The Art Assassin

a nonfiction novel by Albert Wang

Chapter 36: EXCLUSIVE ASSASSINATION: Edward Winkleman, Director of Winkleman Gallery

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Edward Winkleman at a table. Courtesy of Facebook.
Yevgeniy Fiks: Adopt Lenin, 2008, installation view. Courtesy of Winkleman Gallery.

Lately I had a wonderful opportunity to speak with one of the top gallery owners located in the Chelsea area. From his first show in Brooklyn to his latest show in Chelsea, Edward Winkleman has proven himself to be one of the top-notch independent curators who helps to define the trend in conceptual art, whether it be geometric patterns combined with floral patterns or a revisionist look at Lenin‘s history.

Lately he has been working on a groundbreaking handbook for art dealing as well as an upcoming surprise at the 2009 round of Miami art fairs. His touching humor and intellectual wit has allowed him to walk his own path separately from most his Chelsea counterparts.

If you have any questions about artwork at the Winkleman Gallery, feel free to contact the space at info@winkleman.com or at (212) 643-3152.

And now for the feature presentation you all been waiting for by THE ART ASSASSIN’s account of the “assassination”:

qi peng: What is a typical day at the Winkleman Gallery like?

Edward Winkleman: A GOOD DEAL OF CORRESPONDENCE PEPPERED WITH A FEW WONDERFUL CONVERSATIONS ABOUT ART. UNLESS WE’RE INSTALLING OR GETTING READY FOR AN ART FAIR, IN WHICH CASE IT’S MUCH MORE LIKE BOOT CAMP.

qi peng: What responsibilities do you have as the director and curator of the gallery?

Edward Winkleman: AS THE DIRECTOR MY MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES ARE MANAGING THE DAY-TO-DAY OPERATIONS, KEEPING THE OPERATION RUNNING SMOOTHLY, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, MAKING SALES.

AS THE “CURATOR” (AND I THINK THAT TERM IS RESERVED FOR A CERTAIN HIGHLY TRAINED PROFESSIONAL BY MANY IN THE ART WORLD, SO I’LL PUT IT IN QUOTES), MY RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE LEARNING WHAT IT IS THE ARTISTS ARE DOING SO AS TO BE ABLE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS BY THE PUBLIC OR PRESS ABOUT THEIR WORK, BALANCE THE SCHEDULE OF EXHIBITIONS SO THAT THERE’S A STRATEGY FITTING THE NEEDS OF BOTH SALES AND HOPEFULLY PRESS AS WELL AS VISITOR’S EXPECTATIONS FOR SOMETHING NEW TO THEM (WE ARE IN THAT PART OF THE ART WORLD SPECTRUM), ADD NEW ARTISTS TO THE PROGRAM TO HOPEFULLY MAKE IT RICHER AND MORE SYMBIOTIC, AND TO BE QUITE HONEST KEEP MYSELF INTERESTED AND CHALLENGED (I THINK I WORK BETTER WHEN I AM).

qi peng: Considering that you have moved the gallery from Brooklyn to Chelsea district within the  New York City area, how has your curating style and expectations changed with the environment and the audiences within each location?

Edward Winkleman: WE WERE MOSTLY COMMUNITY BASED IN BROOKLYN. 90% OF OUR EXHIBITIONS WERE WITH ARTISTS FROM BROOKLYN. IN CHELSEA WE’VE ADDED MORE ARTISTS FROM OTHER PLACES AROUND THE WORLD (EUROPE, SOUTH AMERICAN, ASIA, ETC.). MY INTEREST IN INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS GREW AS I TRAVELED MORE AS A DEALER, AND THAT JUST HAPPENED TO COINCIDE WITH OUR MOVE TO CHELSEA.

qi peng: How does the artistic environment in the Chelsea area differ than that of Florida, where the art fairs happen, and Williamsburg where you used to run Plus Ultra Gallery?

Edward Winkleman: CHELSEA IS LESS PLAYFUL THAN EITHER MIAMI OR WILLIAMSBURG.

qi peng: How would you describe your curating style and underlying philosophy and approach to how your audience and collectors respond to the artwork at Winkleman Gallery?

