Thursday, June 26, 2008

Art Fairs soaking up the Scene here in Chicago

Chicago lost five galleries in June: NavtaSchulz, gescheidle and giftshop project space in the West Loop; Lisa Boyle in West Town; and Dubhe CarreƱo in Pilsen. Are they victims of the recession, or are other forces at work?

I’ve spent so much time researching for art fairs, going to art fairs and applying to art fairs that I feel like a traveling salesman,” Boyle complains, calling the art world “oversaturated” with fairs. “You take your artists’ work, hang it in some shitty, half-assed booth with 400 [other] booths. It’s not conducive to showing the work.”

-Lisa Boyle, founder of the now permanently closed Lisa Boyle Gallery


Ryan said...

This happens every year or so in Chicago it seems like. Usually the galleries lay blame on the lack of collectors here. The artists say there are not enough galleries to support the volume of art students that graduate from the many art schools here. The MCA doesn't show artists from Chicago, because the quality of the work that does get shown in the galleries is lacking. Its frustrating because I see good artists and galleries leave for NYC or LA (or just close down shop, or give up on their studio practice). Hmmm... what else is new?

Pete said...

The galleries are most certainly being hit by the mortgage crunch. Opening an art gallery is a risky venture to begin with.

The art buying public are very elusive, yes. They are probably less willing to open their wallets when they see an artwork they like, because their assets are being devalued in the depressed economy.

I think you're right about the art fairs not helping the situation, but insofar as it exacerbates the first two problems.