Gallery representation, the artist’s role and the dealer’s
WINSTON WACHTER FINE ART IS A WONDERFUL RESOURCE FOR NEW CONTEMPORARY TALENT, PAINTING, SCULPTURE, PHOTOGRAPHY, AND INSTALLATION ART. HEADED IN NEW YORK’S CHELSEA GALLERY DISTRICT BY MY COLLEAGUE AND FRIEND, CHRISTINE WACHTER-CAMPBELL, AND IN SEATTLE, BY HER TERRIFIC BUSINESS PARTNER, STACEY WINSTON-LEVITAN. http://www.winstonwachter.com/, REPRESENT BOTH EMERGING AND ESTABLISHED CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS WITH A COMMITMENT TO THEIR CLIENTS AND THEIR ARTISTS’ CAREERS THAT IS LAUDATORY.
THE GALLERY PROVIDES AN EXCELLENT VENUE FOR A DIVERSITY OF MEDIUM LINKED TOGETHER BY THE TERRIFIC EYE OF CHRISTINE AND STACEY, THEIR SENSE OF THEIR CLIENTS’ TASTE AND PREFERENCES AND A DEDICATION TO THE PRESENT AND FUTURE CAREERS OF THE ARTISTS THEY REPRESENT.
THE ART WORLD IS AN EXTREMELY COMPETITIVE PLACE, PARTICULARLY NOW THAT AT LEAST SOME NUMBER OF ARTISTS CAN ENJOY ENORMOUS CRITICAL AND COMMERCIAL SUCCESS WHILE RELATIVELY YOUNG. THE REAL CHALLENGE, IN MY VIEW, IS THE TEST OF TIME, SELECTING ARTISTS WITH STAYING POWER WHOSE WORK CONTINUES TO GROW AND WHO EXPLORE NEW STYLISTIC AVENUES OF EXPRESSION.
WINSTON WACHTER IS DEDICATED TO SELECTING ARTISTS THAT THEY CAN SUPPORT, NURTURE AND ENCOURAGE WITH SOLO AND GROUP EXHIBITIONS, ART FAIR EXPOSURE AND PRIVATE AND PUBLIC COMMISSIONS. I ADMIRE CHRISTINE FOR HER COMMITMENT TO BUILDING THE REPUTATION BOTH OF THE GALLERY AND OF THE ARTISTS IT REPRESENTS.
CHRISTINE, THANKS SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO SPEAK ABOUT THE GALLERY.
HOW DO YOU SELECT ARTISTS FOR REPRESENTATION? DO YOU VISIT INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS AND TRACK THEIR WORK OVER TIME? DO RECOMMENDATIONS COME FROM OTHER ARTISTS, CLIENTS OR OTHER GALLERY DEALERS OR ALL OF THE ABOVE?
Our selection process is very much rooted in our backgrounds within the art world. Stacey is a New Yorker and is very well-connected amongst clients, she brought a certain business savvy to our partnership. I am European and was connected in Europe as well as with artists I had established a history with through my work at Blum Helman Gallery.
The gallery in Seattle opened purely by circumstance. Stacey married a gentleman who relocated to Seattle from New York and that allowed us to open a space there. Our Seattle location opened new doors for both clients and artists on the west coast. In our selection process all of the above, we tend to try to agree on who we are interested in pursuing.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ELEMENTS IN YOUR DECISION-MAKING PROCESS IN REPRESENTING AN ARTIST? DO YOU FIRST INTRODUCE THE WORK IN A GROUP SHOW OR DO YOU UNDERTAKE THE COMMITMENT OF REPRESENTATION RIGHT AWAY?
Sometimes we will offer shows after a first time visit to a studio and sometimes we will track an artist for a while. Certainly always having our ears to the ground and staying current with new shows and exhibitions helps. Our choice of representation depends on how prolific an artist is and how confident we feel. We have done both. To a large extent one follows one’s instincts.
Seventy percent of the artists are shared with shows alternating between Seattle and New York as well as other commitments they might have. Both the New York and Seattle galleries have very specific characteristics in terms of what appeals to the client base. This niche is where the other thirty percent of artists fall. Certain artists will find an audience specifically suited to New York or Seattle but we try to keep the galleries in tandem as best as we can.
NEXT TIME, CHRISTINE WILL SPEAK ABOUT SOME OF THE ARTISTS THE GALLERY HAS REPRESENTED SINCE ITS INCEPTION AS WELL AS SOME OF THE NEWER MEMBERS OF ITS STABLE. PLEASE CONTRIBUTE YOUR QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS – CHRISTINE IS EXTREMELY WELL-INFORMED AND CAN ANSWER ANY AND ALL QUESTIONS YOU MAY POSE ON THE GALLERY PROCESS.
THANKS FOR READING!