Judd Tully, the Master, has an interesting and insightful story on independent gallerists in the age of global art. Several voices are heard from. But this section where Tully talks to Hollis Taggart is particularly frank and enlightening.
More and more individual collector/dealers have entered the secondary market. They buy and hold works they believe will become valuable and keep an active network of potential buyers or their representatives. These individual dealers are also appendages to the vast auction house system of sourcing and selling. Let’s let listen to Taggart who underscores that the value lies not in the marketing but in having ownership of the right art:
“What I’ve found,” said Taggart as he arranged his stand at Art Southampton in late July, “is that it’s not necessary to maintain an expensive Madison Avenue presence to sell secondary-market material, since it’s become less personal and more object oriented. Basically, you make connections and sell secondary-market work by sending it out on approval or [having] people come in to see something. But it doesn’t much matter where you are; it’s more important what you have. Now you go to the outside world to present your material in art fairs, or—as a lot of dealers have been doing—just put things up at auction, because if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”
Taggart didn’t mince words about the power of the auction houses. “Not only do they have access to the material, but obviously they also have access to the clientele that no one dealer can compete with.” He continued, “A lot of dealers are participating with the auctions in private-treaty deals, using their marketing muscle and connections. And on the other hand, you just have to go your own way. The luck of whoever can get the goods is really the whole game.”
Can the Single-Venue Gallery Survive? (BLOUIN ARTINFO)