Artsy: Nate Freeman
In 1970, the collecting couple Herb and Dorothy Vogel spent $250—roughly $1,667 in today’s dollars—on a work of art that can never be displayed, and, in some sense, never existed in the first place.
Robert Barry’s Closed Gallery (1969) was a performance in which galleries in Amsterdam, Turin, and Los Angeles followed the artist’s instructions to close the gallery space for the duration of their respective Robert Barry shows. The only physical representations of the work were its certificate of authenticity and three copies of the invitation sent out to promote a show that never happened, which the Vogels received in turn for their money. The invitation simply says: “During the exhibition the gallery will be closed.”
Image: Sol LeWitt Wall Drawings #766 and #415 D , 1994 MASS MoCA