Gagosian is the latest cultural institution that is recalibrating its business strategy to expand digital offerings amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic.
As exhibitions and art fairs are migrating online, the mega-gallery has announced “Artist Spotlight” to invite individual artists to use its online channels as an open platform.
Gagosian will highlight one artist each week and present a single artwork along with pricing information on the gallery’s website for a 48-hour period.
Artworks will be complemented by a wealth of editorial features providing insights into each artist’s creative process. Among them are videos, interviews and essays, as well as personal playlists, book and film recommendations.
The multifaceted program will launch on April 8 with New York-based artist Sarah Sze, whose latest exhibition at Gagosian, Paris, never opened “in the interest of public health” amid the global spread of COVID-19.
The presentation notably marked Sze’s first solo exhibition in the French capital since her self-titled survey at the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain more than two decades ago.
While her artworks wait in galleries temporarily closed to the public, Gagosian has collaborated closely with Sze to bring her art and her ideas in many forms to a global audience online.
“I was literally getting on a plane to go to Paris, all my work was there for the show I was working on for 14 months right before Trump made the announcement that there was no travel. I had to shift, and learn how to build a virtual detailed picture for a global audience,” Sze recently told Forbes.
Additional artists to be featured in “Artist Spotlight” include Stanley Whitney, Jennifer Guidi, Roe Ethridge, Titus Kaphar, Katharina Grosse, Theaster Gates, Dan Colen, Urs Fischer, Mark Grotjahn, Mary Weatherford, Rudolf Polanszky, Damien Hirst and Jenny Saville.
“Artists work for years to produce bodies of work and prepare for exhibitions, and when every gallery and museum in the world has to close, the disappointment touches everyone: the public, curators and critics, art handlers, shippers, clients. But it’s especially hard for artists, and this pause on exhibitions is unprecedented,” Larry Gagosian said of “Artist Spotlight” in a statement.
“We discussed presenting our scheduled exhibitions online, but that is not how they were conceived. We needed a solution that didn’t require our artists to make that compromise. So that is the challenge for us — you innovate and keep your resources and strategies flexible to support your artists when your doors have to temporarily close to a volatile world,” he added.
In addition to launching “Artist Spotlight,” Gagosian is planning on opening several viewing rooms in the coming months.
In a similar effort, David Zwirner invited 12 independent New York-based galleries to use its online viewing room as part of the newly-launched “Platform: New York” initiative.
Participating galleries are offered to put forth two works by a single artist that they are currently representing, many of whom have seen their spring shows canceled in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
A London edition of the “Platform” initiative will be announced at a yet-unknown date this April.