Edward Winkleman: I DON’T THINK I HAVE A ‘CURATING’ STYLE ACTUALLY. I’M NOT A TRAINED CURATOR (EVEN THOUGH I’VE USED THE MONIKER AS A HANDY SHORT-HAND IN THE PAST). SORRY TO BE SO CAREFUL ABOUT THAT TERMINOLOGY, BUT THERE IS AN ONGOING DEBATE ABOUT IT I WANT TO BE SURE TO ACKNOWLEDGE. AS THE DIRECTOR WHO CHOOSES THE ARTISTS AND THE EXHIBITIONS, THOUGH, I’D SAY MY PHILOSOPHY AND APPROACH IS DETERMINED 90% BY A DIALOG WITH THE ARTISTS (I EXHIBIT WHAT INTERESTS AND EXCITES ME) AND 10% BY WHAT I THINK THE AUDIENCE OR COLLECTORS’ INTERESTS ARE. WE WORK TO FIND COLLECTORS FOR OUR ARTISTS, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.

qi peng: Do you believe that art must serve as a counterpoint to the stereotypes and hackneyed ideas that the everyday media presents?

Edward Winkleman: I DON’T EVER USE THE WORD ‘MUST’ WITH ART. ART WILL DO (OR FAIL TO DO) A WHOLE RANGE OF THINGS, NONE OF WHICH ARE “ESSENTIAL” IN THAT RESPECT TO ANY AGENDA IN MY OPINION.

qi peng: What is the controversial or provocative exhibition that you have presented and how did the audience respond to the show?

Edward Winkleman: OUR FIRST EXHIBITION WAS SOMEWHAT PROVOCATIVE IN THAT IT DEALT WITH SLEEZE CULTURE (AND INCLUDED HIGHLY EROTIC IMAGES), BUT THE MOST CONTOVERSIAL EXHIBITION WE’VE EVER HAD…HMMM…I’M NOT SURE. WE DON’T REALLY SET OUT TO BE CONTROVERSIAL. I’VE NEVER RECEIVED COMPLAINTS OR HAD PROTESTORS OUTSIDE THE GALLERY, SO I DON’T FEEL THIS REALLY APPLIES TO US.

qi peng: What sort of music do you enjoy playing during gallery hours and artists’ opening receptions?

Edward Winkleman: WE DON’T PLAY MUSIC UNTO ITSELF AT OPENINGS OR DURING GALLERY HOURS. WE’VE HAD MUSIC THAT WAS PART OF A PIECE OR INSTALLATION THOUGH, BUT THAT WAS ALWAYS DETERMINED BY THE ARTIST.

qi peng: How does it create a mood for visitors and collectors to enjoy the work on the walls?

Edward Winkleman: SEE ABOVE.

qi peng: How do the festive parties for each new show help to elicit the proper mood for people wanting to view and purchase artwork?

Edward Winkleman: WE GET TWO GROUPS OF VISTORS AT OPENINGS…THOSE WISHING TO SIMPLY CELEBRATE WITH THE ARTISTS, AND THOSE WISHING TO LOOK WITH AN EYE TOWARD BUYING (HOPEFULLY). WE CREATE A FESTIVE ATMOSPHERE MOSTLY FOR THE FIRST GROUP, AS I WORK BEST IN SELLING WORK IN QUIETER ONE-ON-ONE SITUATIONS, BUT IF IT HELPS A POTENTIAL COLLECTOR TO RELAX AND FALL IN LOVE WITH A WORK, I SAY “PARTY AWAY.”

qi peng: Your first show about the Disneyfication of New York City received critical acclaim on what has become a rather heated political topic in context of the current Iraq war, cultural imperialism abroad by the Bush administration, and globalization/protests at G8 summits. Would you consider doing an update to this first show and how would things have changed since that early exhibition?

Edward Winkleman: THE FIRST SHOW WAS MORE ABOUT HOW THE MAYOR OF NEW YORK HAD MADE IT LESS INTERESTING BY DISNEYFYING IT…THERE WAS NO POLITICAL CONTEXT BEYOND THAT REALLY (THAT WAS PRE-9/11 MIND YOU). WHETHER A NEW LOOK AT THAT MAKES SENSE NOW OR NOT IS A GOOD QUESTION THOUGH…I’LL GIVE IT SOME MORE THOUGHT…THANKS!

qi peng: With the recent downturn in the American economy, have you seen any changes in how the galleries been able to interact with their audience?

