The first visit … perhaps the beginning of a wonderful friendship
Often you have passed by the gallery and out of the corner of your eye you have seen
the minimalist perfection of the space and the interesting artworks on the wall.
But most of the time there was not enough time to enter. Open the door to the gallery. It can be the beginning of a long friendship.
This is how you recognise a good gallery:
Don’t rush past the reception desk but first stop at the entrance counter or at the table of the gallery’s respective staff member. Ask for information about the artist and the current exhibition.
The gallery owner himself or herself is rarely to be found there, apart from the big events such as previews, exhibition openings, finissages or private tours, because he or she is busy visiting artists in their studios, exhibiting at fairs, maintaining contact with museum directors, curators and important clients, as well as keeping an eye out for interesting new artists.
A good gallery owner, however, will make sure that the reception is well organised in his or her absence and will be interested in meeting you in person.
In a good gallery, after a friendly welcome, they will equip you with any information about the artist you are interested in and then allow you time and peace to visit and appreciate the artworks. When you leave, they politely ask if they could have your address for the gallery newsletter to keep in touch.
The first impression is decisive
A gallery that does not score here will not be more customer-oriented further down the line.
Find out about the gallery’s overall programme, which fairs and exhibitions they are represented at and look carefully at the catalogues of recent exhibitions.
You will notice from all these things whether it is a gallery that suits you and will develop a feeling as to whether a long-term relationship can develop from it.
Ideally, a partnership will grow over time that appreciates the same quality, but can also surprise you again and again with many exciting openings where you get to know interesting other guests and finissages that mark the end of an exhibition and where there is once again an opportunity to acquire a work from the current exhibition that you may have been thinking about during the exhibition period.
In any case, it is worth comparing a number of galleries whose programmes appeal to you. After some time, those with whom your art collection can grow in mutual exchange will crystallise.
A long-term partnership with a gallerist can open many doors for you, something to the coveted first days of important art fairs, the gallerist can put you in touch with interesting artists and thus turn the anonymous art business into a very personal passion for collecting.