Yvon Lambert Slams Art World

STORY BY Vicky Victoria

Published: July 20, 2014

How things have changed. Over the past two decades our world has undergone immense transformation-- most notably, cultural.  The financial markets and the ideology that fuels them, in conjunction with the Internet, have abandoned a culture sensitive to art.

But thanks to legendary gallerist, Yvon Lambert, who spoke his truth last week during an interview with Germany’s FAZ, truth’s vibrations were felt from Europe, to the States, and beyond. Lambert has been a central figure of the French art world since the 1970s, associated with the likes of Daniel Buren, Christian Boltanski, and Bertrand Lavier, as well as American Conceptual artists Carl Andre and Brice Marden.

He rightfully lambasted the speculative, investor-centric art market, and bemoaned art advisers’ profound roles within it.  This cultural turn, driven by financial gain, has led him and countless to close their galleries after nearly 50 years in the business. This change is not a positive one. It is a complete degradation of art, artist and the art world.

In the interview he describes the “explosion in prices for young artists,” over the past year or so as “extremely unhealthy,” and proceeds to note that mega-galleries are very much a part of the price-pumping game.

“It’s like day and night,” Lambert  responded when asked about what the art market was like when he began his gallery in 1966, as compared with today. Lambert lamented that even 20 years ago things were much different, with major changes having been brought forth by the Internet’s ever-increasing penetration into the art space.

Previously, collectors would come into his gallery to engage with the work, and there were always questions about collecting and living with art in general, he recalls. Now, discussion, if any, often turns towards potential monetary return.

 “Art advisers are a sad, American invention,” he told the paper, calling them little more than interior decorators.

Following a grand finale at his Paris gallery space—courtesy of Anselm Kiefer—Lambert says that he’ll turn his focus to his private collection, shown in a mansion in Avignon, in the South of France.

“You can’t ignore speculation any longer,” Lambert said, adding that art advisers had in many ways replaced the discursive role of the gallerist. But, he continued, when people, “come here and want to make an investment, I send them to the bank.”

Additional Story Credits: Artnet Photo: via Vabien Blogspot

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