Turning the idea of an exclusive and dictatorial commercial art system on its head, Chelsea gallery Lyons Wier introduces its new program Art Bazaar in these dog days of New York summer. The gallery has offered an open call to artists for seven weekends in July and August on a first come, first serve basis, as well as a solo exhibition at Lyons Wier in 2010 for the top seller.
It’s a rather brilliant strategy for a gallery weathering both the current economic downturn and the typically slow summer season. Not only do visual artists have an opportunity to bypass the insidery Chelsea gallerist club, Lyons Wier has left the responsibility of hanging, pricing, and selling to the individuals, meaning little to no upkeep. According the the New York Times City Room blog, gallery owner Michael Lyons Wier was inspired to host the free-for-all “because the fierce bargaining in the art market had almost taken on the tone of a flea market.”
Whether or not you find the art to be of highfalutin’ aesthetic quality (note the pervasive floral motifs and bright colors), you have to applaud the kind of shakeup that generates press and cuts an egalitarian swath across the venerated district’s seasonal exhibitions.
Weekend installation of Art Bazaar at Lyons Wier Gallery.
Edie Nadelhaft “Biters” series
The Art Bazaar runs from July 4 to Aug 16 (weekends only) from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Lyons Wier Gallery in Chelsea, 7th Avenue at West 20th Street. Doors open at 8 a.m. for installation and to the public two hours later. Get the latest updates with the Art Bazaar Twitter feed and check out the latest videos via the Tumblr blog or YouTube channel.