Time is short today, so I have time for just a brief synopsis of the Affordable Art Fair. First of all, if you’ve never been and were skeptical of it, it’s not as bad as you would think. There’s definitely a higher percentage of crap relative to the other fairs, but it’s sort of like visiting Scope for that reason. Imagine Scope, but in a cleaner space, and replace Clusterfuck with a few sleazy dealers – that’s the AAF.
Undoubtedly the highlight of yesterdays evening arrived while asking a dealer the title of this Brice Marden suite of prints.
I couldn’t remember the number of prints in the series, which was the impetus for the question. The dealer not only answered my query, but added “But this is the best one”. A response such as this is just about the smarmiest response a gallerist could give, and I will tell you why. One, it isn’t true. Marden made those prints to be shown together – one is not better than another, one is incomplete without the other eleven. What he probably meant was that this was the most worked up of the twelve, and this is a different thing (though admittedly price is often determined this way). Two, in telling me this, he assumes that I don’t have knowledge of the Marden print market (which I do). Unlike, say, a Theibaud print, from the portfolio of Delights, (portfolio tends to be used rather loosely among dealers since these prints originally came from a book, which is why they are more valuable sold individually), these Marden prints do not retain their value as a broken set. Now, I don’t expect a dealer to tell me this, but it is one thing for it not to come up, and it is quite another to place a value judgment on something that I know is inaccurate. Why would I want to work with someone who either knows less than me about the work or borders on dishonest.
Unfortunately, I am going to have to cut this post short due to such things as bus schedules, but as always, I will be back Monday to dutifully report on some art something or other.