The argument was lively at this year’s ATG debate at the Summer Olympia fair, as BADA and LAPADA dealer Lennox Cato and Be Smart About Art founder Susan Mumford, disputed whether a gallery is still necessary for business in the modern marketplace.
The audience played a very active part, as
long-established dealers such as Brian Sinfield spoke out firmly in
favour of the traditional bricks-and-mortar gallery and its
importance in establishing close and trusted long-term
relationships with clients, a view shared by Mr Cato.
But there was an equally firmly held view
among others that the internet, fairs and temporary exhibition
space could do the job just as well for many dealers without tying
them to fixed premises and the accompanying costs. Such an
arrangement allowed dealers to be more versatile and flexible,
argued Susan Mumford.
Above: ATG Editor Ivan Macquisten, who
chaired the debate. Photo: Chris King, http://ckpho.to
One thing everyone did agree on was that the
world was changing - private views are not the drivers of business
they once were, everyone seemed to concur.
ATG Editor Ivan Macquisten, who chaired the
debate, asked for a show of hands at the end, with the No vote
winning by the slimmest of margins.
"I think it gave everyone food for thought," he said.