IdeelArt Gathering in Brooklyn
Sep 19, 2016
IdeelArt recently had the pleasure of getting together for a few hours with more than thirty American abstract artists in a bar in Brooklyn. The experience was unique and powerful. We often meet other art professionals in museums and galleries, at openings or at artist talks, but this experience was different. It is almost unheard of for this many people who work in the arts to spend time together for no reason other than to get to know each other and exchange ideas. As simple as it sounds, it was transformational. And out of it came many revelations, which we are thrilled to have the opportunity to share.
We Are Not Post-Anything
At IdeelArt we focus our business specifically on contemporary abstract art. A lot of our time is happily used to study the history of the artistic traditions that influence abstract artists working today. Post is a common term in the art historical lexicon: Post Impressionism, Post Painterly Abstraction, Post Modernism, etc. We understand the reason historians use the term. It identifies the time period to which a work of art belongs and correlates to a commonly accepted social construct allegedly specific to a certain time and place. We have also heard that contemporary art is Post Conceptual, Post Abstract, Post Disciplinary, even Post Definition.
The conversations we had this past week in that bar in Brooklyn revealed that we are not alone in believing that the contemporary abstract artists working today possess a relationship to every artistic tradition and tendency ever conceived of in the history of art, all the way back to the first scrawl of tinted mud upon a cave wall. Anything that has ever worked for an artist is relevant today. Anything yet to be imagined is relevant today. An artist saying we are Post Abstract or Post Conceptual is like a chef saying we are Post Soup or Post Recipe. This thought was perfectly summed up by one of the artists who attended our gathering, John Zinsser, who said, "This is the challenge of my generation. You're in a receivership of something and charged with finding a way for it to be meaningful in the moment."
John Zinsser, Win Knowlton and IdeelArt's founders - Christelle Thomas and Francis Berthomier
We could clearly see the value of this gathering from the gratitude expressed by all those in attendance, such as Jaanika Peerna who told us, “Thank you for bringing the people together. Very important for a platform that exists online only.” We are truly the ones who are grateful, for this extraordinary opportunity to get together with some of our contemporaries who explore daily the relevance and meaning of contemporary abstract art.
Despite being an online only gallerist, at IdeelArt we intend to do this as often as we can, wherever we are. We know that the only way any of us achieves anything in the world is through relationships. If you are an artist, make it a priority to get together with other artists outside of work, away from the galleries and museums, and talk about your work and your ideas. Forget about labels and movements and the market and irony and all of the other petty concerns that poison the art culture for outsiders. Get together. Develop your relationships. It will make the difference and give expanded meaning to your work.
Margaret Neill, Peter Soriano, Win Knowlton and Jaanika Peerna
In addition to the importance of getting together in person, this evening also reinforced for us the importance of playing a role in the evolution of the online art community. We know from our research that the online art market is growing faster than any other segment of the market. Along with that growth there are many challenges to be met. Most artists in attendance last week relayed positive experiences about their online presence, remarking how it expanded their connections with viewers, collectors and other artists.
Tom McGlynn and Audrey Stone
Most of the challenges artists say they’re experiencing with the online art market relate to issues of personal service, efficiency and the human touch. These are the parts of the business we at IdeelArt take the most seriously. We are committed to seamless, service-centered customer experiences, and to developing meaningful, thoughtful relationships with the artists we represent. As expressed by Holly Miller, “I decided to display my work with IdeelArt because, despite the fact that this is a digital business, it is run by real people, who know the artists they represent, and take the time to visit their studio and understand their work before partnering with them.”
Jean Feinberg and Joanne Freeman
IdeelArt would like to thank the artists who generously got together with us at 61 Local in Brooklyn last week: Anya Spielman, Holly Miller, Dana Gordon, Debra Ramsay, Jaanika Peerna, Jean Feinberg, Joanne Freeman, Matthew Langley, Peter Soriano, Tenesh Webber, Tom McGlynn, Margaret Neill, Franklin Evans, Macyn Bolt, Elizabeth Gourlay, John Zinsser, Julie Gross, Stephen Maine, Carolanna Parlato, Win Knowlton, Audrey Stone, Xanda McCagg, Melissa Meyer, Francine Tint, Laura Newman, Louisa Waber, Natalie Moore, Gelah Penn, Mark Zimmermann and Kati Vilim.
Featured Image: Overview of the evening