One of the biggest mysteries artists and collectors alike want to know about fine art galleries is how we determine which work gets on the walls. The answer is very simple: we show the work that speaks to us. This means something different for every gallery – each has their own set of conventions that tie together the work they show, which become clearer with every exhibition. For Abigail Ogilvy, it can be broken up into four distinct categories: technique, process, aesthetics, and concept. Every artist we show brings something unique and contemporary in one of these aspects.
We look for artists who find unexpected applications for their medium. Genre-bending work like Kristina McComb's photography/sculpture hybrids, Lavaughan Jenkins' 3-dimensional oil paintings, and Lisa A. Foster's quilted textile paintings are some examples of artists whose works are not constrained by the conventional uses of their materials. The work is refreshing, adding something new to the ongoing conversation of contemporary art.
When an artist describes their work, uncommon or involved processes can really add depth to a piece. Artists like Holly Harrison, whose process involves photography, printing, painting, and collage in each piece, show skill in their ability to combine various techniques harmoniously. Ola Aksan, who pours paint onto the surface of her pieces and allows it to leak past the bounds of her canvas, demonstrates innovation in the application of her medium. We appreciate work that encourages the viewer to look closer and ask questions.
It goes without saying that appealing artwork often has high aesthetic value, but this goes beyond being just "pretty". We look for work with compelling aesthetics that intrigue the eye more than just pleasing it. The crunchy, highly textural quality of Keenan Derby's sand-mixed acrylic paintings, and the signature mark-making in Natalia Wróbel's abstract work, are examples of how an artist's aesthetic sensibilities evolve into an unmistakable style which sets it apart from other work in its genre.
An interesting concept can really elevate artwork by starting conversation. Whether it is spiritual, social, political, or personal, the ideas behind a piece or series can lead to mature, well-developed work. This can come in many forms: Nicole Patel's minimalist artwork strives to adhere to the inherent quality of her materials by working only with organic, sustainable materials in meticulous processes that invokes Zen Buddhist meditation; Ariel Basson Freiberg's explores female identity and sexuality by depicting women in erotic poses and obscuring their faces and genitals with with thick smears of paint. Artwork is enhanced by the stories behind them, and part of showing fine art is sharing those stories with our viewers.
Ultimately, every gallery is attracted to an artist for different reasons. The fun part of exploring the art world is navigating those diverse spaces. They are all united by one goal: finding unique perspectives we feel strongly about sharing with the world.
Monday, July 24, 2017: Puloma Ghosh