Edward Winkleman: SURE. AFTER PARTIES ARE LESS EXTRAVAGANT, ADVERTISING (ONE MEANS OF INTERACTING WITH AN AUDIENCE) HAS NOTICEABLY DECREASED, GALLERIES ARE DOING FEWER FAIRS, ETC.

qi peng: Can galleries afford to take a risk in curating riskier exhibitions during this period?

Edward Winkleman: I THINK IT’S A MATTER OF PERSONAL STRATEGY. SOME GALLERIES ARE DEFINITELY TAKING BIGGER RISKS IN WHAT I CALL THE “NO GUTS, NO GLORY” RESPONSE TO THE DOWNTURN. WHETHER THAT PAYS OFF FOR THEM OR NOT REMAINS TO BE SEEN PERHAPS, BUT I RESPECT THAT APPROACH.

qi peng: Are you seeing collectors’ habits change within the Chelsea area as the banking and other financial sectors are suffering from various problems such as foreclosures?

Edward Winkleman: YES. COLLECTORS ARE TAKING THEIR TIME MUCH MORE NOW THAN A FEW YEARS BACK. I THINK THERE WAS A CERTAIN TYPE OF COLLECTOR OFFENDED BY ALL THE HOOPLA WHO IS RE-ENTERING THE MARKET, OTHERS WHO WERE JUST SPECULATING WHO ARE FLEEING AS FAST AS THEY CAN, AND STILL OTHERS JUST WAITING FOR THE DUST TO CLEAR TO RESTART COLLECTING.

qi peng: What is your favorite online resources, blog, and art magazines or journals for checking out the latest art news scoop and inside information?

Edward Winkleman: I DAILY CHECK A DOZEN OR SO SITES, NONE OF WHICH I’LL LIST SO AS TO NOT OFFEND THOSE I ONLY CHECK WEEKLY. I SUSPECT THAT’S FAIRLY TYPICAL. I WILL NOTE I READ THE NYTIMES, ARTINFO, ARTNET, THE ART NEWSPAPER, ARTFORUM, AND NOW ART IN AMERICA RELIGIOUSLY THOUGH.

qi peng: Do you have any favorite or humorous stories from Winkleman Gallery you wish to share with your fans and column readers here?

Edward Winkleman: HMMMM…I THINK I SHARE THEM MORE OR LESS AS THEY HAPPEN ON THE BLOG, ACTUALLY. PERHAPS THE FUNNIEST THING TO HAPPEN IN THE GALLERY IN A LONG TIME WAS WHEN A HIGH-PROFILE CRITIC WHO CAME TO OUR OPENING OF WORK BY CHRISTOPHER K. HO RECOGNIZED THE NAKED STATUE AS ONE OF ME, BLUSHED, TURNED AWAY ONLY TO LOOK STRAIGHT AT ME, BLUSHED EVEN MORE, AND THEN QUICKLY MADE HER WAY OUT OF THE GALLERY.

qi peng: What are some hobbies that you enjoy outside of your work in the gallery?

Edward Winkleman: I LOVE TO TRAVEL. I LOVE TO DEBATE POLITICS. I ENJOY A BIT OF GAMBLING IN ATLANTIC CITY OR LAS VEGAS. I LOVE THE HAMPTONS. I USED TO READ A LOT BEFORE I STARTED WRITING SO MUCH (NOT SURE HOW OTHER PEOPLE MANAGE TO READ AT ALL THESE DAYS TO BE HONEST). I LIKE SCOTCH.

qi peng: How does your gallery and your respected art blog interact with its audience in the internet world?

Edward Winkleman: NOT SURE I UNDERSTAND YOUR QUESTION EXACTLY, BUT I THINK BOTH THE GALLERY AND THE BLOG REFLECT A SINCERE INTEREST IN OPENING UP A DIALOG ABOUT ART.

qi peng: How do your collectors and patrons react to your ability to interact with people online with a direct and more open manner than most of the other galleries (Jen Bekman has similar interaction with her gallery patrons too…)

Edward Winkleman: MANY OF OUR COLLECTORS READ THE BLOG AND TELL ME THEY ENJOY IT. MORE AND MORE THEY’LL RECOMMEND TOPICS, WHICH I LOVE.

qi peng: Do you feel that selling artwork will be more aligned with Internet-based sales or the white-box gallery physical setting during the future?

