There are gallery owners (many) who dream of turning living artists into living legends, and there are gallery owners (a few) who won’t be bothered with anybody who isn’t a living legend. The nurture and maintenance of legends is a tricky, expensive business. Mary Boone is Mary Boone because she knows how to make this year’s scandal into next year’s old master. But then again, Julian Schnabel left Boone for the Pace Gallery on Fifty-seventh Street because he wasn’t becoming an old master fast enough. In the geography of reputations it’s easier to pass from uptown into eternity, or at least into the illusion of eternity that a sterling reputation provides. You’ll never turn an artist into a legend on the garbage-strewn streets of the Lower East Side. This is one reason why the scene there fizzled. And it’s infinitely easier to create a legend if the surroundings themselves are...


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