Spring: I would never knowingly display a work by an artist in a place or in a way which she or he did not approve—and if I ever did so unknowingly, I would change it immediately on request. Right from the first commissioned piece for the African galleries (by Magdalene Odundo) to my current intense negotiations with two artists, I have always entered into long discussions over exactly how and where works would be displayed and what other works of art would be in close proximity.

This is one way in which a gallery can become a dynamic, living and evolving entity, a forum for debate not simply a vehicle for “a curator’s visions and narratives.” Such discussions may go on for years—and are often aided by galleries such as the October and organizations such as Triangle Arts—but without this relationship between artists and curators the gallery becomes a sham, as do the touring exhibitions and the publications in which the curator shows or reproduces the work of artists in the museum collection.

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