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3.30.2010

Robert Goff, art dealer

Good evening contemporary art lovers!
I am very glad and proud to introduce to you Robert Goff who is a contemporary art dealer and whose the gallery is located on the 23rd street in Chelsea. He is one of the first person that I really have met in New York working in the art market and he is the one who has given me a chance to work with...

Dear Robert, could you please introduce yourself and explain us how you got into the art market. Was your family working on or not? What studies did you do?...

"My name is Robert Goff and I own a gallery in Chelsea of the same name. I grew up in Minneapolis in the early 1970s going frequently to museums like the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. My father was interested in art and my parents collected a bit. And I liked to draw and attempt to make art myself so I was always interested in anything visual. I tried to buy my first work of art when I was ten years old but my parents thankfully said no. I ended up studying literature and when I got my first job in New York it was as a journalist for Forbes Magazine. When the position opened to write about art collecting and the auction market I jumped at it. After that I worked for some internet companies related to the art world and eventually started my own gallery with a partner about seven years ago. At the end of the day I really am interested in the art object and the conversation that can happen around it."

For those who may don't know, could you explain what are the differences between the first and the second market and what is the place taken by the gallery?

"The "primary" market is what a gallery like mine does. I represent 12 artists and sell their work to collectors and museums. This initial sale of a piece from a gallery to it's first buyer is the "primary"sale. A secondary sale occurs when the piece is resold - even if a work is resold 20 times it's called a secondary sale. The "secondary" market refers to all works that are resold over time - obviously this includes Picassos and Warhols but also some very young artists as well. Secondary market sales are conducted by galleries, individual dealers and collectors and auction houses."

Are you specialized in any particular movement and who are the artists whom you exposed?

"In my dealings as a primary gallery I am focused on international significant emerging artists who have a very strong grounding in technique and skill - whether that's painting, drawing, photography or filmmaking. I am less interested in artists that make work that looks shoody, whether they claim that's deliberate or not. Kevin Francis Gray reimagines classical sculpture through a contemporary lens, Melanie Manchot makes subtle photo and video portraits of individuals as they relate to larger groups and society, Simon English makes exquisitely perverse drawings that dance out of his subconscious, Ahmed Alsoudani's visceral paintings slam the viewer with images of a world in wartime agony, Isca Greenfield-Sanders makes quiet but deeply felt paintings about the American experience, Oliver Pietsch makes brilliant montages from the history of film that draw out universal themes of love, betrayal, dreams  and nightmares and despair, Scott Hunt's perfectly rendered charcoal drawings are dark, humorous explorations of the myths and traditions of American society, Iona Rozeal-Brown has created a new cosmology of characters in her paintings that reimagines hip hop, Japanese and African-American culture, Titus Kaphar's paintings really undoes both physical and historical traditions of painting, Suzanne Kuhn makes and solves complicated problems presented by painting on canvas, Type A is a collective of two New York males who explore the truths and excesses of masculinity and competition through sculpture, installation, performance and photography and Ain Cocke makes some of the most technically gorgeous portraits anywhere today."

What did you think about the art fairs and what is your opinion about the evolution of the market?

"Art fairs are important but to be indulged in with moderation. At their best fairs will introduce you to new collectors and curators and enable sales and at the worst they're an expensive waste of time. I am personally really excited by really high quality fairs that are in new and emerging regions of the world. We had a great time doing Art Dubai last year and I'm excited to participate in Art Hong Kong in May. THese are both places in the world where collecting contemporary art is relatively new and people are excited about it - conditions which make it both fun and good for business."

What kind of advice would you give to a young art dealer?

"First, be totally honest in all your dealings. Second, when you make a sale pay your artists before you pay yourself. Third, look before you leap-test out the waters with artists before you sign them, really evaluate a fair before you sign up for it and don't follow the herd."

Thank you, Robert, having answering to those questions!! Good luck for the Hong Kong fair...
To those who frequently wander in Chelsea, stop by Robert's gallery!

3.29.2010

Sterling Ruby: 2TRAPS

Good night contemporary art lovers!
For those who may don't really know about contemporary art, this kind of work can be disturbing!
For his first solo exhibition at the Pace Wildenstein gallery, Sterling Ruby has transformed a public transportation bus into a ready-made titled "BUS" with a series of interior confinement cages, speakers, sub-woofers, chrome fixtures and exterior security doors. The other sculpture, "Pig Ben" is a massive rectangular grid configured from a series of smaller custom-built rectangular blocks.

As Max Weber had written, our society has become rational, reasonable, progressive... and those sculptures are the symbol of the iron cage of modernity. To Sterling Ruby, they are places of confinement, stagnation and they are the allegory of the powerful traps that human beings construct for themselves.

One often says about his work that it's a new way to express underlying systems and social power structures. He works in the tradition of graffiti and street art et is inspired by urban gangs, marginalized societies, modernist architecture...

3.23.2010

To those who are wandering in Europe!!

Good morning contemporary art lovers!
For those who may missed ArtParis, one of the most famous art fair in Paris, here are some very good exhibitions to see... And some other in Europe! I didn't had time to stop by Chelsea and it was raining, so I definitely stayed at home and I was trying to check what is happening in Europe!

