From Richard Serra’s Mouth: Dick Bellamy

One of the art dealers profiled in The Art Dealers is Richard Bellamy, and they refer to him as a dealer’s dealer. Other dealer’s profiles were sprinkled with references to him. But when I read his profile, I don’t know that I quite got why or how he was so important. He talks like this:

“In the early years I hadn’t formed any allegiances or opinions yet, so there was no static around the art that interfered with what I was seeing. Being unpracticed, I was registering things very clearly, with an innocent eye. I had an intensity of perception, where things just got interiorized immediately.”

Interesting, but something was missing. Then I came across this essay by Richard Serra in The Brooklyn Rail. Here’s an excerpt:

After I arrived in New York, Dick would phone me every morning. He would always ask the same question: “Richard, how is the weather downtown?” I would put the phone down, walk the length of the loft to the window, look out, go back and report: gray, sunny, fog, rain, snow, whatever. It took me a while to realize that the weather was the same uptown, and this was Dick’s way of keeping in touch. The fact that he phoned every day without fail gave me a sense of security that I needed. I knew that art was being made around the corner and I was nowhere, driving a truck for a living and trying to sort it all out.

The whole piece is great read; I recommend you check it out. The list of artist’s who had initial shows through Green or Hansa or Goldowsky gallery–including Serra–is impressive. Now I think the book should refer to him as the artist’s dealer.

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