Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Artist Gallery Relationship


Installation View Portraits of the Unknown. Anita Traverso Gallery 2008.


It's fairly common to find complaints and laments about artist's experiences with galleries on blogs and one Australian artist who has a very successful practice actively advocates complete withdrawal from the system. While I am not saying that  these complaints aren't justified, for some artists it is easier to leave sales and promotion to someone else so I thought it was time to present the other side of the argument. 
I don't feel this way as I am very fortunate to have a very happy and productive relationship with my gallery. 
I first visited Anita Traverso Gallery in Richmond, Melbourne in 2007 when I spent about 30 minutes there looking at two exhibition.
As we left the gallery I said to my partner  'that is the sort of gallery I would love to have represent me'. I was greeted in a relaxed manner when I entered and after I had been there looking at the work for a while Anita came over and talked to me. I was struck by her passion for her artists and their work.
I sent Anita a folio and was offered an exhibition the following year. 
My exhibition was handled professionally, I had a great time working with Anita and Catherine   and they have continued to promote  my work, including my work in curated group shows and, best of all, making regular sales.
Please comment and share your experiences. 

4 comments:

Hapi said...
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Nicola Moss said...

I have been thinking about this post for a little while. For me the main word here is relationship; as in other relationships a combination of mutual respect, trust, compromise when required and open communication give more chance of it working. Find out what the terms of the relationship will be, if you don't like them or it doesn't feel right; don't go any further. There are always other galleries and artists, find people you want to be in a relationship with, and thank them if it all goes well.

Susan Buret said...

Nicola, I agree. I have an exceptionally good relationship with my gallery and the post, as well as presenting the other side of the often heard story, was a way of saying thank you. Hmm, and it's thanksgiving week too!

Cindy said...

Very glad to hear this perspective, Susan. Nicola's hit the nail on the head re: relationship, and good relationships are worth cultivating, wherever they may be found.

Installation view of your work is great - really has an impact in that space, even from a photo!