News of faculty

28 Jan 2013

«The gallery is an image of its creator»

Gallery XL is one of the oldest, most influential and best known modern art galleries in Moscow, the main purpose of which, according to its founder, is «to predict the developing trends and to influence the formation of the new directions in the contemporary art». In the early days of November, Elena gave a lecture to the students of the «Art management and gallery business» RMA program.

«First of all, I would like to point out, that there is two principally different approaches in how to organize a gallery business. There are galleries that are geared toward sales, whereby every exhibition, in essence, is a showing of works that are available for immediate purchase. The second kind - is an "statement" gallery, where the exhibited works represent the statement of each respective artist, however the sales are done strictly out of the museum's storeroom. Both strategies have solid merits, however, I for myself have chosen the latter one. For me, the gallery - represents three quintessential elements: freedom, interest and involvement with the context, and the least exciting - making of a profit. Another important aspect that needs to be understood - galleries don't come about simply on their own. First there were the artists. Only then came the galleries, which have pushed the works of artists' further into the public sphere. Therefore, the key to understanding of gallery business practice of the 90's lies in the fact that the gallerists have tried to chase the artists of the 80's which then have just begun to come out from the underground», – began her presentation Elena Selina.

«All of us - the first gallerists, were true idealists with a well developed sense of intuition, and, as in my case, also with a strong desire to go about business the different way. The "idea" was essential to us, we all worried about sending the right message. That is why, when XL had finally opened up, the gallery business had already been developed enough, to immediately force us to begin the search for our own very niche. Around that time, Moscow had just begun it's reflection on the issues surrounding bodily physique, and so we have decided to organize an exhibition that would preempt that forming trend. It is exactly since then, that we have incumbent unto ourselves to predict and provoke the development of the new trends in the modern art. In the 90's, almost every local Moscow artist have at one point or another gone through my gallery. And I myself, approached it as a magazine: almost every exhibition had been accompanied by a catalog or booklet with my texts, reviews by the guest artists and different art critics. Also, the drama element of the exhibition played particularly important role for me. It was definitely very exciting, yet highly demanding and stressful process, that required the best of our experience and concentration.

As to the present times, I believe it is definitely of great value when the gallery is run by a nice looking girl, that knows how to communicate with clients, maintains active social lifestyle, and knows how to sell art. And if any of you might wish to have a gallery such as mine, where the priority is placed on the artistic expression, then you should definitely prepare yourself to face the risks and complications. After all, gallery - is an image of it's own maker. And the gallery business itself, is strictly for those with a strong sense of identity. Every 5 years you end up changing, and invariably so does your gallery».

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