Edward Winkleman: HARD TO SAY…GUESS IT DEPENDS ON WHAT KIND OF ART YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT. SCULPTURE WILL NOT VERY LIKELY GET MUCH MILEAGE OUT OF THE INTERNET, BUT PHOTOGRAPHY, VIDEO, PAINTINGS (MORE AND MORE) ETC WILL VERY LIKELY BE SOLD FROM JPEGS WITH INCREASING FREQUENCY, YES.

qi peng: You founded the original version of the gallery with Joshua Stern, who was an artist back in 2001. Who was your former partner and what was it like to have direct input from an artist to a curator such as yourself?

Edward Winkleman: JOSH SHOWS WITH PARKER’S BOX IN WILLIAMSBURG; HE’S BRILLIANT TO TALK WITH ABOUT ART. OUR CONVERSATIONS WERE ALWAYS VERY INFORMATIVE AND USUALLY VERY ENTERTAINING. I MISS THAT ABOUT WORKING WITH HIM.

qi peng: What do people in the art world think about artists who run galleries, whether they be artists’ cooperatives, non-profits, or commercial spaces?

Edward Winkleman: I SUSPECT MOST PEOPLE FEEL THAT ARTISTS WHO RUN GALLERIES ARE RUNNING ON BORROWED TIME…THAT EVENTUALLY THEY’LL HAVE TO CHOOSE ONE OR THE OTHER TO GO VERY FAR. I ONLY KNOW A FEW DEALERS WHO CONTINUE TO HAVE A STRONG STUDIO PRACTICE AND EVEN THEY WILL ADMIT THEY CAN ONLY DO SO BECAUSE THEY NEVER SLEEP.

qi peng: Do you have any advice for up and coming BFA and MFA graduates who are graduating from art school and are starting to hunt for galleries to show their artwork?

Edward Winkleman: YES. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. LEARN WHERE, IF AT ALL, YOUR WORK FITS INTO THE COMMERCIAL SIDE OF THINGS AND FOCUS YOUR ENGERIES ON MEETING THE ARTISTS, CURATORS, DEALERS, WRITERS, AND COLLECTORS INTERESTED IN THE SAME THINGS YOU ARE.

qi peng: Do you think that there are too many talented artists within the system than what the top galleries especially in Chelsea can handle?

Edward Winkleman: I DON’T KNOW. IMPLICIT IN THE NOTION OF “TALENTED ARTISTS,” TO MY MIND, IS THAT THE PUBLIC SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THEIR WORK, SO I WOULD HOPE THE VENUES (WHETHER COMMERCIAL OR NOT) IN WHICH THE PUBLIC CAN SEE THEIR WORK WOULD GROW TO ACCOMODATE ALL THE TALENT OUT THERE.

qi peng: With the recent closures of so many galleries within the New York art world such as Rivington Arms and Roebling Hall, what trends are you seeing within the galleries and how they are presenting their work to the public?

Edward Winkleman: I DON’T THINK THE RECENT CLOSINGS HAVE HAD ENOUGH TIME PASS TO REVEAL ANY TRENDS. CAN WE REVISIT THIS QUESTION IN A YEAR?

qi peng: Do you see any trends within the established museums such as MOMA and Whitney in how they are dealing with the recession?

Edward Winkleman: AGAIN, KIND OF TOO SOON TO SAY OTHER THAN THE FACT THAT THEY’RE CUTTING BACK ON TRAVEL AND OTHER OVERHEAD (AND THE WHOLE UNFORTUNATE WAY THE ROSE MUSEUM ISSUE HAS UNFOLDED… I HOPE THAT’S NOT A TREND).

qi peng: What is your opinion about online curated galleries such as Collegeartonline (CAO) or Ugallery?

Edward Winkleman: I LIKE THE FOLKS RUNNING UGALLERY… THEY SEEM SMART AND SINCERE. I’M NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE COLLEGEARTONLINE FOLKS THOUGH. IN GENERAL, I THINK THE MORE THE MERRIER (INCREASE THE MARKET, BY ALL MEANS). MY PREVIOUS THOUGHTS ON WHAT KIND OF WORK IS WELL SUITED TO BE SOLD OVER THE INTERNET APPLIES HERE TOO THOUGH.

qi peng: In what ways is their exhibition style different than that of your gallery’s program?

Edward Winkleman: WE’RE WORKING IN THREE DIMENSIONS.

qi peng: Any opinion on online artists registries, which feature so many artists there, such as White Columns or The Drawing Center?

