Did the art-fair boom close Margo Leavin?

The LA gallery, which represents John Baldessari, says the changing market no longer suits it
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Sediment: Chain Saw and Two Hands
(2010) by John Baldessari
Sediment: Chain Saw and Two Hands
(2010) by John Baldessari

The Art Newspaper describes Margo Leavin as an 'internationally respected gallery'. Leavin founded the gallery in 1970, and has gone onto represent such internationally recognized names as John Baldessari, William Leavitt, Claes Oldenburg and Lynda Benglis. So it comes as some surprised to read reports in the LA Times and elsewhere that the gallery plans to close its doors.

Leavin told the LA Times that the internet has changed the way people buy works, but also that customers are approaching art differently today: “They're not seeking out the thoughtful, complete statement that artists make when they create gallery exhibitions."

She also blamed the way international art fairs had changed production patterns. "It's not the way we like to do business," she said. "To produce works for an art fair is just not what our artists do."

Word that the gallery, appointment-only until the end of September, will close for good thereafter, comes just as Reuters reports that more and more art buyers are viewing their artworks as financial investments rather than "passion purchases". Reuters also details the growing number of indices, allowing financial experts to track art investments, and the increased role of professional art advisers, who "generally 20 percent for sales under $25,000 and about 6 percent for sales over $1 million". So, is commercialism killing off established galleries? Answers on the back of a Hirst spin painting, sent to the usual address.

 

 

 


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