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substance and Arne Glimcher

Arne Glimcher is sharp when interviewed twice by Charlie Rose (here and here), the first interview starting at about 17 minutes in-the second, shorter and focused only on the gallerist. In a stunning moment Glimcher responds to Rose when he remarks on the cost of artwork in today’s market. The gallerist’s response is one-pointed and without hesitation; the cost of work has nothing to do with the art.

Glimcher is an historian who deeply understands an artist’s process and production. He does not bother with what art appears to be – but, instead, with what it really is. He is a breath of fresh air in our stale art worlds, seeing what is coming in a clear strong vision.

When i am not in the studio and in a classroom teaching, it becomes increasingly important and difficult to impart to those who are in my classes exactly what Glimcher is saying. The age of the art star is suffocating us. The art world market – no matter what level – is not really about the art. The less gallerists/dealers know about art – the poorer quality work they sell. This does not mean that you need to have a degree in art or be a maker to be in the gallery business – in fact –it is best that the person who sells the work is not making work and in the market themselves. It is a conflict of interest unless the gallerist is extremely savvy and knows how to keep their work out of the relationship and out of their own gallery. However, for a gallerist to be surrounded by and immersed in the visual art world, its history and theory is necessary.

As Glimcher points out. The market is not about art. That scenario has nothing to do with making or that a general consensus can form around a body of work. The making and consensus is where the value is.

A rich illuminating thread appears to weave through the two interviews. Glimcher lives instead of postures. The thread, visible and true, is what keeps me making work – teaching – and encouraging another generation of makers. The quietest moments in the studio reveal the indestructible truth that the substance of this pursuit is in the mind.


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