happy to chew your ear off about what they love.
The business side has its own weird, internal logic but if you make investments in ways that are true to your instincts, things tend to work out. This has always been a kind of feast or famine business, but that’s part of the fun.”
“The business is harder today than when I first began. There is so much more—more artists, a larger audience, and instant online communication, not to mention the competition from auction houses. These can be challenging factors at any stage of one’s career.
What has guided me is a Henry James quote I heard years ago: ‘We work in the dark, we do what we can, we give what we have, our doubt is our passion, and passion is our task—the rest is the madness of art.’”