Edward Winkleman: LOVE THEM. GREAT FOR ARTISTS, GREAT FOR CURATORS, GREAT FOR ART.

qi peng: Any opinion on juried competitions such as New American Paintings or the Chelsea competition hosted by Agora Gallery?

Edward Winkleman: NOT A BIG FAN OF COMPETITIONS. JURIED BIENNIALS WITH A CLEAR FOCUS (LIKE, FULL DISCLOSURE, THE ONE I RECENTLY JURIED IN SYRACUSE) SERVE A REGIONAL PURPOSE AND ARE A GOOD WAY FOR AN INSTITUTION TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY OF ARTISTS THAT SUPPORT THEM, BUT IN GENERAL I THINK JURIED COMPETITIONS ARE NOT SOMETHING ARTISTS WHO WISH TO SHOW WITH A GALLERY WANT TO HAVE TOO MANY OF ON THEIR RESUMES.

qi peng: Which method is most important for a starting artist to get validation for the work that they execute?

Edward Winkleman: “VALIDATION?”… REMINDS ME OF A SMITHS’ LYRIC. THE MOST IMPORTANT VENUE IS THE ONE THAT OPENS THE MOST DOORS. CREDIBILITY IS IMPORTANT TO A POINT, BUT REACHING PEOPLE WHO WILL UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE DOING IS MORE IMPORTANT.

qi peng: What is your opinion on art fairs and its seemingly more commercial and less conceptual presentation of artwork as compared to that of more traditional exhibitions, especially during the past ten years?

Edward Winkleman: ART FAIRS ARE TRADE SHOWS. HOWEVER, IF YOU’RE SELLING CONCEPTUAL ART, YOU STILL HAVE TO PRESENT IT IN A WAY THAT RESPECTS/WELL REFLECTS THE ARTIST, EVEN IN A TRADE SHOW. I HAVE SEEN INCREDIBLY “CONCEPTUAL” PRESENTATIONS AT ART FAIRS…BUT I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN. MOST OF THE TIME THE CHAOS AND CIRCUS LIKE ATMOSPHERE WILL DETRACT FROM AN EXPERIENCE THE LIKES OF WHICH YOU CAN CREATE IN A GALLERY. THERE’S A PLACE FOR BOTH, I FEEL.

qi peng: Is it possible to present artwork now in a challenging manner within the Miami warehouse spaces and question the status quo?

Edward Winkleman: I’M NOT AS FOCUSED ON QUESTIONING THE STATUS QUO AS YOU ARE, ACTUALLY, BUT I DO FEEL YOU CAN PRESENT CHALLENGING WORK IN MIAMI, YES. MICHELLE MACCARONE DOES IT EVERY YEAR, TO NAME BUT ONE EXAMPLE.

qi peng: What elements of the curator’s playfulness can enter into the domain of the Miami art fairs?

Edward Winkleman: TOO LONG A DISCUSSION FOR THE TIME I HAVE, I’M AFRAID.

qi peng: Do you think that the style and presentation of artwork of art fairs will change as the recession is underway?

Edward Winkleman: YES…I SUSPECT BOOTHS WILL BE MORE SERIOUS TO REFLECT THE PUBLIC’S MOOD.

qi peng: Or will they continue to act as a venue for “art merchandising?”

Edward Winkleman: THEY’LL DO BOTH.

qi peng: On a lighter note, do you have any favorite restaurants, hangouts, or cool places around New York City, including Manhattan and Williamsburg, that you would like to recommend to fans of your gallery?

Edward Winkleman: WE LIKE DIVE BARS, STEAK FRITES IN SOHO, PEPE GIALLO IN CHELSEA, TEDDY’S IN WILLIAMSBURG… YOUR STANDARDS, REALLY. OUR FAVORITE HANGOUT IS OUR APARTMENT.

qi peng: What do you like best about the places that you have chosen?

Edward Winkleman: THEIR Gemütlichkeit.

qi peng: How do you think that the new media, ranging from video art to Internet-based projects, will impact people’s appreciation of painting and photography and sculpture, more traditional and established media, which are interacting with each other in terms of visual motifs and archetypes?

Edward Winkleman: PEOPLE WILL GRAVITATE TO WHAT SPEAKS TO THEM, INDEPENDENT OF MEDIA, FOR THE MOST PART I SUSPECT.

qi peng: Do you feel that as people interact with new media, they will be able to critique the cliches of mainstream media and have a profound understanding of what humanity is and will become?

