Sophie Gannon and Jan Murphy team up for MAF - Art Collector

Leslie Rice, Tityos consumed. Courtesy: the artist; Sophie Gannon Gallery, Melbourne; and Jan Murphy Gallery, Brisbane

9 July 2012 | In an unusual move, Melbourne’s Sophie Gannon Gallery and Brisbane’s Jan Murphy Gallery are teaming up to present a solo show of Leslie Rice’s work at the upcoming Melbourne Art Fair.

There’s often a tussle behind the scenes when two (or perhaps more) galleries wish to show the same artist at a fair. But as Sophie Gannon sees it, a dealer’s main goal should be expanding an artist’s profile – not territorialism.

“Jan [Murphy] and I both think he’s a very important contemporary artist, and the best way to present him is as a solo,” she says of the reasons behind the collaboration.

Murphy adds: “We thought this would give his work maximum exposure … I think ultimately Les will benefit from a unified front.”

Gannon says they will split any commissions from sales, and that both galleries will have their own separate stands in addition to the shared stand.

Both dealers are positive about the experience so far. “I couldn’t work with every gallery,” says Gannon. “You have to have a similar way of thinking and acting.”

Rice will also hold a private one-night-only preview of his Melbourne Art Fair work at his Sydney tattoo studio (where there’s a waiting list of several months to get a Rice tattoo) in mid July.

The Melbourne Art Fair runs from 1 to 5 August 2012.

Jane O'Sullivan

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