Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's bad but the art is still good

I know people. Bad news just gets worse with the economy. The dow is down. The S&P may crash. Capitalism isn't making much sense, if it ever did. People getting bailed out and yet things get worse. A stimulus package signed, but its still all partisan and no relief.

And here I am, in my little corner of the internet telling you to buy art. Well, no, maybe not you, but some of you. Listen, galleries are closing. We read today in an article by Alan Artner that quoted no less an authority than Catherine Edelman that even more closings are to be expected. It's bad.

Bartlow, Adams Fine Art, Trowbridge, Gescheidle, Navta Schulz, 50/50, 40,000, Garden Fresh, Rowland Contemporary, Wendy Cooper, Lisa Boyle, Skestos, Caro d'Offay, Alfedena, Belloc Lowndes, Kraft Lieberman . . . . The list goes on. All of these galleries have closed their doors in Chicago and most, if not all, are not expected to return. It's a huge loss. And there will be more.

Galleries need the support of collectors. And while some major collectors are suffering, in very real ways, monetarily speaking, others are not. Some are still getting their bonuses in good paying jobs. Some are going to have a down year or two, but still make quite a lot. Quite enough to buy art. And Chicago galleries need that support.

Well, this friday you have the chance to get out there and see some work, and if you have the means, to buy it. I know I'm not the only one saying this. Paul Klein says it all the time. Get out there.

Both Aron Packer and Flatfile will have openings and you'll be able to find me at both throughout the evening.

Flatfile will do what Flatfile does best. That is; show way way too many artists at once. But that's what you do with a massive space. And I'll admit, I'm curious to see Shawn Stucky's work and Jennifer Mannebach's new work. I hope Carrie Iverson's work is stuff I haven't seen.

But easily, I'm most excited to see Stephanie Dean's new series, Modern Groceries. Aside from being really funny, which is hard to do, these things are strikingly georgeous. Dean has always had a way with light, but much of her work prior to this series relied on her skilled sense of the moment. One of my all-time favorite images that anyone has ever taken is her Man Asleep, Beside the Chicago River, Afternoon.

A piece like this exmplifies that click - that awareness and ability to see in the moment and have utter confidence in your ability to capture it. She's a great photographer. And it comes through in a very different way in the new works. Much quieter than her previous bodies, the quality of light is astonishing. I really can't wait to see them in person. I doubt they'll get the space they deserve, but they'll be seen. And aside from that, the only other thing left to do is buy.

The Cheese Plate, With Beer, 2008

Breakfast, 2 for $3, 2009

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