Slide

INTERVIEW WITH ANDREAS GEGNER FROM SPRÜTH MAGERS LONDON
與Sprüth Magers畫廊總監 安德烈亞斯·蓋勒的對談

G.Andreas Gegner Photo Harry Liu

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ART.ZIP: Can you give us a brief introduction of the gallery, its founding, development, and the gallerists. As a private gallery, how would you distinguish from others?
AG: As you can see from the name of the gallery—Sprüth Magers London, owned by two individuals, Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers. We operate our galleries in two cities, Berlin and London. Monika and Philomene are two female art dealers, which is quite unusual in the art world, and they created one of the most powerful gallery internationally. Founding of the gallery dates back to 1983—so this year we are celebrating our 30th anniversary. At that time Monika opened the gallery alone by herself, with Andreas Schulze as the opening show. Andreas Schulze is probably one of the least known artists of our gallery but Monika is very supportive for his career, because she found Schulze’s work interesting and unique in style and language. She once said to me, she would not stop the gallery before Andreas Schulze gets recognition. And I would say this loyalty makes our gallery different from others, and we would come to that later.

Monika founded the gallery in Cologne in 1983.
At that time Cologne was very important city for contemporary art, as well as the centre for postwar art. Yet most galleries in Cologne at that time were driven by men: male gallerists, male artists, male collectors. Monika decided to open a gallery to give female artists an adequate platform to exhibit their art. She never considered herself a feminist gallerist, she just wanted to present female artists. From early on, Babara Kruger and Cindy Sherman were exhibited. She also exhibited Andreas Gursky. There was great diversity in her early programme, and all artists she picked were creating unique work.

In 1993, Philomene Magers opened her gallery, also in Cologne. In order to prolong her mother’s legacy, Philomene represented canonical post- war figures including Donald Judd, Robert Morris, Dan Flavin and so on.

In 1998, Monika and Philomene decided to merge the two galleries., That became Sprüth Magers Gallery. Sprüth Magers expanded further with a gallery space in Munich and a London gallery in 2003,
located on Berkeley Street in Mayfair.
In 2008, we opened a gallery in Berlin
and shut the two exhibition spaces in
Cologne and Munich, because Berlin
becomes one of the most important
places for contemporary art internationally,
 competing with New York and London, yet
we keep office in Cologne still. And we moved the Gallery London to Grafton Street since 2007. So now we only operate two gallery spaces, one in Berlin and one in London. Our programme of today still keeps balance between male and female artists, continues to give same weight to female artists presentation. And we would not on purpose emphasis on German artists.

 

ART.ZIP: 能給我們簡單介紹一下畫廊的發展嗎,成立和畫廊 ?作為一個私人畫廊,你們與別的畫廊有什麼不一樣的地 方呢?


AG:從畫廊名字——SPRÜTH MAGERS LONDON──可 以看到畫廊由兩人創立,分別是莫妮卡·斯普魯斯(MONIKA SPRÜTH)和菲洛米娜·馬格斯(PHILOMENE MAGERS)。我們 在柏林和倫敦都有畫廊。莫妮卡和菲洛米娜是兩位女藝術商 人,這在藝術界是很少見的,她們創立的SPRÜTH MAGERS畫 廊被譽為國際上最優秀的畫廊之一。追溯到畫廊成立之際要 到1983年──今年是我們畫廊成立30年──當時莫妮卡獨 自一人開辦畫廊,而安德瑞思·舒爾茲(ANDREAS SCHULZE) 則作為開館展覽藝術家。比起其他響當當的名字,舒爾茲可 能是名氣最小的一位。但是莫妮卡仍然非常支持他,因為她 認為舒爾茲的作品非常有趣,風格及語言都是獨樹一幟的。 莫妮卡曾經對我說過,舒爾茲在獲得認可前她都不會結束畫廊。所以我會說忠誠是我們畫廊與別家畫廊不一樣的地方, 我們稍後可以再詳細談。

莫妮卡於1983年在科隆創辦畫廊,當時科隆是當代藝術的中 心城市,也是戰後藝術的聚集地。但是很多科隆的畫廊都是 男性為主導,男性畫廊主,男性藝術家,男性藏家,所以莫妮 卡決定要開辦畫廊讓女性藝術家有一席之地來展現她們的 藝術。莫妮卡從來沒有覺得自己是女權主義畫廊主,她只是 純粹想要把女性藝術家展現給大家。所以在她很早的企劃裡 就有芭芭拉·克魯格(BABARA KRUGER),辛蒂·雪曼(CINDY SHERMAN)等女性藝術家的展覽。她還在很早的時候就為安 德瑞思·古斯奇(ANDREAS GURSKY)辦展。總而言之,你可以 看到她早期企劃裡藝術家的多樣性,所有藝術家都在創作自 己獨特的、新穎的作品。

