Vanity Fair: Movement from This Art World, to That Which Is to Come
Art Business

Vanity Fair: Movement from This Art World, to That Which Is to Come

James Elder Christie, Vanity Fair, ca. 1895. GLASGOW MUSEUMS “Now as I said, the way to the Celestial City runs directly through this Town with its lusty Fair ; and he who would go to that City, and yet not pass through this Town , must necessarily go out of the world.” —John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress , 1678 Life out of the world is possible. But there reside existential problems. Some have publicly retreated to this once comfortable, now alien and forbidding, estate (viz. José Freire ). Others, exiled by circumstance, continue to reside outside, unable to raise the fees required for entrance. Before and beyond the Fair lies the Gallery Show, now in attenuated circumstance. The Fair is a preeminent contributor to this diminishment. Sickened by declining attendance, the vanishing quantities of literate judgment , and the descent of art society into a Slough of Consensus, the impending Death of the Gallery Show brings the loss of an art culture no Fair can replace. At the moment, much is being said about the Fair and its fairness (viz. Jerry Saltz ). Such talk is parsed in terms of mega-galleries vs. smaller galleries, established galleries vs. young galleries, […]

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