As museums and galleries open to eager viewers, I took the easy way out and have only ventured to walking distance galleries. Luckily, this limited geography includes four stellar downtown shows. Two are young women having their first NYC solo shows, and the other pair is from veteran art superstars. All provided much needed divine distraction in these troubling times.
I asked Harry Tenzer, who just conducted a blockbuster sale of Keith Haring’s personal art collection at Sotheby’s to give me his take on the current NYC art world. “Virtually every commercial and academic art institution has undergone an enormous shift due to the economic and physical constraints caused by COVID. While there will no doubt be some immeasurable losses, this is also a moment of unbridled innovation and collaboration. Art institutions have often adhered to very traditional methods, even when attempting to present the most cutting edge artwork. I see artists, galleries, auction houses and museums working together in ways that were unimaginable before March. I see an acceptance of online sale and exhibition platforms, making art more widely accessible. I hope that one of the positive legacies of this turbulent moment will be a permanent rethinking of many 20th century methodologies and a new way of both showcasing and selling art. It’s already happening!” (Harrison Tenzer, VP, Head of Contemporary Art Online Sales, Sotheby’s)