Managing high values and high volume is no mean feat. Collectively, the Lisson Gallery techs deal with hundreds of art objects every year for their in-house exhibitions alone. Add to that loans, international art fairs and off-site work at the storage facility in Cambridge, and this number reaches thousands.
“We used to have to bring big file folders with us when traveling, get colleagues to scan stuff, upload images and store them separately from the report. It was hard to figure out which images went with which report sometimes. We had to make new reports all the time instead of adding new details to an existing report. Basically it was a mess, but it was how everyone did it” — Kit Merritt, Head Technician, Lisson Gallery
The huge quantity of condition reports can be overwhelming, especially for international teams who rely on colleagues to forward the relevant information stored in several locations, some stored digitally, some on paper.
The portability of Articheck offers a complete solution during art fairs. With limited access to computers on-site, iPhone/iPads offer an alternative to archaic folders of paperwork. And, in areas where wifi can be questionable, Articheck allows users to add new reports and checks. Lisson techs can take photos of artwork on the spot or use their photo library to create instant, polished reports to send to clients, shippers or to circulate internally.
Art fairs can be high stress times, and the techs often work from dawn through the night installing. Articheck allows them to draft reports at peak times, taking images and quick notes, which they can then finesse and share with the registrars back at the gallery once the madness has died down. Articheck even harnesses the use of voice-recognition devices native to the iPad. As one of the techs effused, “since we started using [dictation], there’s no need to even type! It even understands my Northern Irish accent.”
Anish Kapoor, Mirror Glow (Red and Brandy Wine), 2016. Stainless steel and lacquer, 100 x 100 cm © Anish Kapoor; Courtesy Lisson Gallery
Many of Lisson’s pieces are popular loan requests. Articheck’s version history and additional checks features have sped up the re-checking process when objects leave or return from loans. The templates, easy annotating with standardized symbols, and user-friendly interface make reporting a breeze, so the techs have much less manual paperwork to get through and can instead focus on preparing pieces for display and sale.
“It’s gotten so much better since we first started using it. Now it’s got all the bells and whistles! Also, we are real Articheck experts now!”