Gavin Brown’s move to Gladstone continues a trend of consolidation in the art market
“All of these mergers are happening because there is an underlying problem that both parties to the merger believe is going to be resolved,” Feuer said. “At least in [Feuer Mesler’s] case, the underlying problem for me was just that I didn’t want to be an art dealer, so I figured if I could find someone else who would do half the work, then I couldn’t not be an art dealer.
While Brown’s new position at Gladstone is more of a consolidation than a merger, there is a merging of artist rosters from both galleries. In a statement, Max Falkenstein, a Gladstone partner, used language that makes the move feel like a fusion of visions: with him to continue to develop our agenda together.
Feuer speculated: “I guess [the artists that didn’t move to Gladstone] are a little freaked out, and everyone is trying to get paid. Then they will all see what their best options are. He added that this is not necessarily a bad scenario for these artists. “I’m sure a lot of artists, once this merger was announced, started to be courted more aggressively by other galleries or were already doing it,” he said.
Dealer Kenny Schachter also drew a comparison to recent periods of economic hardship, telling Saltz: “This is the harbinger of unprecedented gallery consolidations and closures far exceeding post-employment cuts. 2008 financial collapse. ”For his part, Saltz confirmed, writing:“ It was not the closure of a gallery that everyone imagined on shaken foundations, it was the closure of a gallery that was, in a profound way, the very image of the contemporary art world. “In announcing Brown’s arrival in her gallery, Barbara Gladstone admitted that” this moment in history is an important time to reflect on de new possibilities in the art world “.
Much of the speculation about the forces that led Brown to shut down his sprawling Harlem complex and join Gladstone may be due to the greater uncertainty over what the rest of 2020 has in store, and beyond. “I don’t think it indicates anything other than that [Gavin Brown’s Enterprise] need to merge, ”Feuer said. “I know there are still small galleries that are making money, and that there are still artists who don’t want the vibe of mega-galleries that are profitable.”