Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, a stronghold for experimentation and talent
SINCE ITS INCEPTION IN 1994, TANYA BONAKDAR GALLERY HAS LAUNCHED AND NURTURED THE CAREERS OF A KEY GROUP OF INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS. TANYA HAS A UNIQUE EYE AND AESTHETIC SENSIBILITY AS WELL AS A FIERCE DETERMINATION THAT SERVES WELL IN IDENTIFYING AND ESTABLISHING SUCH BRILLIANT TALENTS AS ERNESTO NETO, THOMAS SARACENO, AND THOMAS SCHEIBITZ, TO NAME JUST A VERY FEW. THE GALLERY, AN OUTSTANDING DUPLEX SPACE LOCATED IN THE HEART OF CHELSEA ON WEST 22nd STREET, OFTEN PROVIDES ARTISTS WITH THEIR FIRST SOLO EXHIBITIONS IN NEW YORK AND INTRODUCES THEIR WORK TO COLLECTORS AND MUSEUM CURATORS THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES AND INTERNATIONALLY. http://www.tanyabonakdargallery.com/
THE GALLERY STAFF IS KNOWLEDGEABLE AND FULLY INFORMED ON THE SCOPE AND BREADTH OF EACH WORK AS WELL AS THE PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND CAREER HIGHLIGHTS OF EACH ARTIST. IT IS ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO HAVE A CLIENT IN MIND WHO WOULD RESPOND FAVORABLY TO AN ARTIST REPRESENTED BY TANYA BONAKDAR AS I KNOW THAT GALLERY DIRECTOR, RENEE COPPOLA, WILL PROVIDE INFORMATION AND IMAGES ON AVAILABLE WORKS AND A DEPTH OF BACKGROUND MATERIAL WHICH FURTHER INFORMS MY CLIENT OF THE SIGNIFICANCE AND CONCEPTUAL THINKING THAT FORMS THE BACKBONE OF THE ARTWORK.
I AM VERY PLEASED TO INTRODUCE RENEE COPPOLA TO THE LRFA BLOG. I KNOW HER WELL ON A WORKING BASIS AND LOOK FORWARD TO LEARNING ABOUT HER PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND AS WELL AS THE WORKINGS OF THE TANYA BONAKDAR GALLERY, A FORERUNNER OF CONTEMPORARY ART AND INSTALLATION, AND SHARING IT WITH YOU.
RENEE, WHEN DID YOU FIRST JOIN THE GALLERY? WHAT WERE YOU DOING PRIOR TO THAT?
I joined the gallery in 2010, right after completing an M.B.A. in Management and Marketing. However, my background is actually with arts institutions and museums. I have an undergraduate degree in Art History and have worked at MoMA NY, for The Broad Foundation in L.A., and was Deputy Director of the Las Vegas Art Museum, a museum of contemporary art spearheaded by curator / writer Libby Lumpkin.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WERE INTERESTED IN ART AND DECIDE TO PURSUE A CAREER IN THE ARTS? WHAT PROMPTED YOUR DECISION TO WORK IN THE GALLERY WORLD?
I grew up in a home that encouraged engagement in the arts, and so studying and working in the visual arts was a natural inclination. However, when I was in Las Vegas, I received a very thorough education in the financial workings of a museum – from exhibition production to financial development. It became clear that working at a gallery was not so different from working at a museum. Both institutions are committed to mounting the best exhibitions possible and interact with many of the same vendors, collectors, and artists. One advantage to working at a gallery is exposure to the very early stages of the artmaking process, since you work so closely with artists on the production of each show. I really enjoy that kind of involvement at the nascent stage.
WHO WERE SOME OF THE ARTISTS THAT THE GALLERY REPRESENTED WHEN YOU FIRST CAME ON BOARD? WHICH ONES RESONATED THE MOST WITH YOU AND WHY?
This is a tough question! The gallery represents 35 amazing artists who are all compelling and ceaselessly interesting in their own ways. Each of the directors is assigned to certain artists as their liaison for the gallery, and so I’ve worked most closely with Haim Steinbach, Charles Long, Mark Dion, Teresa Hubbard & Alexander Birchler, Mat Collishaw, Jason Meadows, Sabine Hornig, Liz Larner, Jeffrey Vallance, as well as Brazilian artist Sandra Cinto. It has been very satisfying to watch their development and learn about their work in great detail and depth. This is an opportunity that you just don’t have outside of a gallery environment.
IN OUR NEXT LRFA POST, RENEE WILL EXPLORE THE WORK OF SOME OF THE NEWER ARTISTS WHO HAVE RECENTLY JOINED THE TANYA BONAKDAR GALLERY ROSTER. WE WELCOME YOUR QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS AND LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU.