A profound commitment to the interests of the artist with gallery director, Maria Bueno, of Cheim & Read
IN HIS RECENTLY PUBLISHED BOOK, BOOM, A FASCINATING AND COMPREHENSIVE COMMENTARY ON HOW THE CONTEMPORARY ART WORLD AND MARKET HAS EVOLVED, MICHAEL SHNAYERSON WRITES:
TRADITIONALLY, DEALERS LARGE AND SMALL HAD TRAVELED TO A HANDFUL OF FAIRS: FIAC IN PARIS, NEW YORK’S ARMORY SHOW, AND THE MOST ESTABLISHED FAIR, ART BASEL SWITZERLAND. WHEN ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH JOINED THE PACK IN 2002, AND FRIEZE LONDON IN 2003, THE PACE REMAINED, FOR A WHILE, MANAGEABLE. YET EACH YEAR, MORE NEW ART FAIRS SPROUTED, IN ONE COUNTRY AFTER ANOTHER…CLARE McANDREW, THE CONSULTING ART-MARKET ECONOMIST WHO NOW WORKS FOR ART BASEL, COUNTED 260 MAJOR FAIRS. WITH MORE AND MORE ART TO BE SEEN AND SOLD, DEALERS FELT THAT THEY HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO BE A PRESENCE IN AT LEAST A FEW OF THE PROLIFERATING SHOWS. IT WAS A COSTLY DECISION.
Michael Shnayerson, BOOM, Public Affairs, New York, pp. 362-363.
A FEW GALLERIES ARE GETTING MORE AND MORE OF THE MARKET SHARE. MANY COLLECTORS ARE VISITING ART FAIRS AS THEIR PRIMARY SOURCE WHEN BUILDING AND ADDING TO THEIR COLLECTIONS AND FREQUENT THE GALLERIES LESS AND LESS. AT THE SAME TIME, JENNIFER FLAY, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF FIAC, IN AN INTERVIEW IN THIS WEEK’S FINANCIAL TIMES, POINTS OUT THAT ART WORLD INDIVIDUALS MAY SOON NEED TO RE-EVALUATE THEIR CARBON FOOTPRINT WHICH COULD POTENTIALLY BRING THE FOCUS OF THE MARKET BACK TO REGIONAL AND LOCAL SITUATIONS.
IN THIS CLIMATE OF ECONOMICAL, SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS, THE RESPONSIVE ART MARKET IS UNDERGOING A TRANSFORMATION IN ITS WAY OF DOING BUSINESS.
TODAY, WE WELCOME BACK MARIA BUENO, PARTNER AT CHEIM & READ, WHO HAS OPTED TO OPEN AN UPTOWN GALLERY FOCUSED ON CONNOISSEURSHIP, THE SECONDARY MARKET AND AN UNFLAGGING COMMITMENT TO THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE ARTIST.
MARIA, WHAT ART FAIRS DOES CHEIM & READ PARTICIPATE IN, AND WHY?
Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach. The outstanding quality of the material on view brings in people who are important to us, from curators to collectors to museum patrons. We take these fairs very seriously and our presentations reflect that effort.
WE ARE IN A CHANGING AND VOLATILE ECONOMIC CLIMATE. HOW DO YOU THINK THAT WILL IMPACT ON THE CONTEMPORARY ART MARKET?
It is hard to predict but collectors will always find the resources to acquire a work of the highest quality no matter the circumstances. We strive to source and show work of this quality level so that collectors feel comfortable and confident in what we are showing and offering them. We have worked hard to establish a loyal client base which we hope will follow us into the next chapter of the gallery’s history.
WHAT IMPACT DO YOU THINK IT WILL HAVE ON THE GALLERY SYSTEM? WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES IN REPRESENTATING ARTISTS NOW AND EVEN A FEW YEARS AGO SINCE SOME DEALERS HAVE NUMEROUS GLOBAL LOCATIONS?
Dealers will need to find innovative ways to continue doing business and make sure artists have the freedom and flexibility to make their work. Today it seems like everyone is vying for “worldwide exclusive representation” – these representation wars are tiring and not necessarily in the best interest of the artists. Why not have several dealers with whom you like and respect working for you?
WHAT ARE THE GALLERY’S PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
Our new gallery opened on September 26th with an exhibition of historical, never before exhibited paintings by Ron Gorchov. We plan to mount 3-4 exhibitions per year, most of which will have a historical focus and examine key periods in artists’ oeuvres. Catalogues and other publications will add to our commitment to original scholarship. We also plan to participate in select art fairs. We will continue to work directly with a number of artists whom we have had long relationships with and will continue to pursue meaningful projects on their behalf. We will also concentrate on private sales in the secondary market. This work is informed by our depth of knowledge developed by decades of connoisseurship and our extensive archive.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE IMPACT OF OUR SOPHISTICATED AND EVER DEVELOPING TECHNOLOGY ON ARTISTS’ WORK? WHICH ARTISTS EMBRACE THESE INNOVATIONS MOST SUCCESSFULLY?
While Cheim & Read has always had a particular interest in the traditional medium of painting, technology has been helpful in executing a sculptor’s concept in more ambitious scales. Lynda Benglis for example continues to push the boundaries of this medium and uses new technology with her foundries to create incredibly intricate and detailed works on monumental scales. It’s exciting for all of us to see come to life.
Lynda Benglis at The Cycladic Museum, November 22, 2019
“Lynda Benglis: In the Realm of the Senses” opens at the Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens. The exhibition curated by Dr. David Anfam is the first solo exhibitions for Benglis in Greece, a country that has great significance for Benglis aesthetically and culturally.
THERE ARE CERTAINLY TRENDS IN COLLECTING, MORE THAN EVER, SINCE IMAGES AND ARTWORKS ARE ACCESSIBLE BECAUSE OF THE INTERNET, INTERNATIONAL ART FAIRS, AND THE GLOBAL MARKET. HOW DO YOU DIFFERENTIATE WHAT IS A TREND THAT WILL RECEDE ALONG WITH THE MONETARY VALUE FROM AN ARTIST THAT WILL CONTINUALLY COMMAND A PLACE IN THE MARKET WITH ONLY SLIGHT EBBS AND FLOWS ?
In most instances, you can only know these things with time. For us, we continue to show and support artists we believe in, no matter the trends. It is this steadfast commitment to a particular vision that I think differentiates us from other dealers.
IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG, MARIA WILL SHARE HER PERSPECTIVE ON TRENDS IN THE ART MARKET AND THE CONTINUED FOCUS AND FUTURE OF CHEIM & READ.
PLEASE JOIN US!