Saturday, February 10, 2007

Good deal

After yesterday’s story about Wellington’s City Gallery entering the art retail market, artists can take heart from this news from the UK.

“Prajit Dutta, a partner in the New York ArtsIndia group, which is opening a new gallery, Aicon, in London next month, says: ‘The most successful artists are also costing galleries more. “You have to court the artists assiduously,’ says Mr Dutta. ‘It’s no longer the case that works are on consignment, now the presumption is that any unsold works will be bought by the gallery,’ he says. ‘Artists may expect to be paid up front, which can put pressure on cash flow. And the cut isn’t the same as it used to be: forget 50/50, it can be 80/20 in the artist’s favour for those most in demand.’

“Also gone are the days when all the gallery needed was a hammer and nails to hang a show. Now the gallery underwrites the often substantial costs of gigantic installations.

“Galleries are also expected to underwrite museums shows. The London dealer Stuart Shave, owner of Modern Art, says: ‘One of the things that is much more expensive today is that museums expect galleries to contribute to catalogues, transport and other costs when they show a gallery’s artist. In the next few weeks we have eight museum shows and we are paying for some costs at each of them. Shipping and storage is £20,000 to £30,000 a year alone,’ he says.”
Georgina Adam and Brook Mason in The Art Newspaper