Call for Papers | Exhibiting Art for Sale: The Commercial Gallery Space

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on May 31, 2014

As posted at H-ArtHist (click the link for the German version). . . 

Exhibiting Art for Sale: The Commercial Gallery Space from the 18th Century to the Present
Technische Universität Berlin, 29 November 2014

Proposals due by 10 July 2014

Those who exhibit art for sale will carefully consider the manner in which the objects are presented. Many such concepts are based on the evocation of a historic context: dealers in old master paintings, for instance, tend to show their selection in period frames and with furniture which stems from the same epoch as the exhibits. Galleries of contemporary art, on the other hand, often present their shows in so-called white cubes, futuristic spaces that avoid all periodization, thus suggesting the timeless appeal of the art they offer for sale. Other galleries again choose to dramatize their setting with unexpected, contrasting combinations of objects originating from different periods and a variety of regions.

The commercial gallery thus provides a space where the significance of art is set in complex relation to its market value. This rarely considered subject will be explored by the 3rd Workshop of the Forum Art and Market, TU Berlin. By investigating the strategies of cooperating and competing agents, this conference not only aims to reveal modes of presentation typical for specific periods; it also seeks to address the changing concepts of selling exhibitions as a reflection of the art market’s history from the 18th century to the present day.

Proposals for contributions may for instance address the following aspects:
• the presentations of objects and the design of selling exhibitions (frames and bases, lighting, furniture, wall colours and covering, arrangement of exhibits, the size of spaces and their succession, show cases, shop windows, etc.) in art galleries, auction houses, academies, art fairs, museums and exhibition spaces managed by art associations
• the (changing) purposes of exhibitions in the art trade (such as providing information, education and pleasure, adding value, enabling pricing and sales) and the visitors they address
• the marketing and reception of such presentations in word and image (catalogues, advertisements, published reviews, artists’ notes, correspondence, etc.), also in comparison with non-commercial art exhibitions

Conference languages are German and English. Please send proposals (maximum 2000 characters), and a brief curriculum by 10 July 2014 to: exhibitingartforsale@gmail.com. Additional information on the conference cycle of the Forum Art and Market and its annual workshops may be found here.

Convenors: Dorothee Wimmer, Johannes Nathan, and Bénédicte Savoy, assisted by Lukas Fuchsgruber

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