Back to the Future – 2012 Reviewed, 2013 Launched…

Where to begin?

Presidential elections, fiscal cliffs, End of Days, Olympics, Sandy Hook. The world seems larger…yet feels smaller. Meaner…yet more hopeful. More logical…yet less clear.

As modern humans we’re supposed to interface, naturally and like good little soldiers, to the ever more complicated and invasive technology of information overload. It swirls and envelops us at every turn. We somehow need to make sure we keep our sanity and humanity intact. Where do I find a playbook? Do we lose our humanity by filtering out the world sitting behind our computers or staring at our smart phones? Should we utilize these devices to enhance what’s really real – our flesh and bone connections to ourselves, our friends, and our loved ones? It’s a complicated question to which is no simple answer, especially for those of us who uses a computer for much of each work day.

Robert Natkin's painting entitled Interior

Robert Natkin’s 1961 work Interior

The balance for us as a private art dealers, is that our product – art – is about humanity. At its core art is about growth, experience, sharing, and the struggles of the human spirit which connect us all and remind us we are not alone. Art can be about beauty and transcendence or folly and fear. It holds up a mirror and forces us to ask ourselves “Who am I?” and “Who do I want to be?” Art is about looking inward so we can experience the outward. It is about connection.

Byron Browne's 1942 collage

Byron Browne’s 1942 collage.

Last year brought many new and interesting connections to the art world at large. A billionaire sent one hundred and twenty million of his dollars to an auction house’s bank account and received The Scream by Edvard Munch in exchange. The Louvre entered into an association with Nintendo and installed 5,000 interactive 3D visitor guide video games into their museum experience. Internet behemoth Google launched its Art Project, enabling anyone to virtually peruse and enjoy museum collections all over the world while sitting in front of their computer.

Charles Howard's 1938 surrealist abstraction

Charles Howard’s 1938 surrealist abstraction.

In the small corner of the art world where our gallery exists we found new homes for several of our artworks. It is always a challenge to temper our enthusiasm for what we have in inventory with the little piece of sadness that occurs whenever the FedEx truck drives away with a sold work. Do other businesses feel glum about parting with their wares and widgets? We miss ours dearly. The consolation is we know our custodianship is temporary plus we know the new owner will be enjoying the piece now that they are the work’s custodian. The Charles Biederman painted metal construction pictured below was purchased by The Hunter Museum of American Art so that now many people will be able to enjoy this artwork as it hangs on the wall of its new home.

Charles Biederman #17

Charles Biederman –precision meets passion.

Of course the FedEx truck not only takes things away but it also brings us new artworks to hang in those empty spots on our walls. Last year the new pieces included ones by Robert Natkin, Byron Browne, and Charles Howard (shown above). There were others which I’ll be sharing with you in future blog posts.

Looking ahead in 2013 The Caldwell Gallery is excited to be celebrating our 40th year. We may have started out in business with a telephone instead of a cell phone, however our core mission hasn’t changed. We’re here to share, grow, learn, and connect with people who are as excited and intrigued by art as we are.

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