1993年菲洛米娜也在科隆開辦了自己的畫廊。為了更好地繼 承家族事業,菲洛米娜代理了赫赫有名的戰後藝術家,包括 當諾德·吉瓦德(DONALD JUDD),羅伯特·莫里斯(ROBERT MORRIS),丹·弗拉文(DAN FLAVIN)等等。

莫妮卡和菲洛米娜在1998年決定把兩家畫廊合併成一家, 自此就有了SPRÜTH MAGERS畫廊。2003年畫廊在慕尼黑創 立了分畫廊,倫敦伯克利大街上也有了分部。 2008年我們又 在柏林開了新的畫廊空間,而科隆和慕尼黑兩地的畫廊空間 就關閉了,因為柏林成為了國際上當代藝術最重要的城市, 可與紐約和倫敦媲美,而科隆也保留了辦公室。倫敦畫廊在 2007年的時候從伯克利大街搬到了格拉弗頓大街。所以至今 我們有兩個畫廊空間,一個在柏林,一個在倫敦。我們現在的 企劃仍然注重保持男女藝術家比例的平衡,仍然給女性藝術家一樣的關注和重視。而且我們並沒有刻意強調德國藝術家。

ART.ZIP: Just now you mentioned loyalty as the feature of the Gallery, would you talk more about it?

AG: As a commercial gallery, of course we have to generate money to keep the gallery going. However the way we trade and the way we operate are all based on loyalty, which I mentioned earlier. We work with artists for very long time, 20 or 30 years, even when they are not deemed as successful or their work is not of the current taste, we keep loyal to them. We don’t consider them as our cash cow, we believe their artistic value and endeavor. We want to support them, even though we have been through the period of many years that don’t sell works, we still give them exhibitions, to give them necessary platform. When in the boom years of arts market, say 2003 to 2008, many galleries started to sign up young artists who graduated from arts school. They were signed up by galleries and given exhibitions, but the galleries would chop them if their work did not make an immediate success. We never did that. For us, starting to work with an artist is a very serious commitment, it is a long term commitment. So we would sign up artists that we are very sure about what he/she needs from our programme, what he/she adds to our programme. We are very committed to working with them. Anybody works at the Gallery could make suggestions, but Monika and Philomene make the final decision. They would meet the artist, chat with him/her to see what the artist really wants, to check if he/she has similar belief with us, ultimately we are here to help the artist. Then the artist could focus on the work without thinking of survival. The Gallery would put artist first and set ourselves as a supporting structure.

ART.ZIP: 剛才你提到忠誠是你們畫廊的主要特色,能再詳細說說?

AG: 作為一個商業畫廊,當然我們必須賺錢來維持畫廊的運營。但是我們是基 於忠誠來進行交易而操作的,之前我也提及過。我們和藝術家合作的時間都很 長 ,2 0 年 ,3 0 年 都 很 常 見 。就 算 他 們 沒 有 成 名 或 他 們 的 作 品 不 是 當 今 的 品 味 , 我們都會忠於我們的藝術家。我們不會把他們看作是我們的搖錢樹,我們相 信他們的藝術價值和努力,我們會支持他們,就算多年都沒有賣出一張作品, 我們仍然會給最大的幫助,為他們舉辦展覽讓他們有必要的平台來展示作品。 2003年到2008年可以說是藝術市場蓬勃發展的時期,很多畫廊一下子簽下來 很多剛畢業的年輕藝術家,一旦發現他們沒有馬上獲得成功就會立刻跟他們 解約。我們從來不會這麼做,要開始與藝術家工作是一項重要的承諾,所以我們必須非常確定藝術家想要什麼,需要什麼,還有他/她能帶給 我們什麼新活力。我們會竭盡所能與他們工作給予合適的支持和 幫助。在畫廊工作的任何人都可以提議簽藝術家,但最後的決定 權還是在莫妮卡和菲洛米妮手上。她們會與藝術家見面,認真地 了解藝術家想要什麼,確定他/她與我們畫廊有相同的信念,然 後我們才會決定簽約和支持他們。然後藝術家就可以拋開生存的 壓力而專注於自己的藝術創作中去。我們畫廊是把藝術家放在第 一位,然後把自己作為一個支持結構而存在。

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ART.ZIP: Do you foresee any future trends in art?