"Paris mon Amour"... (Even if my hometown is New York now!). An amazing exhibition of Lucian Freud's works of art is hosted at the Centre Pompidou. Grandson of Sigmund Freud, this artist is probably one of the most famous living artist. The exhibition is organized by the theme of his workshop, the laboratory of the artist; inside which you find the foundation of his work (he used to paint only models who were in that room according to one particular scene-setting).
To seeing also: Tsuruko Yamazaki (leading founder of Gutai, group of avant-garde artists who were searching a new visual language) at Almine Rech gallery; Au Dela du Reel (group exhibition that shows works of art made by Valerie Belin, George Condo, Fabrice Hyber, David Mach and Bettina Rheims. They bring us beyond our real world) at Jerome de Noirmont gallery; and of course don't forget to go to the "Palais de Tokyo"!!

"From Paris to Berlin"... Who didn't heard about the exchange of Parisian and Berliner galleries? An interesting collaboration which allows the interaction of both French and German culture.
What are the exhibitions I would love to see?? Marc Brandenburg and Leigh Bowery at the CFA (Contemporary Fine Arts); Annelies Strba at Eigen + Art gallery; Le Prix Marcel Duchamp: Saadane Afif, Claude Closky, Mathieu Mercier and Peter Roehr at Mehdi Chouakri gallery...
Opening soon: Michael Craig-Martin at Haas und Fuchs gallery!!

"London Calling"... Please forget about the rain, the cold, the foggy weather, the typical Victorian streets where Jack the Ripper could attack you. London is quite fun!! And instead of drinking beer or eating a fish-n-chips in a pub, go to the galleries... A new exhibition of Ron Arad, Restless, is hosted by the Barbican Art gallery. According to the critics, it could be the first major survey of Arad's work in the UK. Then one waits for him in Paris, Larry Gagosian organized an exhibition of Arshile Gorky in his gallery from London. But who knows, maybe parisian will be able to see it soon! Also in London, the Irving Penn Portraits, exhibition hosted by the National Portrait Gallery and that includes over than 120 prints from his seven-decade career...

"Comic Strip, french fries, mussels and Art"... Who said that Belgian were only good at making chocolate?? (Any way Swiss are the best!!). At the Aeroplastics gallery you will see a beautiful exhibition about a young emerging African artist: Frances Goodman whose work consists in an objective study of the human condition. Argos, one of the leading art galleries in Brussels, gained the status of the most renowned centre for art and media. Here you will find several interesting works made by Ralo Mayer and Rinko Kawauchi. Stretched Territories, the new Frank Van Der Salm's exhibition is hosted by the Crown gallery, one of the respected art institutions in Brussels...

And I am not gonna tell you everything! I will let you discover those towns and organize your trip by yourself...

3.16.2010

Outdoor New York City

Good afternoon contemporary art lovers!
What a perfect day to go on a promenade on the streets of New York City! And there are so many sculptures to see on your way... Let me show you some examples of those sculptures and I hope I will give you the envy to go out and having a look on it!! Wear your sunglasses and let's go out...

This massive 35-foot sculpture has been made by Damien Hirst and is exposed on Park Avenue between 53rd and 54th streets. Titled "The Virgin Mother", the sculpture depicts a pregnant woman however the different layers of her skin are removed on one side to expose the foetus, muscle and tissues layers, the skull... "The Virgin Mother" was bought by Aby Rosen, a real estate magnate who wanted to exhibit his new purchase on the courtyard of one of his properties, the Lever House. A second copy has been made for installation at the Royal Academy or Arts in London.

Stay in Midtown West and go further on the corner of 55th street and 6th avenue, you will find the amazing and famous red "Love", a twelve-foot Cor-ten steel sculpture, made by Robert Indiana, an american artist. Originally designed for a Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art, the first exhibition of this image as a sculpture was in New York City in 1970. The "Love" sculpture has been reproduced in a variety of formas and there are several versions of this sculpture: in Tapei, Taiwan or also in Shinjuku, Japan.

On your way to go the West Village, you will see this beautiful sculpture, "Gay Liberation", which has been made in 1979 by George Segal, an american artist, to celebrate the gay and lesbian rights movement and commemorate the beginning the gay liberation. The sculpture, made in bronze and painted in white, depicts four figures: a standing male couple and a seating female couple, in the middle of the Christopher Park. It was commissioned by the Mildred Andrews Fund which is a private Cleveland-based foundation that supports public art.

Now you are in the West Village, it's 5pm on thuesday afternoon, you ended up your promenade and it's time to have a glass of wine on a pretty terrasse!

3.08.2010

NYC Arts Week

Good afternoon contemporary art lovers!
Such a crazy week was it! So many art fairs, exhibitions, dinners, parties... What did you think about the Armory Show this year?? And what about the other fairs and exhibitions?

