Friday, June 21, 2013

Artmaking as Factory

Abbey House artist Jakub Slomkowski, whose work will be shown at the Saatchi's Polish Art Now exhibition.

From The Guardian...

What if someone came up with a scheme that offered artists financial security while giving them time to work and develop their practice? Abbey House, an auction house and gallery based in Warsaw, Poland, has done just that. 
Set up in 2010 by a young team with backgrounds in business and the luxury sector, the company has agreements with nine Polish artists – some established names, some emerging talent – paying them each a monthly stipend in exchange for an agreed number of works per month. Abbey House then sells these works, via monthly hammer auctions and through private sales, to a growing group of largely Polish collectors. 
But here's the catch. Aside from their fixed salaries and occasional bonuses triggered when a certain number of works are sold, the artists see nothing from these sales. All proceeds go to Abbey House, which is also free to do what it likes with any works that go unsold. The other kicker? These contracts are exclusive and last five years. 
Curious about this new model, I travelled to Warsaw in advance of an exhibition that Abbey House is presenting at the Saatchi Gallery in London.

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