Sarah Sze, Photo courtesy of Sarah Sze studio and Gagosian
In a recent interview with BlackBook regarding Art Basel Hong Kong moving online in the wake of its cancellation, Gagosian director Sam Orlofsky suggested, “The art world has been in denial about its own carbon footprint, and maybe this will accelerate the realization that we can do things more remotely. And it will just be better for the planet.”
In the two weeks since, the art world has indeed responded with an impressive sense of urgency, with galleries and museums offering new digital viewing options and virtual tours—and the press directing art lovers to the alternative of purchasing art books online, in lieu of in-person visits to museums.
Gagosian, from its position of leadership in the industry, has accordingly just launched its pithily titled Artist Spotlight program, promising a format of “One Artist, One Work, One Week.” And indeed, each week will find the gallery highlighting a single artist, and a solitary new work from that artist—but building editorial, video and playlists around that work, to cultivate a sort of artistic dimension or context around it.
Urs Fischer, Photo: Chad Moore, Courtesy Gagosian
“The art market has always fared well in times of economic uncertainty,” Orlofsky explains anew. “The current moment is devastating to artists, galleries, museums, and all the people who make those institutions run; but there will be a path out of this once the COVID-19 pandemic starts to resolve.”
Featured artists will include some impressively marquee names, such as Damien Hirst, Jenny Saville, Sarah Sze, Stanley Whitney and Urs Fischer…as well as art world eminences like Jennifer Guidi, Roe Ethridge, Titus Kaphar, Katharina Grosse, Theaster Gates, Dan Colen, Mark Grotjahn, Mary Weatherford and Rudolf Polanszky.
“Artist Spotlight focuses on artists who prepared exhibitions that were canceled, postponed, or curtailed due to the pandemic,” Orlofsky continues. “It is important at this moment to allow our artists to share their stories as directly as possible with their audiences, as a way of bringing people together and offering cultural connection online when visiting shows in person is not an option.”
The program launches this Wednesday, April 8 at Gagosian.com—and each work will then officially go on sale the Friday that follows, at 6am EST.