BlackBook’s Fantasy Art Shopping Spree (Dealer Edition)

In a non-denominational holiday spirit, I asked a handful of esteemed gallerists and gallery staffers to share their own hypothetical dream gifts. (The only stipulation was that they refrain from choosing an artist that they personally represent.) Here’s their collective wishlist, from Philip Guston and Mike Kelley to Matisse and Brad Troemel’s Etsy shop.

Jorg Grimm (Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam)
“Any early, figurative Philip Guston painting would be great! They still look as if they were painted yesterday, even though they’re half a century old now. I’m referring to the cartoon-like figuration–the hooded figures, the clocks and spiders. It’s the work he’s now most appreciated for, but when he first showed it he got killed by the critics.”

Nick Lawrence (Freight+Volume, New York)
“I’d like a 7-foot Michael Williams canvas for my living room.  I’ll take down my own painting to make room, and I’ll even sit on Santa’s knee. If St Nick isn’t feeling that forthcoming, I’d like a small Rashid Johnson drawing, a Cordy Ryman construction, and a Cristina de Miguel oil on paper. If the King of the North Pole is nowhere to be found, I’ll buy an Erik den Breejen Harry Nilsson portrait for myself [pictured below]. Otherwise I’ll make do with coal in my stocking again.”

Mary Garis and Sophie Hahn (Garis & Hahn Gallery, New York)

“Is there anything more lovely than the Manhattan skyline? We think the perfect fantasy holiday gift would be something for everyone: artist installations on some of New York’s most iconic buildings. We’d love to see a Christo-wrapped Empire State Building, and perhaps a Chrysler Building with a giant bow by Jeff Koons on top. The temporal display would be something for memorable for all to enjoy during the holiday season.”

Steve Pulimood (Room East, New York)
“I’m a book whore, and this time of year my bedside table is overflowing with new volumes but somehow I can never have enough. I like to start the holidays with the fantasy that I’m going to have time to read. One of the things that I would love for Christmas is a book/currency artwork of Brad Troemel off his Etsy site; there is also a handsome  book of Carol Bove’s installation instructions that was recently published by the Leopard Press; there’s also an amazing reader on Cady Noland that the artist Will Boone compiled (published by Karma); and Miguel Abreu has a holiday books sale of poetry at the gallery right now, where the beastly visage of Michael McClure on the cover of his famous Ghost Tantras caught my eye…”


Sarah Gavlak (Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, FL)
“What I really want for Christmas is a drawing by Francois Boucher. I have started collecting old master drawings here and there when I can afford them and they are so wonderful and look incredibly current with the rest of my contemporary art collection. I also love that in the Rococco period Boucher was dismissed as a painter who decorated ‘ladies’ boudoirs’…what could be better?”


 Rachel Uffner (Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York)
“I’d like Mike Kelley’s Deodorized Central Mass with Satellites, 1991/1999. Every holiday should include a Mike Kelley installation. Irreverent, exuberant, critical and contemplative of American culture and culture at large. When you give this to me, please clear out my entire apartment and install the work. I will sleep on the floor under it and think about what a great artist Mike Kelley was.”

Jessica Witkin (Director at Salon 94, New York)

“Young artist Kelly Jazvac‘s rock sculptures are actually found readymades called ‘Plastiglomerates‘–a new kind of rock formed by the fusion of oceanic lava and plastic from the Pacific garbage patch. They’re currently on view in a superb group show at Louis B James. They represent our changing planet, like future fossils that recall 1970s Earth Art, the craggy paintings of Ryan Sullivan, the crystal terrariums of Paula Hayes, and the exquisite colored landscapes of David Benjamin Sherry.”

Francisco “Tito” Rovira Rullán (Roberto Paradise, San Juan, Puerto Rico)
“I would like 365 days in the tropical rain forest by Chemi Rosado Seijo. There are very few times that I’ve been permanently moved/marked by an artwork. For me this is the ‘original painting’ as well as the origin of pigment: Humidity, animals, larvae, rain, sun and other elements all left their mark.”

David Fierman (Louis B James Gallery, New York)
“I would like anything from the late Hannah Wilke series ‘Intra-Venus’:  a hair drawing in particular, or the sculpture Why Not Sneeze (pictured below).”

Jamie Sterns (Interstate Projects, Brooklyn)
“I would love, love, love to own Matisse’s The Red Room Studio, 1911, currently in MoMA’s collection. This is so meta-now.  It does all the things of inverse, reference, flat, 3-D of space that all the young things want to remark on but this does it in such a next, perfect level that it is all done (period). I would just look at it all day long if I could. As an aside, not so arty, I would love one of everything by the young designers Eckhaus Latta. I’m slowly getting their ouvre in my closet but yeah, a dream wish to have it all at once.”


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