AG: We do have many photographic and video works at our gallery, but I don’t think I can single out an individual trend. I can’t see one dominating trend, every art form gets same attention and same importance.

ART.ZIP: 你覺得未來的藝術形式會走向哪個方向呢?

AG: 我們有相當一部分攝影和攝像作品,但是我不認為我們單獨 列出一個趨勢。沒有一種藝術形式是主流,對我們來說,任何藝術 形式都應獲得同樣的關注。

ART.ZIP: Is the Gallery a bit focused on photographic works?

AG: Looking at the artists presented by the Gallery, a lot of them, not 50%, but many, use photography as medium, but very few artists would consider themselves as photographers. More forward photographers, like Philip-Lorca Dicorcia, create the picture with a camera, just like a painter creates a picture with brush and colour. They won’t consider themselves as photographers. They create pictures by using camera as a
tool, for example, Thomas Demand, he fully depends on the camera, but he’s a sculptor. He creates an object with copper and paper, and then takes a picture as an ultimate result. He knows everything about photography, how to handle a camera, but it is not the main issue. The camera only transcends his thinking and practice; he’s really coming form another point. Another artist like Andreas Gursky, he is more educated in photography, but he crossed the boundaries and used photography to create something new. He introduced a gate to photography that almost unseen before. He composes images with camera using painterly approach, to create a super image. He creates over natural images, you could see from the pictures that from different points, one photograph looking up, one looking to centre, one looking down. He creates pictures that beyond camera and our own eyes, it’s a different way
of seeing, and that’s why he stands
out from others. Another artist in our programme—Cindy Sherman—uses camera in a different approach, it’s more like a conceptual idea. She handled the camera to take her portrait, but more importantly, she is trying to generate female image representation, how female and woman look in Hollywood movies, or in her untitled series, how rich women present themselves in a portrait. She is trying to recreate the images, so she is using another different approach to work with camera. In all, there are a lot of artists using camera to create their work, but the Gallery does not focus on photography.

ART.ZIP: 畫廊的作品會不會偏向攝影為主?

AG: 畫廊代理的許多藝術家都用攝影作為媒介,但是很少一部分 會把自己看作是攝影師。更多前衛攝影師,像菲利普·洛卡·迪可西 爾(PHILIP-LORCA DICORCIA),運用相機創作圖像,就像畫家用 畫筆和顏料創作圖像一樣。他們不認為自己是攝影師,他們只是 把相機當作一種工具。譬如湯姆斯·迪曼(THOMAS DEMAND),和 完全依靠相機,但其實他是雕塑家,他通常用銅和紙來創作,然 後用相機把作品拍下來作為最後成品。他知道如何使用相機,但 是技術並不是他的關注點。相機只是傳達他思想和實踐的一個工 具。另外一些藝術家,像安德瑞思·古斯奇(ANDREAS GURSKY),他 接受過更多關於攝影的教育,但是他拓展了攝影的領域,運用攝 影來呈現之前從未被看見的景觀。他利用相機來畫圖,創作一幅 幅超級圖像,超自然景觀,你可以看到圖片由多個角度進行拍攝 和觀看。有些朝上,有些朝中心,有些朝下,他創作的圖像是相機 和我們肉眼無法一次看清楚的,他創建了一套獨特的觀看方式, 那也是為什麼他能出眾的原因。我們還有另外一位藝術家,辛迪· 雪兒曼(CINDY SHERMAN)則是從另一個方面運用相機,更接近 抽象概念一些。她用相機來拍攝肖像,但更重要的是她用相機來 生產女性形象表徵,在好萊塢電影裡女性形象,或者她的無題系 列裡,富家女人是如何在肖像裡表現自己的。雪兒曼嘗試用相機 重現女性形象。總的來說,畫廊很多藝術家相機來創作,但我們並 不專注在攝影作品上。

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ART.ZIP: In an art market as young as that in China, still many collectors find photography art suspicious.
To them, its nature as a form of art that can be massively produced and easily duplicated makes it inferior to traditional mediums, such as painting. Does the gallery, on the other hand, treat photography somehow differently? Are they managed or sold differently from other works that are still considered “unique”? Is it some sort of a trouble when it comes to young market, such as the Chinese market?

