Galleries galore

wolfsonReports on the death of the art gallery, as an institution–as opposed to the air fair–may be premature, though I do see a lot of struggle. I got a going-out-of-business flyer yesterday from what has traditionally been the most commercially successful, if less discriminating, galleries here in Rochester. It was advertising a 75% off sale. For art. It has been going out of business, it seems, for well over a year now. I wonder if that could simply be an ongoing stance that works as a business model. Going out of business, but never quite gone.

On the more hopeful side, the New York Times published, a few days ago, a collection of pieces celebrating how New York City remains the center of the art gallery world, even if it hasn’t remained the center of art world as a whole: which the article points out has spread to Berlin, London, and other parts of the globe. I intend to read through this survey of the gallery scene in detail, before my next visit to Manhattan in a couple weeks. I know my haunts in Chelsea, but it would be fun to venture elsewhere. My favorite line from the bunch, from Holland Cotter about the current show at Zwirner: “Mr. Wolfson himself appears in mock-punk drag, as if to finesse illusions about art’s connection to some mythically resistant underground.” Resistance is just a pose, earthling, especially if you’re represented by the new power in art commerce. It would appear that the last of the underground would appear to be leaving New York shortly: Clayton Patterson.

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