Edward Winkleman: AGAIN, I’M NOT CONVINCED ART PLAYS THAT ROLE AS A RULE.

qi peng: Apart from contemporary art, are there any other types of art from earlier movements that you enjoy?

Edward Winkleman: LOVE, LOVE, LOVE LATE MODERNISM. LATE 1940’S PALETTES AND LINES ARE SO ROMANTIC TO ME. THEY’VE AGED SO GORGEOUSLY. MY GUILTY PLEASURE.

qi peng: What are some highlighted pieces from your personal collection that you wish to share with your readers?

Edward Winkleman: MY PIECES BY MY ARTISTS ARE FAVES, OF COURSE, AS IS MY PICASSO ENGRAVING, MY ROUAULT ETCHINGS, (YOU’LL SEE THE CONNECTION WITH MY PREVIOUS STATEMENT), AND BAMBINO AND I COLLECT ONE PIECE OF OUTSIDER ART IN EACH CITY WE VISIT, SO THOSE PIECES ARE PRICELESS TO US.

qi peng: How does your experience and wide-ranging knowledge of art history enhance your ability to find new pieces or artists that will have an impact in defining the arc of the future of artistic directions?

Edward Winkleman: THERE’S A GREAT DEAL OF ASSUMPTION ABOUT MY EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE IN THAT. WHILE IT’S FLATTERING, IT’S NOT ACCURATE. I DID STUDY ART HISTORY IN COLLEGE, BUT MY DEGREE IS IN COMMUNICATIONS, NOT ART HISTORY. WHAT I KNOW OF ART HISTORY IS 80% SELF-LEARNED. HOW THAT IMPACTS MY CHOICES IS CONSTANTLY EVOLVING…EVERYTHING AROUND ME, FROM COMMENTS ON THE BLOG, TO WHAT I SEE IN MUSEUMS IN OTHER COUNTRIES, TO WHAT I LEARN TALKING WITH STRANGERS INFLUENCES MY CHOICES.

qi peng: With the inception of Compound Editions, which focuses on collaboration within the art world, whether it be between galleries such as your gallery and Schroeder/Romero Gallery or between artists such as Jennifer Dalton and William Powhida, what does the term “collaborative fine art multiples publishing venue” mean?

Edward Winkleman: THE COLLABORATION BETWEEN TWO GALLERIES, WITH A FOCUS ON EDITIONS THAT ARE COLLABORATIONS BETWEEN TWO OR MORE ARTISTS.

qi peng: The series “Our Condolences, Volume 1” seems to be an example of institutional critique. Is the tone mock heroic, serious, empathetic, mourning, or just plain ironic?

Edward Winkleman: I FEEL THE TONE IS DARKLY HUMOROUS (IN THE TRADITION OF M*A*S*H PERHAPS), AS A CATHARTIC WAY OF DEALING WITH THE WORLD ECONOMY.

qi peng: How do artists who have lost gallery representation or gallery directors who had to close down their spaces react to these explosive pieces?

Edward Winkleman: I SUSPECT THEY STING FOR SOME AND MAKE OTHERS LAUGH, WHICH IS WHY I THINK THEY’RE A GIFT. THE TRUTH CAN HURT, BUT IT CAN ALSO HELP YOU PUT THINGS INTO PERSPECTIVE.

qi peng: What is the story behind discovering such talented and brilliant artists such Jennifer Dalton, Ivin Ballen, and The Chadwicks, a few examples of artists on your roster who grew in reputation and respect through the gallery?

Edward Winkleman: THANKS FOR THE FLATTERING DESCRIPTIONS. I FEEL EACH OF THOSE ARTISTS WOULD FLOURISH IN ANY GALLERY, BUT I’LL ACCEPT THE COMPLIMENT. EACH CAME TO OUR ATTENTION THROUGH NETWORKING. AGAIN, IT’S VITAL THAT ARTISTS DO THEIR HOMEWORK AND GRAVITATE TOWARD THOSE WITH SIMILAR INTERESTS TO MAKE HEADWAY IN FINDING A GALLERY.

qi peng: With such an broad focus on fairly conceptual art, how does your gallery programming differ from the other galleries which can tend towards a monolithic approach to their programming?