AG: First of all, the distribution of photography is very different; pictures from Getty Image, you can download them and then ultimately reproduce millions of times, but photographs shown in the gallery are handled in a different way. We will make sure there would be very limited prints, and this limitation makes artistic photography different from photography found on Getty Image. When you buy photography from a gallery, we would guarantee only certain amount of prints are available, not more than these. By having the certificate you will get the one photograph produced and marketed, this is the same issue with painting. If the painter is talented he can reproduce the same painting, but it is always different. By the way of introducing limited edition, photography could compete with the production of painting. It took European audience a long long time to appreciate photography as a serious art form, and to collect it. As early as 1990s, when photography had this massive boom, people felt a little uncomfortable about it. Then they found photography in museums and galleries and people started to realize it as an art form just the same
as painting and sculpture. Yet commercial photography has other ways of making and ways of handling. In Germany and other European countries they have very strong copyright protection, China has a different idea
of what the original can be, what the copied can be, maybe copied is
like a new original, they have different understandings about copyright.
In all, photography is a good for young collectors to start collecting, because it’s cheaper, of lower price and more accessible. When looking at a painting, one needs to think, there may be a barrier that ‘I don’t know much about painting, sculpture and etc.’ However when people look at a photograph, everybody think they are experts, they think they understand it immediately, which is nice in a way people have the same ease with other medium of art. In photography they feel more at home, so it became a perfect art form for people to collect, before moving on to collect other things.

ART.ZIP: 像中國這樣年輕的藝術市場,很多藏家對攝影藝術作品 持懷疑的態度。對他們來,攝影能被大量生和復制,似乎比傳 統媒介,如繪畫,要低一級。你們畫廊是怎麼操作攝影作品的呢? 他們的獨特性生什麼樣的變化嗎?在售賣藝術品時會遇到怎 樣的問題呢?

AG: 首先,攝影作品的分發途徑不一樣。從GETTY IMAGE下載的 照片可以被複製上百萬次,但畫廊操作攝影作品則是另外一套方 式。我們會確保照片只有限定數量的,而這種限定性就使攝影作 品與GETTY上的照片不一樣。我們保證只有限定數量被製作和出 售,一張都不會多。我們還會提供證書,所以你買的攝影作品是唯 一被製作和流通於市場的,這與繪畫作品是一樣的。如果畫家有 能力也可以複製相同的作品,但每張其實都是不一樣的。所以限 量生產照片和繪畫作品的生產是一樣有競爭力的。歐洲的觀眾也用了好長好長一段時間才把攝影當作嚴肅的 藝術形式來欣賞和收藏。早到20世界90年代, 攝影的大量生產讓人們覺得很不適應,直到 在各大博物館和畫廊看到以後才開始意識到 攝影作為一種藝術形式而存在,就像繪畫和 雕塑一樣。而商業攝影則是用另外一套方式 來操作的。在德國,或者其他歐洲國家都有很 強的版權保護法,中國可能有另外一套關於 什麼是原創,什麼是盜版的看法,或者複製的 就是一個新的原創,反正中國有自己對版權的 一個理解。總的來說,攝影是年輕藏家入門的 最好選擇,因為價格相對便宜而且更容易接 觸到。觀看畫作的時候人們還可能會覺得有 障礙,覺得自己不懂怎麼看畫;但是人們看照 片的時候都覺得自己是專家,他們認為自己很 快就能看懂,從這方面來說是好的,讓人們更 自在地欣賞其他藝術媒介。攝影對人們來說更 自在一些,所以它是很好的藝術收藏形式,然 後慢慢地再去收藏別的藝術品。

ART.ZIP: Do artists in the gallery occasionally accept commercial commissions, such as for an advertisement? If so, do you handle the artist and the works differently?


AG: We deal with and handle these people’s artistic output, but they have their own operative structure. If they got commission [on their own], we would not get involved. They have their own separate second source of income. Say Philip-Lorca Dicorcia, if he is doing commissions for a magazine, those images are usually not handled and sold as artworks. Photography is democratic medium. Sometimes the magazine would contact us because they don’t know how to deal with the artist, and then we will introduce them to the artist, nothing like a share or commercial interest would come up.

ART.ZIP:畫廊的藝術家可以接商業委託嗎? 如廣告?你們又是怎麼處理的呢?


AG: 我們只處理藝術家的藝術出品,他們也有 自己的操作結構。如果他們有商業委託,我們 是不會插手的。他們有獨立的,其他的收入來 源我們都不會幹預。譬如菲利普·洛卡·迪可西爾(PHILIP-LORCA DICORCIA),如果他為雜誌 做委託項目,那些圖片也不會被當成藝術品來 處理和出售。攝影是一種民主的媒介。有時候 雜誌會先聯繫我們,因為他們不知道怎麼和 藝術家打交道。我們會給他們介紹藝術家,但 是我們不會收取任何的提成或得到任何商業 利益。

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ART.ZIP: Although Sprüth Magers is a private gallery, it is sensed that it is very friendly to the public, welcoming and encouraging the public to visit. What is the policy and attitude towards general public?