I was really impressed by the positive vibes that we could feel this year at the Armory Show. So many galleries came from all over the world and they seemed to be confident. Usually, works of art made by the same artist are exhibited in several galleries. This year many many artists have been represented. Of course you don't have to like all of those works but at least it's different which is interesting. I went several times at the Armory and I realized that a lot of works of art which were hung on the wall have been changed. Which is good because it means that dealers sold! This year I wasn't really impressed by paintings whose are exhibited. I have definitely prefered the sculptures: the "Degas' dancer" reinterpreted by Richard Jackson exhibited at the Vallois gallery, "(Casse toi alors) pauvre C[anard]" which is a political reference to the French President, made by Sven't Jolle and showed at the Laurent Godin gallery and of course some other beautiful sculptures made by Nari Ward at the Lehmann Maupin or Anselm Reyle and Jim Lambie at the Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd... But it was so crowded! Even at the opening which is supposed to be only for collectors and professional. And in my opinion, it wasn't the most interesting art fair, regarding the quality of the works of art...

ADAA (Art Dealer Association of America's Art Show) was the Armory Show competitor. First of all, the fair took place at the Armory on Park Avenue what is confusing. Then several galleries and dealers were showed at both fairs: Pace Wildenstein, David Zwirner, Peter Blum, Acqualvella Galleries... My favorite artist: Fred Wilson exhibited at the Pace Wildenstein gallery. It was a very beautiful art fair,  more modern than contemporary. And if you want start your own art collection, have a look on their website you will find a very interesting and helpful "Collector's Guide".

According to me, Pulse was the most interesting art fair regarding the quality of the young emerging artists' works. My two favorites: Markus Linnenbrink whose work is exhibited at the Ftc gallery and Martin Denker at the M+B gallery. Their works are very different: Markus works with resin, paint and he makes paintings and sculptures; Martin is a photographer who uses all the details that he sees in his daily life. But both create beautiful works of art, very colorful, positive...They put you in a good mood which is not negligible in this time!!

The Independent Art Fair wasn't my favorite. Interesting but definitely intriguing and too crowded, stairs were too narrow (this fair was the only one whose the entrance was free even at the opening)!!
The exhibition curated by Jeff Koons at the New Museum, "Skin Fruit", was amazing. Jeff Koons has selected over 100 works of art which belong to the Dakis Joannou Collection based in Athens and which are showed for the first time in the United States. It was probably very difficult to choose the appropriate place for each work of art because rooms aren't very big and we are too close to appreciate the largest sculptures. You may be shocked by some pieces because they are very provocative and innovative but maybe it's only the reflect of our society...

Even if the arts week is ended up there still are so many exhibitions to see as the one curated by Shaquille O'Neal!! You didn't know?! He isn't only a basket player...

3.02.2010

Some exhibitions to see before going to the art fairs!!

Good afternoon contemporary art lovers!
I know you will probably be very busy in the next few days due to the Armory Show, Volta and Pulse art fairs but don't forget to stop by Chelsea! Last saturday I saw many interesting exhibitions and I also discovered several emerging artists...

The 20th anniversary of Keith Haring's death was the occasion for two galleries to organize exhibitions of his work. The Tony Shafrazi gallery hosts a exhibition which is more a retrospective. They show us several "Subway Drawings" (he created drawings by using white chalk upon the matte black papers which covered advertising panels in the subway stations in Manhattan), vinyl trap, paintings and sculptures... Special mention for the room reserved for fluorescent paintings and rock'n'roll music!! The other exhibition is smaller than this one and only focused on the body painting. You will see at the Paul Kasmin gallery a few paintings of Bill T. Jones's body painted by Keith Haring and it is only by appointment.

Another exhibition that I loved is the one hosted by Larry Gagosian gallery and that shows us Alexander Calder's sculptures. One of the major interest of Alexander Calder's works is due to the fact that he developed a new way of sculpting: he bended and twisted the steel to create amazing sculptures and mobiles. The techniques of welding and bolting that he used were also supposed to reject the weight and the solidity of a bronze pr steel mass. His sculptures, made with a strong material, seem to be incredibly light and his three-dimensional figures seem to float int he air and barely touching the ground...

David Zwirner gallery hosts a beautiful exhibition of Thomas Ruff, probably one of the most influential photographer working today. This show presents a new work in two series: "zycles" and "cassini". By capturing and questioning the essence of photography he redefined its conceptual possibilities. His work challenges the viewer's perceptions and shows us how much structures can be more complex than details. The Zycles series is more based on computer screen-grad recordings of three-dimensional curves and the Cassini series is more focused on photographic captures of Saturn taken by Nasa.

My favorite emerging artist: Inigo Manglano-Ovalle, a Spanish artist. The exhibition, "Happiness is a state of inertia", is hosted by the Max Protetch gallery and shows us his newest works. I am particularly sensitive to photographs of icebergs. They are incredible aesthetics and provide a sense of calm, healing... They look like a kaleidoscope whose colors are pale and cold, most often white, blue and black. According to him, investigations of naturally phenomena is a metaphor for contemporary cultural conditions...

I wish you a wonderful "arty" week and don't forget taking vitamins, it is gonna be a crazy week!
Will I see you tonight at the Pulse party??