Edward Winkleman: I GET CONFLICTING FEEDBACK ON WHETHER WE ARE INDEED THAT BROAD. IN FACT WE WERE RECENTLY DESCRIBED AS “ASTONISHINGLY CONSISTENT.” I HAVEN’T SPENT ANY TIME THINKING ABOUT HOW WE DIFFER BASED ON OUR APPROACH, I SIMPLY THINK WE’RE TRYING TO PROMOTE WORK WE LOVE AND THE REASON WE LOVE IT IS RELATED TO MY PERSONAL INTEREST IN CONCEPTUAL WORK THAT’S RE-EMBRACING FORMAL CONCERNS. HAVING SAID THAT, I FEEL WE COVER A GOOD DEAL OF GROUND WITHIN THAT NARROW FOCUS, BUT WHETHER THAT’S “BROAD” OR NOT IS SOMETHING I’VE BEEN TOLD I’M TOO CLOSE TO BE A GOOD JUDGE OF.

qi peng: How do you feel that the American contemporary art world be placed in the context of the international network today?

Edward Winkleman: IT’S ONE SLIVER OF AN INCREASINGLY INTERCONNECTED DIALOG.

qi peng: What do you think are the dominant issues and subjects within contemporary art at the moment?

Edward Winkleman: THE RESOLUTION OF CONCEPTUAL VS. FORMAL ABSOLUTISM. COLLABORATION AS A MEDIUM. POST-ART FUNCTIONALITY AND/OR EGALITARIANISM. REVISIONISM EXPOSED. ETC.

qi peng: How do these subjects and themes differ from the focus of artists ten years ago?

Edward Winkleman: I THINK TEN YEARS AGO THE ARTISTS I WAS FOLLOWING MOST CLOSELY WERE DEALING WITH ISSUES OF PROCESSING AN OVERWHEMLING AMOUNT OF INFORMATION. TODAY ARTISTS SEEMED TO HAVE MADE PEACE WITH OR LEARNED TO IGNORE THAT IRRITANT (PERHAPS JUST ANOTHER STAGE OF ENLIGHTENED FALSE CONSCIOUSNESS).

qi peng: Do you envision any new subjects that may pop up within the next ten years? If so, what would those be?

Edward Winkleman: I SUSPECT THE POST-ART ISSUE WILL GAIN STEAM AS A THEME, BUT SUBJECTS WILL LIKELY CONTINUE TO EXPLORE ANIMALS (DEER WILL GIVE WAY TO MUSKRATS, PERHAPS… JUST KIDDING), HUMAN FLESH, FOOD, AND LANDSCAPES…YOU KNOW, THE ESSENTIALS.

qi peng: What were some of the highlights of the pieces that you featured during the 2009 Pulse New York Art Fair?

Edward Winkleman: WE FEATURED FOUR ARTISTS…IVIN BALLEN, JOY GARNETT, YEVGENIY FIKS, AND EVE SUSSMAN. WE GAVE EACH ARTIST A WALL. WE LOVED OUR BOOTH IN PULSE THIS YEAR.

qi peng: What was the cohesive vision behind the choices that you presented this year?

Edward Winkleman: VISION: PROVIDE AS MUCH CONTEXT AS I COULD, REVEAL A BIT ABOUT PROCESS (ALL EXPECT IVIN, WHOSE WORK ALWAYS SPARKS DISCUSSION ABOUT PROCESS ANY WAY), AND DENSITY.

qi peng: Any potential surprises for the Miami art fair later on this year?

Edward Winkleman: SOLO BOOTH, I THINK.

qi peng: What are going to be some of the most important trends amongst collectors during the next few years?

Edward Winkleman: THEY’LL SLOW DOWN AND ASK MORE QUESTIONS. THEY’LL TAKE THEY TIME BUYING AND ASK FOR BIGGER DISCOUNTS. NO, WAIT, THAT’S THIS YEAR.

qi peng: What is your assessment of the growing art market in non-American and non-European markets such as China, Russia, and even India where contemporary art is becoming a larger part of their culture?

Edward Winkleman: THE BIGGER THE MARKET, THE BETTER FOR EVERYONE.

qi peng: Before we embark on the last question, thanks very much for your time. Is there anything else that you wish to share with readers, fans, and patrons of Winkleman Gallery?

Edward Winkleman: STOP IN AND SEE US NOW AND AGAIN. WE’LL TAKE IT FROM THERE ONCE YOU’RE HERE. THANKS QI!!!

For more gossip or dishing me the art scoop: E-mail me at qipengart@gmail.com
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Written by qi peng

May 12, 2009 at 2:16 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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