Sunday, April 16, 2006

High School Artist Gets Gallery Deal

Is there a headline like that in our future? In yesterday's New York Times, Carol Vogel checks into the art world's youth-chase. (Read the article while access is free.) She provides a couple of interesting facts about a recent show at Jack Tilton Gallery, called "School Days," that featured the work of 19 MFA candidates from Yale, Columbia, and Hunter. The prices ranged from $2,000 to $16,000. Seventy percent of the work was sold before the show opened.

Vogel reports a counter-measure by Rochelle Feinstein, who's on the faculty at Yale's School of Art. She makes her students read reviews of the 1993 Whitney Biennial, and then asks how many of the artists they have heard of. Personally, I have found a reality check in gallery catalogs from prior decades that crop up in bookstores. You can see good work by artists who seem to have disappeared.

For additional sobering reading, I would suggest picking out a few chapters from a classic tome from 1841 that's still in print: Charles Mackay's Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. It covers the South Sea Bubble in England, the Tulipomania in Holland, and other noted examples of speculative fever.

1 comment:

Lisa Hunter said...

Whoa. This is starting to sound like the NBA recruiting high school basketball players.