Here is our second suite of posts from people in the art world on the upside of the recession. (You can read the background to the posts here.)
1. The focus has shifted away from being so much about investment to more about collecting.
2. As the traditional centres of New York and London have not been so buoyant recently, galleries are looking to expand into new markets and as a result are looking to engage pro-actively with Asia in the long-term. Hong Kong located at the centre of Asia, with its beneficial tax status (0% on import and export of art) is the natural market hub for the region.
Magnus Renfrew is the director of ART HK, the international art fair of Hong Kong
Art Patron (anonymous)
Patrons love to help public galleries with acquisitions and many of us work with them – sometimes individually, sometimes in patron/collector groups attached to particular galleries. The thrill of purchasing an artwork for a gallery, or donating one, is exceeded only by the pleasure gained when it is seen in a gallery, weaving its magic on viewers. But sometimes patrons can be forgiven for wondering what happens to works acquired for collections as they disappear into the climate-controlled coffers of galleries, rarely surfacing to see the light of day.
Even though the recession has hit many patrons in the pocket making it tougher to maintain their donations to gallery causes, there has been an upside. As the funding base for exhibitions shrinks and the cost of flying in artworks and artists becomes prohibitive, curators are looking more to their institutional collections as a source of inspiration and ideas for exhibitions – and not just for collection shows. A lot of the art purchased by patrons for galleries is being dusted off and groomed for presentation in themed exhibitions.
If the global economic downturn drives curators to their collections and more patrons experience the pleasure of seeing their patronage at work in gallery exhibitions, then clearly there is an upside to the recession.
As the new season is upon us here in the northern hemisphere, last weekend was filled with openings. In many ways, little has changed. The facade is business as usual. But in the back offices and studios there is hope that seriousness will return to the art market. Maybe it is not seriousness, but a sincerity and honesty to the endeavor.
1301PE decided to focus the beginning of the season on a series of aspects: the collection, the collector, the collaboration, the production and the publication. Jorge Pardo: The collection of Pae White, which opened on Saturday, used the artist Pae White's 20 year collection of Pardo's work to present a remarkable overview of Pardo practice, while also considering what it means to collect. This exhibition will shift into a collaboration between Jorge Pardo and Rirkrit Tiravanija. Friends since the early 1990s they have often been included in exhibitions together but have never collaborated on a single work. This exhibition will will transition into a one-person exhibition of Rirkrit Tiravanija. As an extension of this 11301PE/Brain Multiples will participate in the the New York Book Fair at PS1.
The possibilities remain great and the opportunities are to be created as we move into the unknown.
Brian Butler is the director of 1301PE, Los Angeles, and former director of Artspace, Auckland