What is a painter to do with unsold canvases taking up space in storage? This month, an event organized by New York-based multi-medium artist Julia Sherman will offer a modest venue for art to find buyers: the tag sale.
Artists including Jesse Greenberg, Brie Ruais, Pooneh Maghazehe, Nadja Frank and Sophy Naess will bring their wares to a sale to be held Jan. 25 at the Hudson Guild Community Center, at 17th Street and Ninth Avenue in Manhattan, just steps away from the West Chelsea gallery district.
Even though some of the artists have shown with dealers such as Nicole Klagsbrun (Ruais) and Derek Eller (Greenberg), and one (Molly Lowe) was included in Performa 13, all works on offer will be priced at $50 or less.
"This is a tag sale, not an art fair," reads an invitation Sherman sent to artists, soliciting work to be sold. "Bring as much as you can, and leave with nothing but some petty cash."
Sherman, 30, is a Columbia MFA grad, and several of her fellow Columbia grads are participating. Sherman often works collaboratively on research-based projects; she's currently finishing up a multichannel video, created with senior citizens at the Hudson Guild Community Center, that re-enacts the premiere episode of the television show "The Golden Girls." She has shown work at venues including the SculptureCenter in Queens and Recess in Manhattan.
"My parents recently sent me all my artwork from my whole life, which I had been storing in their basement for many years, everything from childhood drawings to photographs from graduate school," Sherman told A.i.A. by phone recently. "So I was forced to go through it all and decide what I wanted to keep. A lot of artists go through this."
Some precedents would be the affordable art fair or Martha Rosler's Meta-Monumental Garage Sale and Jonathan Horowitz's "Free Store," which parodies the art fair model by removing the cash. One distinction is that all artworks are meant to be anonymous at Sherman's sale.
"You're not necessarily going to get representative examples," Sherman said. "What the artists submit will probably fall out of the main trajectory of their work."
"John Baldessari burned all his old work at a certain point," Sherman added. But, as she said in her invitation, "I find the gesture too grand for such a common problem."
"Every artist I know has artworks shoved in a box somewhere," Sherman said.