Aussie Gallerist Emerges at Art Fair After Misuse of Funds

Ian Dawson

The Sydney Morning Herald has this odd story about the lengths seasoned art fair organizer Tim Etchell is going to protect and employee who has admitted to abusing his artist clients by spending the money he received for their works without paying them:

Six artists are pursuing Iain Dawson, the ”VIP guest manager” for the inaugural Sydney Contemporary art fair in September, after he took their art works on consignment, sold them at his gallery and then spent the proceeds.

Last week, Sydney Contemporary organisers held a crisis meeting to resolve the growing furore over Mr Dawson’s employment.

The fledgling event is being promoted as the largest art show to be staged in Sydney, with up to 70 upmarket galleries arriving from 12 countries.

While Sydney Contemporary founder Tim Etchells has publicly condemned Mr Dawson’s actions, he has agreed to retain his services on one strict condition: the artists get paid Mr Dawson’s salary.

Mr Etchells said: ”We are aware one of our employees, Iain Dawson, has outstanding debts with artists that he incurred prior to joining the team at Sydney Contemporary.”

Art Fair Orders Employee to Repay Old Debts (Sydney Morning Herald)