How Does the Gallery Acquire Art?
You have such a wide variety of works in your Gallery. How do you decide which works to acquire?
One of the most exciting aspects of being an art dealer is to select works of art for our gallery, but we don't actually own the works on exhibit. We directly represent artists and estates of artists. We select works from the artists’ studios and exhibit those works under a consignment agreement with each artist and estate.
We have close working relationships with the artists and estates of artists we represent. There are a few artists, and now estates of artists, that have been with us more than 40 years, including Adolf Dehn and Will Barnet. Over the years we have also added many artists. Our goal and hope with each added artist is to have a long working relationship over many years. Many become close friends in the process.
Admittedly, we hold our artists to high standards. Just as in any profession, an artist’s CV is important. We place heavy emphasis on an artist’s reputation with museums and require our artists to have works in the permanent collections of museums.
When a museum accepts a work of art into their permanent collection it typically goes through the approval of the director or curator and an acquisitions committee. As such, this is a true and meaningful accomplishment for an artist. Other achievements that build an artist's reputation include museum exhibitions with a museum catalogue, professionally published books, awards, artists in residence programs, grants, and representation with other prominent galleries.
None of this happens quickly, which is why we prefer to work with artists over the course of many years and help them in these achievements by building relationships with museums, colleges, and book publishers. Our vision is that art is meaningful and lasting, and we work with artists who share this vision with us.
When adding an artist, we also look at the body of work to determine if the work will be a good addition to our slate of artists. We can easily view an artist’s cv on a computer screen, but to truly get a sense of the artist’s work, it is necessary to see the work in person and visit the artist’s studio. We want to see how artists work – their technique, their inspiration and understand their growth as an artist. Artists should always be pushing themselves forward by experimenting in a variety of subject matter, techniques, media. We gain this insight by visiting the artists' studios in person.
Unfortunately, not all artists we have added over the years have worked out with us in the long term. There have been times when an artist has a fantastic reputation and in many museum collections, but the work may not be good fit for our gallery or our market. In these cases, we part on good terms leaving the door open if tastes should shift in the future. Other times, we come to learn that an artist we represent does not share our vision or keep to the standards we hold. For example, we will not represent artists who reproduce their original works into giclee because it is seen as too commercial and takes away from the original work.
In 2020, we added Mally Khorasantchi as a new artist to our gallery. Our relationship with Mally began eight years ago and over those years she has followed our advice and grown her critical acclaim along with her popularity with collectors. Her works are in museum collections including locally with Artis-Naples Baker Museum. We hand selected the works from her studio to show in our gallery and look forward to introducing our clients to her work this season, our 58th in Naples.