Monday, February 18, 2013

What’s the deal here?

Looks like we'll see some changes in the art gallery business this year. Sue Crockford has been doing a Diva like leaving-staying-leaving her space down by the water and has now put her gallery storage space there up for sale. This plus word of artists leaving surely heralds some downsizing at the very least. Also shedding skin is Hamish McKay who is talking about closing his gallery space in a couple of months. Fittingly that will fall close to the gallery’s 20th anniversary and follows long-time artist Michael Harrison taking a walk (part of Ivan Anthony’s you-will-be-mine-oh-yes-you-will-be-mine policy?). Meanwhile a new space (well a new old space previously known as the Blue House) is opening in Mt Victoria to be called 'The Young' with its first show including the (forever young?) Peter Peryer. The mixing of projects and exhibitions (Lett showing Crockford’s artist Albrecht is a good example) and representation is further blurring the who-shows-where-and-who-owes-what-to-who stakes. In Wellington 30 Upstairs claims not to be a dealer because it “will not turn a profit on the sale of artworks.” Say what? Currently it has have Michael Lett (who presumably does want to make a profit) selling his own artists off the floor. Meanwhile off -shore a major auction house has closed itsgallery space while still holding onto the more lucrative private treaty sales that came with it, and there is more talk of the agent/ manager model taking over from the standard white cube display space one. A version of this could well be what McKay has in mind. One thing we can guarantee for the year ahead though - while there might be some closures, there will definitely be openings.
Image:  a sweet mix