You gotta love a gallery that goes out with a good rant. Am not sure if I've ever set foot inside Envoy Enterprises (87 Rivington Street, Ground Floor, New York, NY 10002) but I've received their press releases for a few years. Here's the final one:
envoy enterprises closing its gallery space
As of August 4th, envoy enterprises will close its gallery space.
While e.e. will continue to exist, the time has come to take a step back and change the formula.
The reason for my decision is simple.... it is not fun anymore.
In my opinion the art industry has developed into an uninteresting, boring entity.
I have no interest in mimicking innovation. I have no interest in any kind of short-termism and I do not wish to be a part of an art industry in which a four leaf clover gets stripped of its extra leaf to make it fit into the standard idea of a clover.
I have no interest in being part of an art industry where eyes have been replaced by dollar signs; an eagerness to experience and learn replaced by hiring personal shoppers; and ambition, which once used to push the quality of art, reduced to a hunger for being listed in whatever top ten du jour.
On top of that, I find the continuous focus on 'art fairs' incomprehensible and its vulgarity staggering.
Is there really any one out there who believes people visit art fairs from a desire to improve their perceptions?
We should be improving people’s lives through art, we should be trying to create a world where art is living on every level, indivisible from life and for everyone to experience. Art should be about an attitude and about not being frightened of being thought of as uncool. It should be the antithesis of consumerism and aesthetic corruption that riddles the art world.
It should be about the idealization and aestheticization of daily life as opposed to guarding so-called critical high standards within the increasingly static art establishment and its ridiculous hierarchy.
It should be, but it is not.
Thank you to everyone who supported e.e. over the years. I appreciate your loyalty and love more than you can imagine.
I wish all of you a lot of kindness and a wonderful summer.
cf. Robert Nickas' 12-Step Program for 'Collectors'
The whole "art fair" thing got going in the late '80s/early '90s. It was a shitty trend that spread through the art world like Spanish Flu. Seems a bit late to be complaining about it but the hate is always welcome. "Personal shoppers" for art is a new one, but then I largely checked out of the gallery scene during the last period of obnoxious excess, the time of Bush Millionaires before the 2008 crash. There might also have been a brief era of reduced obnoxiousness that I missed, which would be the good old days in Envoy Enterprises' shorter timeline.