The 22nd edition of Artissima opens its doors to the public from 6/11 – 8/11/2015. With a great number of initiatives, Turin is very international, when it comes to visual arts. We’ve talked to Tara Downs – Co-Founder of New York-based Tomorrow Gallery – about their participation and the art market …
What is the story behind the name of your gallery „Tomorrow“? How did you come up with this idea?
There is something slippery about the subject of tomorrow. Back when we opened in June, 2011, the art world was fixated on the technology and aesthetic of futurity. Our name acknowledges that the image of tomorrow best reflects the ideals and aspirations of the present. With that in mind, we set out to show contemporary work by artists exploring current avenues and ideas, but in the narrative of art, things cycle back around and yesterday becomes tomorrow again. We felt it was appropriate for the title of our project to address these notions.
Could you tell us more about your program? What is your special focus?
Tomorrow has an international focus, showing predominantly early to mid-career artists engaging with contemporary concerns. While many of the artists represented consider new media applications and the influence of the internet, Tomorrow shows a wide breadth of media including painting, photography, sculpture, installation, etcetera. Tomorrow continues to work with artists such as Oto Gillen, Aleksander Hardashnakov, Jason Matthew Lee, Carlos Reye and Brad Troemel.
The current art market is increasingly characterized by contrasts: more and more galleries are closing while contemporary art in auctions is blowing up all the records. Is the business model ‘gallery’ no longer serving the market or already dieing?
Like the progression of art itself, trends in the market are often drastic and sometimes short lived. The traditional gallery model is ever shifting, especially as the web allows for easier access to work and greater visibility for artists’ careers outside of more traditional gallery and press structures. I can’t verify if more galleries are closing than five years or even ten years ago, but as with any business model, the only constant is change and galleries will need to be responsive to the tempo of the art world and it’s needs.
Tomorrow and other galleries are very aware of changes in viewership, so photographic documentation has become an important extension of our presence. We do not think this points to the collapse of the art market, but instead a move toward international and remote sales.
Would you say that art fairs are not only an important sales area but also one of the most important marketing tools of a gallery? What makes art fairs still irreplaceable for you -compared to tools like Instagram, Artsy and artnet?
Fairs offer a unique platform, even in the wake of Instagram and Artsy. They present important opportunities to forge relationships with clients and to have an exchange with other galleries. Social media has not replaced real, one-on-one interaction and the bottom line is that this is an industry that requires personal relationships for sales.
Would you say that there is a difference between the american and the european contemporary art market?
Discussing the globalized art market, it is clear that international sales have become an important revenue stream for galleries and some trends are observed internationally. Despite this, there remains distinct national and regional primary markets that cannot be assets in broad, general terms. Tomorrow represents artists from around the globe who sell here in the United States and abroad, so it would be arrogant to make any overarching claims based on our experience alone.
New York is probably the most important hotspot for contemporary art. So why did you decide to participate at Artissima? What makes this fair so interesting for you?
Italian collectors have consistently been interested in our programming; many of our longest standing, devoted collectors are Italian. They regularly travel to New York City, but we find it valuable to return the favor and visit them at home in Italy too.
Which artists will you present at this years edition of Artissima – and why?
This year we will be showing recent works by two artists who are featured in our fall programming: Oto Gillen and Kelly Akashi. Gillen’s October-November show, Raisins on the Vine, features film photographs and intimate sculptures made from corrugated cardboard. Akashi’s sculptures touch-on the tropes of pseudo-spiritualism and southern-Californian craft culture mark the liminal spaces between
domestic settings and bodily interiors.’
// Interview by Sabrina Möller
ARTISSIMA • 6/11 – 8/11/2015
The preview and vernissage will be held on 5 November (invitation only).
More informations on www.artissima.it
106 Eldridge Street • New York, 10002 • USA • www.tomorrowgallery.info