Auxier Kline is contemporary art gallery focusing on emerging and mid-career artists established by co-founders Brent Auxier and Kate Kline who met as Associate Directors at a long-standing Chelsea Art Gallery. Auxier and Kline will be curating individual artist and group exhibitions both online and ultimately in a physical space, along with offering an ongoing selection of works from their flat files. A roster of artists they’re representing and regularly have works available by will be announced later this spring. Their inaugural online exhibition, My Funny Valentine, is currently up on Auxier Kline’s website and @auxierkline on Instagram.
We sat down with Brent and Kate to get the scoop on their new venture and what we can expect from their new venture.
Art Zealous: Tell us about your background and how you came to found Auxier Kline?
Brent: We met several years ago at our jobs as associate directors of a contemporary art gallery in Chelsea. We developed a strong working relationship, and began daydreaming of what the programming would look like if we started a gallery of our own. After a couple of years of brainstorming and comparing notes about what we wanted from the partnership, we decided it was time to pull the trigger and set our plans in motion.
Kate: Brent is being humble. He’s been an integral part in the programming at the gallery where we met. I love going out for studio visits with him, especially if it’s work I’m not already familiar with; I always wonder what hidden gems we’ll see that day. We love art, talking about art, seeing new art. It’s a natural fit and always best to go down this road with someone you not only respect but also genuinely enjoy spending time with. We have a similar eye for art, but challenge one another whether it’s agreeing on something or not, and seeing it in a different way.
Art Zealous: My Funny Valentine will be your first online exhibition, tell us what viewers can expect?
Both: My Funny Valentine is a collection of paintings and works on paper by ten contemporary artists that were inspired by the jazz standard of the same name. We curated the show as a visual investigation into the function of romance in contemporary culture. We selected artists that depict affairs of the heart, and the many varied forms that love and lust imperfectly manifest themselves. From euphoria to agony, and even mundanity, we wanted to illustrate the intrinsic feelings of participating in, or abstaining from, have deep romantic and sexual attachments in the modern world. It’s a visual depiction of the modern-day valentine.
Art Zealous: How did you select the artists for My Funny Valentine?
Both: We had prior relationships with about half the artists in the exhibition from including them in past group shows and knew they had engaging work we thought was very strong and would fit the theme of the exhibition. Their enthusiasm and desire to participate in Auxier Kline was invaluable to us. Aaron Zulpo was kind enough to create a painting on paper specifically for this show, and we have had ongoing relationships with Logan T. Sibrel, Carlo D’anselmi, Dylan Hurwitz, and Jacob Patrick Brooks. As well as Patrick McCloskey, who’s collages are part of the show, and he is also the talented designer that created the Auxier Kline logo. I was excited about the subject matter of the show, as it allowed us to include work by artists I have long admired such as Emilia Olsen’s very New York bodega flower paintings, Drea Cofeild’s cheeky works on paper, and Jeremy Sorse’s incredibly detailed and lush works on paper.
Art Zealous: Do you think collectors are shopping online for art or do they still want that in-person visceral experience?
Brent: We kept the price point for My Funny Valentine at a more approachable range keeping in mind that the show would live fully and only in the virtual world. We are also happy to share additional images, videos, and details of the art to complete a sale. We think there is a place at the table for online sales, as we personally have collected from trusted artists and dealers online and via Instagram before many times.
Kate: We all hear it said every day – whether we like it or not, the paradigm is changing and there are many ways to get art out in the world, seen and enjoyed by a large audience who might not be in, say, NYC at a given time to see a show that intrigues them. Physical shows will always have their place, but offering up a curated selection of works online is something we find really exciting. Instagram is amazing for this, and this online model still allows us to push out highly curated content, even quicker in some cases than if every show was held in a physical space.
Art Zealous: Will the gallery have a brick and mortar space?
Both: We want to continue our online model of showing lower-priced works to offer online, but our end goal is to have a physical space in the very near future.
Art Zealous: Favorite spot to grab coffee, a drink and dinner?
Both: It used to be our beloved Half King in Chelsea that sadly closed down last January. These days you can find us for Happy Hour at Empire Diner, or brainstorming at the end of the bar at Tia Pol. Kate: Brent is a beer guy. Always a beer! Definitely a martini for me.
Both: After a long afternoon of studio visits, the St. Louis pizza at Speedy Romeo in Brooklyn is above and beyond good. After a night of openings in Chelsea, Pepe Giallo for the fettucini with chicken and mushrooms in cream sauce. We’re telling you nothing beats it.
Art Zealous: Best piece of advice for young people in the arts?
Brent: I think it’s important to have a presence on Instagram as a way to meet other artists and collectors, and become part of the community in 2020. I’ve come across countless artists’ work through their online presence, which has led to studio visits and inclusion in exhibitions. Attending openings is also a great way too. You don’t want to manipulate anyone’s time at those events, but just a friendly face and showing support by attending and posting can go a long way.
Kate: You have to love art. It’s not always glamorous and it’s not even always fun, but it IS always exciting if you love and respect the work and genuinely want to share that with others.
Art Zealous: You don’t leave home without…
Brent: An iced coffee (even in a snowstorm), lip balm, a pair of sneakers, and a book for when I inevitably get stuck on the C train for an hour during the commute from Brooklyn.
Kate: Let’s be real… my iPhone, but is that really all that novel?! Also, a change of clothes. Halfway through the day after trekking around, I’m always like, ugh this is sweater is too scratchy or these shoes hurt, I need to change! Crazy or quirky.. undecided.
Art Zealous: What are your current and near-future projects?
Both: We are currently doing studio visits and working on the online programming for future group and solo exhibitions, with some exclusive “drops”… And of course, a future brick and mortar for Auxier Kline.