This mini-bubble for emerging art has been building over the past year, but its appearance is still something of a surprise. In the wake of the financial crisis, many market soothsayers—including myself—expected younger dealers to fare the worst. In fact, a select group—many of whom took part in the recent Nada fair—have survived, and even thrived over the past six to 12 months, selling out shows and fending off overtures by big name dealers.
So what’s behind the boom, beyond the obvious appeal of well-made, well-priced works? It comes down to the fact that a handful of these younger gallerists are perfectly attuned to the times, hitting the perfect spot in terms of programme, sensibility and style. Partly it’s the context. The Lower East Side (LES) is the alternative Chelsea. No matter how great a destination Chelsea may be for viewing contemporary art, after a decade of expansion and development, the area has lost any air of intimacy and bohemian flair—all of which is in abundance on the LES and other further out areas. The younger dealers are more relaxed and approachable, with less commercial thrust.
Alive and Kicking Despite the Slump (The Art Newspaper)