Art Insider


Italiano (Italian)

*Featured photo: David Mellen show, Copyright Ivy Brown

Ivy Brown is a volcano of energy and passion; she draws her inspiration from the multiple languages of art, nurturing an independent gallery space, a point of reference for the artists she represents – emerging and established – but also for the community. In this interview with ArteMorbida, she tells us about herself and her ‘creature’ – the Ivy Brown Gallery in New York.

How did you come up with the idea of ​​opening an independent art gallery?

In my last life I represented photographers, fashion and set stylist, hair and make-up artist’s, did this for 25 years, when I started that business it was analog based, we used to build the sets, rent animals, do street casting, it was a collaborative, creative process and I loved it. Then digital arrived and most everything was done in post production, no need to build that set, rent that animal, it could all be dropped in afterwards, it became very uninteresting for me so I opened the gallery for us to have a creative playground, we all were in need of being more creative and having a gallery without any clients to answer to seemed like a good option. Little did I know that I would eventually stopped representing those artist’s and move into the fine art arena, it evolved over a few years, it was not my initial intention.

A Group of Individuals show, Copyright Ivy Brown

A Group of Individuals show, Copyright Ivy Brown

What is the thinking behind the Ivy Brown Gallery programming?

To be inspiring, for the work to be timeless with a twist, I like things that are off track a bit, not the norm so to speak and of course this is totally subjective to my taste which has a large range.

I like to show work from artist’s I represent as well as artist’s I do not, we also do events, musical, poetry readings, dance performances, performance art during the life of an exhibition. We strive to have them compliment each other.

Joshua Goode show, Copyright Ivy Brown

The artists you select almost always experiment with different materials, you  rarely exhibit painting or sculpture with traditional materials. Within the artists, several use the textile medium. What do you think is the most interesting aspect of Fiber Art?

Fiber has so many possibilities, I love how many different places it can go and the variations of materials and subject matter. Its such a wide open category that encompass fiber from natural to man made, recycled to created I find it really inspiring to see how many different options there are and how many places an artist can take it.

Justice & Freedom, Copyright Ivy Brown

What difficulties does an independent gallery in New York face? And what role does it play – also socially – with respect to the neighborhood where it operates?

Being an independent small gallery in today’s art world has become a unique position, many galleries are what can be considered mega galleries with backers and many locations, as an independent gallery we have to work harder to be recognized and get press for our artist’s. journalist seem to cover the same gallery’s and or artist’s and are missing out on the majority of work that is being created by so many talented artist’s. Socially we try to be both relevant without falling into what the hot topic of the moment is. We strive to show compelling artwork by talented artist’s and not get too caught up in what is in at the moment but what will stand the test of time.

Joel Handroff, Copyright Ivy Brown

Joel Handroff, Copyright Ivy Brown

What is the identity of your gallery?

Our identity is really my sensibility which tends to be a bit quirky. Its important to me to have a variety of works as my taste has a large range, its like music, sometimes I listen to classical, sometimes rock or disco, country, jazz, funk, reggae, blues, electronic etc. art is like music there are so many places it can take you and though we specialize in works that have a 3D element to them everything is possible.

What relationship do you establish with the artists you collaborate with on a regular basis?

Its important for me to have a good working and personal relationship with the artist’s I work with, I may be working on their careers for quite a while before we actually are able to make any sales so liking the person and the work is essential. I admire the artist’s work and I adore them on a personal level, I like to spend time with them beside when we are working, they are an important part of my life. When we are working on a show we work together and go over their work and the theme of the show to come up with a concise visual message, this is one of the best parts of the owning a gallery, collaborating with the artist’s and showing their work in its best light.

Jennifer Muller Dance Company, Copyright Ivy Brown

In your experience, what is the state of textile art and Fiber Art in the field of contemporary art at this time and do you think that interest in works and artists engaged in this language is growing?

Fiber Art seems to be having a growing audience and appreciation that is now accepted as a form of Fine Art and not just considered to be Craft. The lines between Craft Art and Fine Art seem to have blurred in the past, now its having a moment where it is being accepted in a more serious way. The subject matter that is being created with Fiber Art is also changing and dealing with relevant issues that are thought provoking, I see more Fiber Art being shown and collected than in the past.

Many young artists are looking for exhibition and collaboration opportunities. What suggestion would you give them to propose themselves to a gallery like yours?

Looking for a gallery to show your work is very hard for many artist’s, many gallery’s do to respond to emails or mailings which makes it very difficult for a young artist to get in the door. Applying to be included in a group shows is a great way to get into a gallery, it does not hurt to try emailing them with links to your website or examples of your work. Try to pick a gallery where you can see your work fitting into, just sending an introduction to a gallery without being a good fit is a waste of time and unlikely to get any feedback. If you know an artist who is at a gallery where you feel your work would be a good fit for ask for an introduction, I recently started working with an artist via an introduction from another artist I work with.

Zoobs show, Copyright Ivy Brown

How do you select the artists?

There’s not one way I make my selections, sometimes its by introduction, sometimes its an artist who’s work I have seen in an art fair or magazine and reach out to them, sometimes its an artist who’s work I see on social media (social media has become a great resource for finding new artist’s) or an open studio and every now and then its an email I respond to (though I always answer the emails I receive). Since I look for a variety of artist’s and always want different work to show (I don’t like to repeat myself) I never know exactly what I am looking for.

Natasha Papodoplou show, Copyright Ivy Brown

Natasha Papodoplou show, Copyright Ivy Brown

If I wanted to buy a fiber art work by an artist from your gallery, which one would you recommend and why?

Don’t want to play favorites as I don’t have a favorite, its depends on the person’s taste, where the art is going to go, how large or small a piece, their budget and of course what their aesthetic is.

Who is Ivy Brown?

Small in body, large in life.

Meansshow, Copyright Ivy Brown

Graniteshow, Copyright Ivy Brown

Barbara Pavan

English version Sono nata a Monza nel 1969 ma cresciuta in provincia di Biella, terra di filati e tessuti. Mi sono occupata lungamente di arte contemporanea, dopo aver trasformato una passione in una professione. Ho curato mostre, progetti espositivi, manifestazioni culturali, cataloghi e blog tematici, collaborando con associazioni, gallerie, istituzioni pubbliche e private. Da qualche anno la mia attenzione è rivolta prevalentemente verso l’arte tessile e la fiber art, linguaggi contemporanei che assecondano un antico e mai sopito interesse per i tappeti ed i tessuti antichi. Su ARTEMORBIDA voglio raccontare la fiber art italiana, con interviste alle artiste ed agli artisti e recensioni degli eventi e delle mostre legate all’arte tessile sul territorio nazionale.