Clade, an online club that bills itself as a “private, digital community designed for the world’s wealthiest and most influential investors,” has launched an art exhibition in which its members can buy artworks through its website.
Its first show features works by the painter Nate Lowman that have been brought to the site in partnership with Maccarone gallery, which operates out of Los Angeles in New York (where it is planning to move to a new space uptown). The Lowman exhibition will be followed by future ones with other artists and galleries.
“Many of our members are art collectors,” Clade CEO Jonathan Lipton told ARTnews in a phone conversation. “As you know, the world is becoming more digital, and collectors are hopping from gallery to gallery, art fair to art fair. We were asked to [launch the service] by our members.” He said that the exhibitions are meant to “bring the back room to collectors.”
The Lowman sale is called “Passing the Torch” and features the painter’s recent work, which pays homage to the histories of modernism, alongside works by John Baldessari, Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol, and others.
“The way we view and consume art is constantly evolving,” Michele Maccarone, the founder of Maccarone, said in a statement, “so when Clade first approached me about bringing private ‘back-room’ gallerist and collector conversations online, I immediately thought of Nate, an artist whose complex and layered relationship to contemporary culture and history is worth an in-depth discussion.” Maccarone continued, “Partnering with Clade presents me with the unique opportunity to illustrate Nate’s work against 20th-century masterpieces. The virtual world makes this reality possible of a group show that could exist in no other context.”
Future exhibitions will feature modern and contemporary artworks brought to Clade by international galleries. (Lipton declined to elaborate on which spaces were going to participate after Maccarone.) While these exhibitions will always take place online, he had to admit that there can be a certain charm to seeing the works in person, too. “We think there’s something special about having those works online, so that we can bring them to [collectors],” he said, “but if someone to wants to go see something in person, it’s always a possibility.”