TAASA Review Issues

August 1993

Vol: 2 Issue: 3
Editors: Heleanor Feltham & Christina Sumner

Cover Photo
Irene Chou (Zhou Luyun) Hong Kong. The universe is within our hearts 1. 1992. Chinese ink and colours on paper, 187 x 96 cm. Collection: the artist. Courtesy of Charlotte Horstmann & Gerald Godfrey Ltd, Hong Kong. Photography by Ray Fulton.

TAASA Members may log in to download a PDF copy of this issue as well as past TAASA Review issues back to 1992.

Editorial

THE ROLE OF DEALER GALLERIES
Carl Andrew

We all understand fairly well the role of public museums and art galleries as collecting and exhibiting institutions and we all know what it is to collect objects privately because most of us, to a greater or lesser degree, selectively purchase art objects which we like. We also know that some people, with the means and the inclination, buy large numbers of art objects and so fall into that loosely defined category of “art-collectors”.

However, the role of the art dealer or commercial gallery owner is often little understood or appreciated. As in all trades and professions, there are practitioners with very diverse levels of knowledge, commitment and ethical standards. I want to pay tribute here to the contribution made by the best dealers to that edifice which we often refer to as “the art world”.

Museums collect for the enjoyment and education of the public, and they collect for posterity. Individual people collect for themselves and are fairly short-term custodians of objects which will probably change hands countless times again. Individuals usually buy art objects from dealers in shops or galleries, and in their early days of buying they find that certain dealers seem more knowledgeable and ethical than others. Relationships begin to develop and education of the buyer by the dealer is often an important part of these relationships.

Given the interests of readers of the TAASA Review, I will focus here on the role of dealers in Asian arts in Australia, and particularly Sydney which I know best. These dealers handle either the work of living artists, or fine or decorative arts of the past. In the former case they provide the essential link between the artist and the art buyer; in the latter case they search for, identify, authenticate and present art objects to those interested in their acquisition. I am not in a position to survey these dealers comprehensively, and will only mention individuals in order to illustrate aspects of the roles which dealers can play.

When I was growing up in Melbourne in the ‘fifties there were few dealers or galleries specializing in the arts of Asia, but the Joshua McClelland Print Room in Collins Street had, decades earlier, developed a  reputation as a place in which very good Chinese ceramics  could be found and purchased with confidence. After Joshua McClelland’s death, his wife Joan continued to run the gallery. Through their initiatives many collectors emerged who were then able to develop their enthusiasm, knowledge and connoisseurship by regular visits to the National Gallery of Victoria, where a superb collection of Chinese ceramics had grown through generous benefaction. A mutually beneficial relationship often develops between dealers, collectors and art museums. Dealers help to turn their customers into serious collectors; collectors look to dealers for advice on the purchases they make and look to art museums for access to high quality objects on display and to specialist curators for information; museums often buy from dealers and look to private collectors as benefactors of their public collections.

Specialist dealers have often started off as collectors and then developed a passion for their area of interest and the desire to work full-time with it. As dealers, people like Peter Lane and Raymond and Victoria Tregaskis are able to devote their whole lives to their passion (as can curators), while collectors usually earn their living in fields unrelated to their collecting.

Art museums can only exhibit a small part of their collections at any one time so, unless a specially focused exhibition is being presented, a limited number of, for example, Middle-Eastern carpets, Chinese ceramics or contemporary Japanese prints will be available on view. However, this resource of objects to view is enormously extended by the availability of the stock of dealer galleries. Anyone  who wants to see and learn about, for example, kilims, can visit at least half-a-dozen reputable dealers in both Sydney and Melbourne and find very fine pieces and helpful gallery owners who are very willing to share their expertise. Some dealers, Bill Evans at the Caspian Gallery, Sydney, among them, have developed excellent reference libraries which they are willing to make available to any seriously interested people.

Gallery owners are often prepared to invest a lot of money and effort into showing the work of artists who are not well known in Australia and whose exhibitions will almost certainly not be commercially successful until familiarity and confidence are developed among potential buyers. This applies particularly to the work of Asian artists whose reputations at home are not easily transferred to Australia. Even Masami Teraoka whose work is widely recognised and published in North America, Japan and Europe, failed to sell a major painting from his superb 1992 Macquarie Galleries show. But the best art dealers accept the fact that a buying public for such works has to be developed slowly and educated through exposure over many years.

Dealers often have a missionary zeal to share their knowledge and enthusiasm and it follows that, in doing so, they build an informed market for the objects they handle.

Some dealers run specialist lectures, lecture series or seminars in their galleries in 3 association with particular exhibitions.

Table of contents

COMMENT THE ROLE OF THE ART DEALER – Carl Andrew

THE REVOLUTIONARY STREET PICTURES OF LAOS – Claudia Hyles

PROFILE: CHRISTINA SUMNER – Heleanor Feltham

10  FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE CHINESE ANCESTRAL GRAVES IN A LANDSCAPE – James Hayes

12  THE M BUTTERFLY MAN AN INTERVIEW WITH DAVID HENRY HWANG – Heleanor Feltham

14  DRAMA AND THE CULTURAL REVOLUTION IN CHINA – Colin Mackerras

16  THE QUEENSLAND ART GALLERY Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art 1993

18  IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN OBJECTS IN PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
The National Gallery of Australia’s Godfrey Map Shawl – Robyn Maxwell
The Powerhouse Museum’s Bokhara Suzani – Christina Sumner

20  TRADITION AND INNOVATION FROM HONG KONG – Anne Kirker

22  IDENTITIES – Grace Cochrane
SHIGA SHIGEO Farewell speech 19791
OBITUARY: IVAN MCMEEKIN 1919-1993

24  FILMS – Heleanor Feltham
SUMO DO
SUMO DON’T CAGEMAN

25  REVIEWS AND PREVIEWS Exhibitions, Lectures, Events and Performances

28  MEMBERS DIARY – James Hayes and Ross Langlands

BECOME A MEMBER

To download a PDF copy of this issue as well as past TAASA Review issues, receive discounted entry to industry events and participate in exclusive study groups, join the TAASA Community today.

TAASA Review Issues
Available Issues

2023

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2022

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2021

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2020

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2019

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2018

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2017

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2016

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2015

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2014

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2013

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2012

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2011

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2010

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2009

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2008

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2007

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2006

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2005

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2004

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2003

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2002

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2001

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2000

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

1999

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

1998

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

1996

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

1995

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

1994

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

1993

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

1992

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

Become a Member

Join the Community for exclusive member benefits.

TAASA Review Issues
Available Issues

2023

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2022

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2021

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2020

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2019

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2018

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2017

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2016

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2015

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2014

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2013

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2012

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2011

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2010

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2009

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2008

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2007

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2006

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2005

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2004

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2003

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2002

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2001

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

2000

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

1999

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

1998

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

1996

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

1995

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

1994

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

1993

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December

1992

Issue 1 – March

Issue 2 – June

Issue 3 – September

Issue 4 – December