Photo by Petite Simone Photography
Marjorie Hodges is one of North Carolina's best resources for insider knowledge of the contemporary art market. An independent art advisor as well as Director of Strategic Initiatives at The North Carolina Museum of Art, she was formerly the Director of The Contemporary Art Museum Foundation at CAM Raleigh and is on the board of several non-profits that promote art in our communities. Marjorie's passion is promoting art as part of our daily lives, whether that be in a museum or in our homes. In the countdown to our Contemporary Art Auction, we checked in with Marjorie for her insight into the art market now.
Looking Into My Dreams, Awilda by Jaume Plensa at The Pérez Art Museum Miami during Art Basel
LLA: You spend a lot of time traveling around the world to contemporary art shows, like the one this past weekend at The Armory in New York. Are there any trends you're seeing in the art marketplace?
MH: Last week's fairs in NYC included the Armory Show and a dozen satellite fairs such as Spring/Break, Independent and Volta. Thousands of people from around the world gathered to see the latest in contemporary art. One big trend was elbow-bumping and air-kissing instead of the usual hugs and the hand shakes! As for the art trends, painting dominated the Armory Show rather than technology and installations this year. Much of the art reflected the globally influenced and culturally diverse world we live in. Activist and politically-minded works were also prevalent.
The Jeffrey Deitch Gallery at the 2020 Armory Show in NYC
LLA: What do you tell clients who might feel nervous about buying art by living artists they may not have heard of before?

MH: I say, don’t be nervous! I research artists thoroughly for clients and provide background information. I also encourage everyone to visit and support local museums, arts organizations and non-profit art spaces. Right in our backyard we have the North Carolina Museum of Art, CAM Raleigh, the Nasher Museum of Art, the Ackland, Artspace, Anchorlight, the Visual Art Exchange, and many other arts organizations. The more you see, the more you know. Knowledge is power.
Hodges at The Armory in NYC
LLA: What's your favorite thing about working with contemporary art and artists, as opposed to representing art from the historical canon?

MH: I appreciate art from all periods of history, but most enjoy working with contemporary art and living artists. It’s simple for me. Contemporary art is the art of today and reflects our diverse culture and society. The perspectives expressed through contemporary art are incredibly valuable to society. I find it deeply inspiring to hear first-hand what an artist is trying to say. I learn from artists every day and I’m committed to promoting their livelihood.
LLA: Art is a multi-layered purchase: it's both an emotional and a financial investment. How do you balance those elements as you counsel clients on what to buy?

MH: First and foremost, I always advise a client to buy what they love. In addition, I encourage clients to invest in anchor pieces for their home and collection that they will, no doubt, enjoy and live with every day. Art is indeed an asset class, but I never suggest that a client buy a particular work solely because of its investment potential.

The Contemporary Art Auction
Live Auction
Friday, March 13th
6:30pm (EDT)