Laboring here in the viny fields of Artnet Magazine, it's easy to forget that yonder past the arbors of art criticism is an entire gallery district. Yes, Artnet.com is a gallery site, featuring over 1,200 galleries and some 13,000 works by the artists they represent. Such a wealth of art demands its own organization, and indeed, galleries are indexed by name, location, genre and artist.
But that is only the beginning. May we draw your attention to the "Galleries" portal page, which appears with a single click on the word "galleries" in the horizontal toolbar, above? Call me Professor Puff, but I like the design of that page! Each month it has three features -- dedicated to a single city, to a certain category of art, and to a listing of new gallery members on the site.
Currently, the "City Focus" looks at galleries in Santa Fe, and provides three pages with pictures of six works each. As a devotee of John Cage's notions of composition by chance, I find the juxtapositions most felicitous. Take, for instance, the top row: an image of a red book cover bleached with the letter "S" by Edward Ruscha (at James Kelly Contemporary) is positioned between a subtly nuanced olive monochrome painting by Phil Sims (at Charlotte Jackson) and an almost hallucinogenic painting of a towering tree called Ponderosa Moonlight by Laura Hampton (at Cline Fine Art).
Furthermore, as a critic, it is my passionate duty to search out and commit to memory the endless constellation of facts that limns our art world. So I note the presence of a rather astonishing view, titled Grand Canyon of Arizona from Hermit Rim Road (at Zaplin/Lampert Gallery). Turns out that this work is a 1912 chromolithograph print by Thomas Moran. Similarly, the Santa Fe section contains images of a pueblo village against purple mountains (Summer Rain by Gustave Baumann, at Owings-Dewey Fine Art), a 1940 autumn landscape of poplars and pines (Fall, Hondo Valley by Joseph Henry Sharp, at Frank Croft Fine Art) and several more Western scenes. Our 90-plus-degree weather here in New York can only make these views all the more alluring.
In the "Features" section is a selection of 19th-century paintings, totaling 18 images in all from as many galleries. With some pride I note that the gallery members here are like the Yankees of the 1920s, truly an unbeatable team: Ruth, Gehrig, Dimaggio are in the Old Master world Noortman, Colnaghi, Agnew's. And that's just the top of the lineup.
Hollis Taggart Galleries boasts a penetrating 1880 portrait by Mary Cassatt of her sister Lydia, with bonnet and green coat. Spanierman Gallery has a tiny (ca. 8 x 9 in.), utterly charming domestic scene of a mother and child by William Morris Hunt. Other works include a Monet meules at Frederick Hudson Fine Art, a Pissarro scene of the family farm at Galerie Pierre Levy, a CÚzanne view through the trees at Thomas Segal Gallery. Perhaps my favorite is at Agnew's: Gabriel Metsu's The Fishwife, a Dutch mistress who proudly displays her wares in an outdoor market.
The "New Galleries" section currently lists 38 new members, which can be viewed two at a time by clicking on the little arrows on the "Galleries" portal page. What a selection! The famed New York Old Master dealer David Tunick features Albrecht DŘrer's beautiful print Melancholia I. Tomio Koyama of Tokyo has a Yoshitomo Nara portrait of a somber child poking her head through a hole, called The New World. And Keny Galleries in Columbus, Oh., has a jewel of a watercolor from 1917-18 by Alice Schille called The Children's Beach.
New additions come from around the globe. NN Gallery, located in Kuala Lumpur, Maylaysia, was founded in 1996 by Nahar and Nabil Syed, who are sister and brother, to promote Southeast Asian and Australasian art. Galerie Loft has spaces in both Paris and Hong Kong, and though 20 years old dedicate itself to Chinese contemporary art in 1999. Other galleries in the section are located in Christchurch in New Zealand, Shanghai in China, Seoul in Korea and Columbus in Ohio. So many new works can be viewed on these sites -- the world is getting smaller.
Forthcoming in our gallery section are focuses on Seattle and Portland. In October you can browse conveniently through galleries in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (who knows, perhaps Jeffrey Deitch will have a listing in that section by then). Ethnographic Art, Glass, Cutting Edge art will all be featured. Fine and Decorative Asian Art will be hot at the end of September, just in time for the Asian sales at the auction houses. Since the page is timed around what's happening in the art world, it makes sense to start your browsing from there.