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Galleries are what it’s all about

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Galleries are what it’s all about.

Auckland Art Fair was established in order to raise the profile of the region’s galleries and their represented artists and to provide a platform that enables them to engage with and cultivate new audiences. The participants in this fair are people for whom art is not a market, it’s a way of life.

Christchurch’s Jonathan Smart sums up a mantra familiar to most in the gallery world: “Let’s make good practice as visible as we can. Let’s put on good shows, get them reviewed and do our darnedest to survive.”

We are very pleased to say that AKAF13 contributed to that survival, with exhibitors reporting on-site sales of well over $3M – exceeding pre-GFC sales 2009 figures – and the expectation from many galleries that follow-on sales will continue into next month. Importantly these sales directly benefit artists and enable them to work and thrive.

Art Fairs form an increasingly important part of the global art economy, but their proliferation poses both opportunities and threats for galleries. Numerous fairs around region now vie for the limited resources (time, energy and funds) available so we are delighted with the attendance and the great results for the participants.

Melbourne based gallerist Dianne Tanzer comments, “Often viewers experience art fairs as art overload, but this ‘bespoke’ fair was perfectly contained, enabling viewers to engage with the art on a very intimate level.”

Collectors and gallerists credit the intimate, relaxed atmosphere at the Cloud as a factor in the fair’s success. “People loved the fair, loved the venue and were in the mood to make decisions”, says John Gow, of Gow Langsford.

Described by Tim Melville as “like being inside a lovely, architecturally designed iceberg”, the chilly side of the venue didn’t inhibit Kylie Sanderson’s enthusiasm: “I am freezing but I’m happy!” Another chap was Matt Nache of PAULNACHE in Gisborne who said, “This event has enabled us to propel ourselves forward ten years – incredible!”

So, this enews is a shout out to all those galleries for taking part in what Dominic Feuchs from Starkwhite calls “hands down the best art fair in Auckland.”

Cheers to ‘the Class of 2013’.

Jennifer Buckley

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