While many museums have taken the lead in their sustainable development policies but have been slow in sharing their best practices, contemporary art galleries have taken advantage of collective emulation and shared their discoveries and expertise. 

Two similar initiatives have been launched by our Anglo-Saxon friends, with the common objective of establishing a “new standard” for the art sector and reducing its carbon footprint.

One initiative launched in London stands out – the publication of a carbon calculator specifically adapted to contemporary art. About forty galleries, united in the form of a non-profit organisation called “Gallery Climate Coalition”, are aiming to reduce their carbon emissions by 50% within the next ten years. Gallery owners like Kate MacGarry and Thomas Dane have taken the lead by posting their respective carbon balances online. This carbon calculator will be launched this autumn and it will be freely available to members of the GCC network.

We had already witnessed the creation of the Galleries Commit initiative in June 2020, the New York sister of Gallery Climate Coalition. This consortium of more than a hundred directors, gallery employees and artists, including gallery owners David Zwirner and Marian Goodman, is committed to global environmental awareness among New York galleries. Following a first audit of practices, the collective dynamic is oriented towards webinars this autumn, due to the pandemic, with guidelines for discussion including the challenges the industry faces, such as shipping and packing, sustainable practices, long-term viability of models, or even contemporary Art Fairs. 

Faustine Dehan 

October 2020


Crédit:  Installation view, exhibition of Larri Pitmann, “Nocturnes”, 2016, Thomas Dane Gallery, London

Find all the articles from Impact Art News n°23 – October 2020

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