Curator Elizabeth Garvey:
“I have to have a personal response to the work.”
Elizabeth K. Garvey is the co-founder and owner of Garvey Simon Art Access, Inc. (est. in 2010). With over 25 years of experience in the fine art industry in New York, Garvey leverages her professional relationships with other galleries, auction houses, private dealers, and artists to offer clients a relaxed entry into the often intimidating visage of the New York art world. Garvey has been a fine art dealer and advisor in New York City for over 20 years.
Garvey started her own fine art advisory firm, EKG Art Advisory, in 1999. She has assisted collectors from all parts of the country to establish and build art collections, and has helped many individuals purchase their first piece of fine art. She has professional relationships with countless galleries, auction houses, private dealers and artists nationwide. After 10 years as an art advisor, Garvey longed to work more closely with artists again and to expand her business to include curating special exhibitions.
What do you look for in artists when considering representation?
I have to have a personal response to the work and feel that it fits in with my program in some fresh way. I also have to experience good chemistry with the artist personally. There are too many difficult personalities in the world, and I have no interest in making life more stressful by engaging with them if it can be avoided.
What is the core aesthetic that the gallery is founded on? Do you promote a particular focus or specialty?
I love works on paper, and our program is largely process-oriented and based around paper as media. I am interested in artists who work that sweet spot where fine art, design, and craft overlap. I also do a significant secondary-market business in the modern and contemporary market.
What makes your gallery a desirable venue for both artists and art enthusiasts?
Our space in Chelsea not only offers a quiet and relaxed environment to learn about art, but also a better way to serve existing clients who wish to sell works privately on the secondary market. The private viewing room can be used at any time by appointment to view works consigned from other dealers as well as the GSAA and LCA inventories. It offers a way for clients to see a wide variety of material in one spot instead of committing an entire afternoon to gallery hopping. Private, customized tours to see galleries throughout the city are also always available for clients who enjoy that experience.
As curator, what do you see as differentiating your gallery?
There is a certain sense of intimacy in the works that I show. There is an emphasis on work that draws the viewer in close, with many fine details and unexpected surfaces. Most of the works have a meditative quality. I am also a huge fan of collage and the use of unusual materials. Many of the artists we show are exploring the inherent materiality of their given media, and are sometimes blurring the lines between science and art.
Do you represent emerging or established artists, or both?
I represent more mid-career artists than emerging.
What is the cost range of works for sale?
In the primary market (artists I am representing), anywhere from $600–$20,000. Most are under $10,000.
As curator, what do you want to convey about your gallery, to both artists and potential clientele?
Don’t hesitate to ask questions! Direct communication is such a lost art sometimes.
Garvey Simon Art Access is located in New York City, at 547 W.27th Street, 10001. Visit them on the web here.
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