Irit Krygier stands at the doorway of the Williamson Gallery at the ARt Center College of Design in Pasadena and greets the guests who have arrived for her eclectic new show," Romance."
Krygier, who closed her Santa Monica based Krygier/ Landau Contemporary Art Gallery in 1991, has welcomed plenty of art buffs to plenty of shows, but tonight she's doing it in a relatively new role: She's a guest curator.
Her new job is emblematic of the many transformations the L.A. art business has undergone since the market, as Krygier puts it, Went down the toilet" in the early '90s. Speculators have dropped out of the market, and art is no longer appreciating wildly. "We can't represent art like we did in the '80s," she says. "We have to reinvent ourselves."
In the past few years, new art-support systems of all kinds have appeared: artists' coops, like Food House and Hello Artichoke, in which a group of artists combine resources to put on their own shows; gallery co-ops, like Santa onic's Bergamot Station, that allow several art-biz types to share a space, and in home galleries, like Bill Radawec's Domestic Setting.
Krygier is making it in the '90s as an independent curator and art adviser, putting together shows at public spaces and advising collectors- all out of her home. "Romance," tonight's show at the Art Center, features works from Ed Ruscha, Dan McCleary, Alexis Smith and Millie Wilson.
Krygier sees a comeback for the local art market, but in a "leaner, more efficient, more '90 form. The '80 were all about spending a lot of money." she says. "The '90 are more about art."