Building bridges: artist/gallery/collector, with Max Teicher of Gagosian Gallery
GAGOSIAN GALLERY CURATES MUSEUM QUALITY EXHIBITIONS ON A REGULAR BASIS, OFTEN THEMATIC IN CONTENT OR ON OCCASION FOCUSING ON A SPECIFIC PERIOD OF AN INDIVIDUAL ARTIST’S WORK. THE GALLERY ENJOYS A RICH HISTORY OF EXCEPTIONAL EXHIBITIONS DEDICATED TO THE WORK OF ALEXANDER CALDER, JOHN CHAMBERLAIN, WILLEM DE KOONING, LUCIO FONTANA, ANDY WARHOL, AND OTHERS. FOR EXAMPLE, A SERIES OF OUTSTANDING SURVEY EXHIBITIONS EXPLORED DIFFERENT PERIODS OF PICASSO’S WORK, CURATED BY THE ESTEEMED PICASSO EXPERT, JOHN RICHARDSON.
ARTISTS, ARTISTS’ ESTATES AND COLLECTORS ANTICIPATE THAT GALLERIES OF THIS CALIBER WILL NOT ONLY SUPPORT THE WORK OF ARTISTS THEY REPRESENT WITH A MULTI-FACETED PLATFORM OF WORLD-WIDE GALLERY AND MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS BUT ALSO WITH ART HISTORICAL RESEARCH AND CONNOISSEURSHIP. THUS, IN ADDITION TO THE SHOWS THEMSELVES, THE GALLERY PUBLISHES SCHOLARLY EXHIBITION CATALOGUES AND ARTISTS’ MONOGRAPHS AND PROVIDES A HIGHLY SOPHISTICATED PUBLICITY NETWORK THAT REACHES EVERY POTENTIAL AUDIENCE BY BOTH TRADITIONAL METHODS AND SOPHISTICATED 2.0 MARKETING. http://www.gagosian.com/
THESE ARE THE ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS THAT COMMAND PUBLIC ATTENTION. BEHIND THE SCENES, NURTURING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GALLERY AND ARTIST IS AS CRUCIAL A FUNCTION FOR THE WELL-BEING OF BOTH ARTIST AND DEALER.
THE LRFA BLOG IS VERY PLEASED TO CONTINUE ITS CONVERSATION WITH MAX TEICHER OF GAGOSIAN GALLERY.
MAX’S FIRST-HAND EXPERIENCE AS AN ARTIST, SHARED BY MANY OF US ON THE BUSINESS SIDE OF THE ARTS, FOSTERS HIS EMPATHY AND RAPPORT WITH ARTISTS. AS A COLLECTOR IN HIS OWN RIGHT, HIS APPRECIATION OF CONTEMPORARY ART AND THE DECISION-MAKING SELECTION PROCESS ADDS A DIMENSION TO HIS EXPERTISE AND EXPERIENCE.
MAX, WHEN DID YOU FIRST START AT GAGOSIAN AND IN WHAT CAPACITY?
I started interning at the gallery when I was 19. I was always happy to help in any way. I was then lucky enough to be an art handler. That helped me build personal relationships with objects and I learned the process of how the gallery works and how much effort people put into it.
HOW DID YOUR AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY EVOLVE OVER THE EIGHT YEARS YOU HAVE WORKED AT GAGOSIAN? DOES THE GALLERY HAVE A STRICT HIERARCHY OF RESPONSIBILITY OR IS THERE A FLUIDITY AND OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN VARIOUS ASPECTS OF GALLERY MANAGEMENT?
I can’t speak for everyone else’s development here, but I do feel like it is a terrific place for people to find their role on the team. Everyone is different and everyone has specific purposes and this is the kind of place that brings out the best in these people.
DO YOU COLLECT AND, IF SO, WHAT TYPES OF WORK AND WHY?
Of course I collect! I think that one of our great collectors here at Gagosian said it well. He said that the moment you put your first piece on the wall, you can no longer live without art. My collection is made up of artists that have an appreciation for technical skill and craftsmanship. I find it impossible to solely collect so I often go on studio visits and engage in brainstorming with the artists. There are several that I have consistently supported for several years now.
DID YOU PROPOSE EXHIBITIONS OF SPECIFIC ARTISTS AND HOW DO THESE EXHIBITS AND ARTISTS REFLECT YOUR INTEREST IN THE CONTEMPORARY ART WORLD?
I have been fortunate enough to build bridges between many artists, curators, gallerists, and collectors. Sometimes an exhibition can start from a casual conversation with an artist to years of suggesting their work to others. Great art always finds a way of being presented to large audiences.
AT LAST DECEMBER’S MIAMI ART BASEL, GAGOSIAN LAUNCHED AN ENORMOUS EXHIBITION OF FIGURATIVE WORKS ENTITLED UNREALISM IN COLLABORATION WITH JEFFREY DEITCH. I HAD THE PLEASURE OF VIEWING THE EXHIBIT WITH YOU AS MY GUIDE AND BENEFITED FROM YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF SUCH A WIDE RANGE OF FIGURAL ARTISTS.
WHAT DOES THE RENEWED INTEREST IN FIGURATIVE PAINTING AND SCULPTURE REPRESENT TO YOU AND WHAT DO YOU THINK THE INFLUENCE OF PHOTOGRAPHY AND DIGITAL PRINTING HAS ON THIS RENAISSANCE?
I think these things come in waves. I think that post-war era figurative painting has come in and out. I have even heard of several universities that banned it until only 10 years ago. I think technology is always expanding the abilities for artists to create. Ever since oil painting took over tempera painting in the renaissance, technology has continued to open windows. Today with digital photography, everyone with a mobile phone is a curator or an artist on Instagram or social media with what they are putting up there.
IN THE NEXT LRFA POST, MAX WILL SHARE HIS INSIGHTS ON THE ART OF COLLECTING ART. HIS EXPERIENCE AS BOTH AN ASTUTE COLLECTOR AND DEALER PROVIDES A 360 DEGREE PERSPECTIVE. DO ASK MAX ANY QUESTIONS YOU HAVE ON THIS SUBJECT.
THANKS FOR READING!