Art dealers who believe galleries are no longer necessary have forgotten an essential reason why works are valued.
As the virtual replaces the physical and the world gets globalised, we’ve been hearing that art galleries, material and settled in a single place are bound to be on their way out. Collectors are now more likely to buy at a fair than from a dealer’s home base; some may do their art shopping online. A few mid-range dealers, especially, are already closing their galleries, to conduct all their business in private, at fairs, or by jpeg. Some newly prominent art middlemen, such as Vito Schnabel in New York, have never even opened a permanent space. I believe that these changes put art itself at risk.