Floral wall by Bradley Sabin, courtesy of Blair Clarke
Peaches of Immortality, 2014, by Christina Burch, courtesy of Blair Clarke
Positano, 2011, by Xin-Yi, courtesy of Blair Clarke
Painting by Natasha Law, courtesy of Blair Clarke
After 13 years as a private art dealer, Blair Clarke is finally ready to — as she puts it — “root down and call a place home.” And this week, she opens Voltz Clarke Gallery at 141 East 62nd Street in New York, with an inaugural exhibit by artist Bradley Sabin. Here, she tells us about her new chapter and shares some advice for would-be art insiders.
The focus of Voltz Clarke will be…
Emerging contemporary artists. Voltz Clarke is grounded in the belief that art should not only be conceptually profound but visually beautiful as well. We pride ourselves in a style that offers not only wide appeal but also the theoretical and technical rigor for a diverse range of collectors in both local and global markets.
Emerging artists on my roster now…
Yiorgos Kordakis, who will be at this year’s PULSE Miami Beach show, is a great talent. His eye and use of Polaroid photography really set him apart in the photographic arts. His prerogative is largely based on the idea of a shared universal experience, as you’ll see in his Global Summer series, which concerns the convivial nature of the summer season, and how, on a global scale, everyone is more or less privy to the fun associated with it. It’s accessible and also very nostalgic, which allows audiences far and wide to have a sense of immediate connection to him. I believe we all want to relate to the art world in some capacity and he makes it not only democratic but jaw-droppingly beautiful, as well.
And other emerging artists on my radar…
I’m such a fan on Tauba Auerbach’s Fold series. She’s a Californian artist, now a New York transplant, who creates immensely cerebral tableaus. Her technique, itself a pixel-like pointillism, and the manner with which she can convincingly create these digital-like trompe l’oeils is fascinating.
My advice to the would-be curator…
Making the most of your resources. Art, fashion and performance are inextricably linked, and they very much supplement one another. Make yourself available to artistic experiences to stay on the pulse of what is current. Take it all in, and from there, create a comprehensive approach that serves your tastes and preferences. Remain cognizant but do not cater to the whims of what is trendy as innovation makes the curator. After all, Peggy Guggenheim was praised for her keen eye and avant-garde aesthetic. So was Gertrude Stein!
My criteria to recognizing when an artist has “it”…
That’s a loaded question. “It” in the art world always changes, but an artist’s ability to evolve always piques attention from most tastemakers. You see a lot of younger painters today focus more on the mimetic dimension of their materials and creative application on canvas. When they are able to unify their aesthetic with a concrete focus, that is where magic happens. A tip I loved hearing from Christie’s First Open Event is that part of the reason why the sale of contemporary Asian artists’ work is booming is because they’re not as concerned with their work gaining monetary value in the future as much as their interested in their work gaining meaning in the years to come.
To stay nimble in the ever-changing art industry…
Stay on top of the blue-chip movements, but also be available to all emerging artists. When it comes to discovering and keeping afloat in the art world, it helps to be insatiable for knowledge and information as that hunger is the driving force directing deeper and meaningful inquiry. That’s not to say it’s necessary to find the next Picasso, but keeping pace with the going-ons in this field will definitely serve to your benefit.