Friday, July 17, 2009

Insight Please: Who is What to Whom? Professionally speaking...

What should an artist expect from a gallery?

What should a gallery expect from an artist?


  1. The artist should expect a call back.

    The gallery should expect an artist to not "sell" their work.

  2. (Artists) It really depends on how much money you are making the gallery. Mid career and establish artists should expect the gallery to generate press and should be given access to clients. Mos importantly, the gallery should be making sales!! Less established artists should be prepared to work very hard and not get that much attention from the gallery.

    (All Artists) You should be supported by your gallery emotionally and cheered on. In a perfect situation they should be your biggest fan. Also, be aware that hard work is nessary everywhere! It's very important for artists to remember that they put their work in galleries to sell. They could just give it away if art were all about vision, love, passion, etc.

    (For-profit Galleries) Most of all, artists should concentrate on creating work if they want art to be their full time job. They should look presentable at openings and be kind to collectors. Artists should help promote their shows.

    This is like peanut butter and jelly. Galleries and artists just go together. In the end, it's all about the bread.


  3. Clint,

    In reply to your comment, I'm interested to hear your thoughts:

    1) Would you consider market sales the factor differentiating "emerging", "mid-career" or "established"?

    2) Are you saying a gallery should actively engage in giving the art in their gallery access to their clients? Or do you mean a gallery should give artists direct access to clients? (The latter has very serious consequences for a gallery if/when an artist leaves...)

  4. Just a quick thought to start, I think that artists have to realize what a tremendous undertaking running a gallery is. Many artists seem to have no idea what is involved. If they did they might be more able to understand some of the interplay better.

    Gallerists need to be honest with artists. They should pay the artists when they are paid and not play the games that so many galleries have reputations for doing. The first night I met Richard Stewart we talked about how that's one of the more important ethical choices that we have as gallerists, at the time I was on the other side of that equation.

    I also think that what Clint has said that artists need to concentrate on making work is key.


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  6. from a gallery, an artist should expect that the gallery represent them and their work, and sell their work to the best of their reputation.

    a gallery should exepct the artist to deliver work to the best of their reputation.

    these are the expectations that need to be met for the professional art world to function at it's most basic level. in order for it to thrive and grow these expectations need to be exceeded.

    developing and maintaining a gallery is a great and risky challenge as is devoting one's self to the unrelenting pursuit of a career as an artist. both parties in the equation need to be absolutely devoted, which cannot exist without passion, vision and love(etc.) the struggle of the artist is an ancient and pervasive theme, while the plight of the gallerist, that is, to balance passion and fiscal responsibilty, is almost universally overlooked and misunderstood.

  7. One other thing the gallerist should apply to the relationship is that of editor. Artists often are too attached to their work to realise that some of it isn't as good as the rest and will bring down the caliber of their exhibition.

    In return the artist should not get offended or be to sensitive about it. Artists should do good work, by that I mean not lazy, not easy. Too many artists could be quite good but don't put the full effort into it.

  8. gallery: trust, and emphasis on quality and depth of the artists' investigations
    gallerist: an incisive eye
    artist: the freedom to explore and make work that is new and unexpected

  9. The relationship between artist and gallery should be a collaboration where they work with each other with mutual respect of each other. Everything else becomes a possibility if you can set this as a priority.

  10. I posted these questions on Facebook and on my page received the following comments back:

    Shayna Bracha Farber at 9:13am July 5
    not to be paying a fee to hang up the work.
    artist should expect an art opening & promoting the work. The work should stay up longer than a week.
    also, to work out a % for both!
    thx 4 putting this out there .

    Edward Shott at 9:14am July 5
    Cash and Carry

    Mery Lynn McCorkle at 9:58am July 5
    Professionalism and courtesy.

    Darren Keith Breen at 6:59pm July 5
    The gallery should be the artists' biggest advocate. Artists need to be prolific. Both need to be honest. The rest is details that can be worked out based on the first three. Shayna's right, that fee to hang work is stupid.

    --qi peng

  11. An artist should expect the full support of the gallery. They should nurture the artist as they continue to grow and explore. Yes, they should promote them and sell the work responsibly.

    The gallery should expect the artist to deliver quality work, genuine, focused pieces with skill.

    The basic responsibilty and priority of both as partners in a sense; artist do the work and the gallery sells it. that's it in a nut shell. This is done with mutual respect and understanding.

    this may be over simplified but the basic bones of it.