For mid-career artists as well as emerging and late-career artists, the idea of asking a gallery for a show or even to look at work, is almost beneath them, and perhaps it should be. After all, why show your best work to a gallery if it turns out they are insensitive clods or worse?
I am suggesting that instead of wondering what gallery would take your work next, think of it the other way around – what gallery would you allow to represent you? After all, even a good looking gallery can make a mess of sale or bungle how the work is talked about.
My suggestion is to walk into galleries and begin to just ask about the work on the wall. If you ask about the art in the gallery, they might think you are interested in buying, and usually the director or curator will come out to talk to you. Who knows, you might be interested in buying, but there is no pressure to — you are just asking questions. Ask some questions about how the art was produced or other questions.
Really you are interviewing the dealer to see if you like the way he/she talks about art.
Try that this weekend or next, and I think you will find yourself pleasantly entertained, because even the biggest galleries often could use improvement in how they talk about art – but see for yourself!
I have also included an interview with Jens Hoffmann who is a curator at the Jewish Museum but also has a big career spanning Europe and is a founder of the “Peoples Biennial.”
Click here to listen to Jens Hoffmann interviewed.