Thursday, July 02, 2009

Size matters

Over the years we have been going to them dealer galleries have changed a lot. In Wellington, in particular, they used to be mostly domestic scale spaces reflecting the way artists of the time used the front room of their home as a studio. A living room with the fireplace removed passed for a white cube and that in turn decided the size of work that could be displayed. Janne land broke from the pack when she moved into a variation on a loft space in Blair Street, but few followed and when she closed several decades later it was from a converted house of the old school. This history came to mind when we found the cavernous new Anna Schwartz Gallery at the CarriageWorks in Sydney. Putting aside the irony of someone named Schwartz working in such a gigantic white expanse, what was truly amazing about the exhibition was that it seemed to have spilled out of the space and into an adjoining hall. Schwartz seems to already feel cramped.