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15.01.2009 - 07.02.2009

11 Church Street NW8 8EE London

�?There is nothing considered more harmful for the status of dealers and reputation of artists than ostentatious price decreases.�? O. Velthuis in ‘Talking prices’
The once common practice in the art world of equating the sale price of a work of art with its artistic value or historical importance established by scholarly appraisal has in most parts been replaced by the market price as an indicator. Rising prices have become more important than rising profiles.
Pushing the commercialisation of the art world to an extreme, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art is delighted to present Sale, a group show where all works for sale will be sold at half price.
The concept of Sale provoked broad discussions amongst the gallery artists, who were all invited to participate. Sale cuts right into a sensitive area of the collaboration between galleries and artists. The gallery’s claim to present a high quality and significant contemporary program is often eclipsed by the need to sell to maintain the business and be able to show more challenging artistic positions.
In the context of the current financial crisis Sale questions the current value of art works in general. It tackles the taboo of gallery prices as untouchable and of discounts as harmful to the reputation though they are standard practice in artist’s studios or sales to museums and important collectors.
Sale in part documents the difficulty of its own concept. Statements, counterproposals and critical remarks by the artists will be displayed alongside the works for sale. Art works specifically realized to comment on the concept will be exhibited, such as the ironic work ‘Copy of a work sold to another artist from the same gallery by an anonymous gallery artist’ or the bond issued by recent Slade graduate Michael Tuck which can be purchased as a certificate and redeemed in 2015 for a painting, sculpture or other work.
Parts of the show will display the works chosen by the artists that accepted to participate in the sale. Only these works and only for the period of the exhibition will they be sold at a 50% discount.
Sale is supposed to be provocative and ridicule the commerce-driven snobbism of the art world. At the same time it aims to address issues and taboos about the commercial value of art nowadays.
In the setting of the global financial meltdown is decreasing prices for art works unthinkable for galleries or should they adjust the prices like the auction houses do? Will people feel encouraged to buy art at a discount or will it make them suspicious of the authenticity or artistic value of the art works for sale? Is the gallery just getting rid of the stock they cannot sell at their usual price level? Will the gallery artists discount their prices as well or will the remaining 50% go straight to the artist?
Is making art more affordable going to make it more accessible?
Sale is rather a sociological experiment than a curatorial project. Patrick Heide Contemporary Art as a gallery has always had a moderate price policy detached from market demand.
Sale includes works by Thomas Ruff, Noboyushi Araki, Matthias Weischer, Hans Kotter, Andy Harper, Sharon Louden, Nicola Rae, Yuliya Lanina, Kate MccGwire, Varvara Shavrova, Karoly Keserü and many others.
Sale is curated by free-lance curator Martina Fortuni who has been working with the gallery since finishing her MA in Contemporary Art Theory at Goldsmiths College in London in 2007.

...Overview 2009