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Sunday 01.18.09

« Rachel Whiteread at PAM | Main | First Opportunities »

Quality Pictures Closing-definitvely


It is official, one of Portland's newest and best art galleries, Quality Pictures, will close this coming Saturday (*Update to Update - it's going to take a bit of time before anything definitive can be stated. It definitely seems like business partnership restructuring drama and the gallery is currently closed with a contact on the door. It's best to just let this play out. *update Update... it is done. I knew something was up when QP (a PORT sponsor) suddenly decided to reshuffle their entire 2009 season in late December, but we take the high road around here and never bask in the misfortune of others. QP's director Erik Schneider in these two short years has put on a consistently strong lineup of shows and had a 5 year business plan. Obviously, some very serious financial factors are effecting our economy in dramatic ways that few businessmen could anticipate, and we anticipated some gallery closures... especially amongst newbies. Erik had backers and I suspect his business partners might have had a lot to do with this. Erik himself was taking a pragmatic approach, keeping his tax accounting business going on (death and taxes being the most stable businesses out there). In fact, all dealers should expect to lose money for at least 3-5 years and Erik definitely planned for those realities. He was even making sales during Holly Andres "Sparrow Lane" show when other galleries weren't moving anything this summer. Then October came along.

I know more generalist media tend to take schadenfreude in others misfortune... mistakenly thinking the art world is just a playground for the wealthy, but to the art community art dealers aren't normal businessmen, it isn't like running a grocery store. Art dealers are promoting the sale of difficult objects and supporting artists as a kind cultural ecosystem builder. It's tough to find the right artists, staff, location and niche. For me it is sad that Erik wasn't able to fully develop his niche of the Portland art ecosystem. Art is a tough business and really anyone who undertakes its paradoxes is worthy of respect. Thank You Erik, you've devoted tremendous time, money and energy to Portland and we appreciate it.

This list of Quality Pictures exhibitions reviewed by PORT says a lot about the worthiness of the effort:

Roger Ballen
Angela West
Bryan Schellinger
J. Bennett Fitz

Portland has a bustling, competitive scene and few galleries have had 5 reviews in the past 2 years from us like Quality Pictures had.

Some other very notable exhibitions were:

Oliver Boberg
Laura Fritz's Interspace
Holly Andres' Sparrow Lane

Posted by Jeff Jahn on January 18, 2009 at 21:01 | Comments (0)


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