AG: You see we have big windows! I know some galleries show their attitudes to
the London audiences, it depends from gallery to gallery. Some of them set up the gallery at 2nd floor, one must press the buzzer for entry, which set some barriers to keep general audience out, for they may want to build privacy and secret. But we have a big window, we have an open door, everybody could come in, look and enjoy.

ART.ZIP: SPRÜTH MAGERS是私人畫廊,但讓 公眾覺得很友善,也鼓勵公眾來參觀。你們對 公眾有什麼政策或持什麼態度呢?

AG: 我知道很多畫廊都與大眾保持一定的距 離,譬如把畫廊設立在二樓,來訪者得按門鈴 才能入內參觀。這樣就為大眾設立了一些屏 障,或許是畫廊想保留一些隱私得緣故吧。但 是我們畫廊有巨大的櫥窗,隨時開放讓大家 入內參觀和欣賞藝術品。

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ART.ZIP: How do you balance the relation between the gallery and the artists?


AG: I think we work like partners. If they have different directions, if the artist is too successful that the Gallery can’t deal with it anymore, then they would be officially taken. We know how to handle this case, sometimes the gallery is very successful, sometimes even the gallery dumps artists, or an artist changes to another gallery. But the ideal case is both the gallery and artist develop at the same rate, they grow together. If their relationship doesn’t
 not work anymore, then they have to say goodbye, to take consequences
and ended the partnership. We leave both partners and possibilities open, gallery should be serious, committed to the artists. Do their best for the artist. If gallery only interested in the money and considers this as starting point for the gallery, I think it would not succeed. There are secondary market dealers who sell works, try and look after the artists, that’s another possibilities of running a gallery, but I think people should be honest of themselves, and try to find out what do they want, do they want to be their parents, or do they want to make money. Find a comfortable way of working relation between the artist and the gallery.

ART.ZIP: 你們是怎麼平衡畫廊與藝術家之間 的關係的?


AG: 我們就像伴侶一樣吧。如果他們需要向不 同方向發展,或者藝術家太成功了我們畫廊 不再具備操作的條件,那麼我們就會終止合作關係。有些畫廊變成功了就開始拋棄一些原來的藝術家,或者藝 術家轉到別的畫廊。理想狀態是畫廊與藝術家一起成長。如果兩者 無法再合作了,也就不要再勉強。我們對合作方都持非常開放的態 度,畫廊也需要對藝術家負責,讓藝術家得到最好的發展。如果只 是以賺錢為目的而開畫廊的話,我不認為畫廊會成功。市場上還有 一些二線的藝術交易方也會幫藝術家賣作品。這也是另外一種運 營方式。我認為只要人們對自己和對對方誠實,想清楚是想要成為 藝術家的父母呢還是只是純粹為了賺錢。要找到一種讓雙方都感 到舒服的方式就好了。

.

ART.ZIP: What suggestions would you give to those students who want to become artists?

AG: They must think about it seriously.
It is a tough choice to be an artist. You can be very lonely and you must be very committed. Check with yourself if you really want to go there because you
will have a hard time. The second thing
is, go and see as much art as you can, justify your own position, reestablish your own way in context of other art being produced. Go to see as many exhibitions as you can, be active part of the network. At some points, being an artist is a lonely profession. No one else will help you, unless you are Damien Hirst and someone is working for you. Otherwise you are all on your own, you have to go through the things. Larger networks can help you to go further, in a community artists help each other out, so try to become part of a community. Work, work, work! Be active, there is lots to do; partying, drinking, overwhelming, practicing, developing your own language skill, find a way to be apart from others, to make clear about what concept you want to tell.

ART.ZIP: 你會給想成為藝術家的學生一些什麼建議呢?

AG: 他們必須想清楚了是否要成為藝術家,因為成為藝術家是一個很艱難的抉擇。 藝術家會很孤獨,需要竭盡全力,所以必須要問清楚自己是不是真的想成為藝術 家,因為你將面對非常多的困難。其次,走出門看盡量多的藝術,調整自己的定位, 不斷重建自己的藝術方式,看盡可能多的展覽,活躍於藝術圈中。某種程度來說,藝 術家是非常寂寞的職業,沒有人可以幫你,你必須自己克服各種困難。廣闊的交際 圈可以讓你走得更遠,在圈子裡藝術家都會互相幫忙,所以要成為群體的一分子。 創作,努力地進行各種創作,要積極地參與,聚會,實驗,創造自己的語言,找到一個 與別人不一樣的自己,弄清楚自己想要傳達什麼概念。

             

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