Saturday, January 17, 2009


In Chicago where the art market is anemic at best, all it takes is an economic downturn to thin the ranks. Just in the last year a dozen alternative spaces have closed in Chicago. Since most alt spaces are run for love and not for profit, I see this as the proverbial canary in the coalmine, which will soon be spreading to mainstream galleries throughout the city as they struggle to pay rent for their brick and mortar operations. I predict we'll be seeing a great number of our mainstream galleries fold up and close shop in the next two years. Which I think reinstates the importance of the alt space/ apartment gallery model in lean times. If art in Chicago exists at all, it exists in these transitory spaces, 1 bedroom flats, lofts, and garages where friends, co-conspirators, and like-minds pool their resources to reconfigure culture from the bottom up. If there was ever a time to get organized, do something, move the furniture to the back room, that time is now. In the cycle of life and death amongst art spaces, we've just gone through chemotherapy with more struggle to come, and only the sincere, the ones driven by love not money, will survive.


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