Lisa Hunter's Hot New Book Launch!
Winkleman / Plus Ultra Gallery and Schroeder Romero are delighted to host the launch party for art expert and blogger extraordinaire Lisa Hunter's fabulous new book for non-trust-fund-babies interested in learning from scratch how to start a collection: The Intrepid Art Collector: The Beginner's Guide to Finding, Buying, and Appreciating Art on a Budget
What: New Book Launch Party
When: Thursday, November 16, 2006, 7-8 pm
Where: Schroeder Romero and Winkleman / Plus Ultra Galleries
637 West 27th Street (between 11th and 12th Avenues)
New York, NY 10001
Here's an excerpt from the book:
Mark your calendar, and please stop by this coming Thursday. If you love Lisa's blog (as we do), you'll adore her in person. Oh, and the book makes an excellent present for all those art lovers on your list!
First, here’s how not to learn about contemporary art: When I was an art history student in New York, my friends and I would dutifully go downtown to contemporary galleries (a prerequisite, we thought, to becoming “intellectuals”). Our courses on Caravaggio hadn’t prepared us for anything we saw there. We had no idea which pieces were good and which were junk, but we were too mortified to admit it. Instead of asking questions, we’d walk around the galleries with a knowing air and murmur, “Very interesting.” This is a dumb—not to mention boring—way to go to galleries.
You wouldn’t expect to learn about any other topic without reading or asking questions. Why should contemporary art be any different?
You probably had a teacher once who told you that if you looked at a work of art long enough, you’d understand it. Not true. You could look at a pile of bricks in a gallery all day without realizing that it’s a witty refutation of another artist’s work, if you didn’t get the reference. Ask questions! Once you understand what the artist was thinking, that pile of bricks may actually be fascinating, amusing, even moving.
A hushed gallery isn’t always the most comfortable place to ask questions, especially when you’re not ready to buy. If you’re shy, ask to see press clippings or background materials. Many exhibitions include an “Artist’s Statement,” in which the artist attempts to describe what he or she was trying to do. (Artists hate writing these, but they’re very helpful to new collectors.) You could also read reviews of the exhibit before you go, to get a general sense of what you’re looking at.
Even better, start by going to art fairs, art shows, and open studio tours. These are more casual than galleries; they’re more amenable places to ask questions and strike up conversations. So are art school exhibitions. Students love to give their opinions about what’s good and bad in contemporary art.
Start with basic questions such as “Can you tell me about the artist?” or “Is this work part of a particular tradition?” Admit what you don’t know. As long as you don’t try to pretend you’re a buyer when you’re not, dealers and artists are usually gracious and willing to answer questions.
If you keep asking questions and engaging yourself in the work, you’ll find that contemporary art is endlessly interesting. There’s always something new.