It really depends on the work. With many kinds of photographs and paintings, yes, JPEGs can persuasively convey something important about the actual works. But sculpture, video, animation, work that has a minimalist aspect, work with any kind of optical illusion—with these kinds of pieces, the work doesn’t usually translate well into JPEGs. You begin the conversation with emails. You do the background work, you do the homework, with emails. But then you meet at the gallery or at an art fair. I sense that there’s an unusually close fit between the identity and mission of your gallery and the identity and mission of your website. When you started the gallery in 1996, did you have a specific vision in mind for what Lehmann Maupin Gallery should become? Yes, absolutely. The fundamental thought behind starting the gallery was that the art world was undergoing a de-centralization. Great artists could live anywhere in the world. We wanted to give those artists their first shows—in New York in particular. With a lot of the artists, that happened. That wasn’t our only idea—there are nuances to our program that deal with identity, and so on. But we gave Do Ho Suh, Tracey Emin, Kutlug Ataman—we gave them their first shows in New York. Anya Gallaccio. Sergio Prego. Mr. So we realized what we set out to accomplish. And of course we also began to include older artists, people who expanded our program. That’s what the Web does—it brings us into one place. So you wanted to be unusually international? Yes, that was our identity. Every gallery has an identity. This was ours. 62
The Art World and the World Wide Web. Essays, Interviews and Case Studies.