I come at the question from a marketing and sales standpoint, and from my perspective on the front lines of helping artists sell their work, I have only seen the dating of work as a negative.
Dear Jason, As a Museum Director, I vehemently disagree with not putting the date created on pieces of work in a portfolio. Because of the complexity of the market, an artist will frequently have to move a work of art through several galleries before it finds a home.
There are a lot of variables that have to align in order to sell a piece of art.
Sometimes the work is shown in the wrong venue, sometimes the market itself is slow (as over the last several years) and sometimes it’s just poor luck.
In a nutshell, here is the problem: It is often the case that a particular work of art will enter the art market and not sell immediately.
The potential buyer may find the artwork to be desirable in every way artistically and aesthetically, and I would argue that the age of the artwork shouldn’t make any difference to this buyer.
Unfortunately, I have found age can have an impact on some (not all, but some) buyers.“I like this piece,” they will say, “but it’s dated 2007.It’s been on the market for over five years and no one has bought it? ” This seed of doubt can be enough to dissuade some buyers.I am not speaking hypothetically – I have seen this happen on numerous occasions over my 19 years in the art business and my experience has lead me to discourage artists from including the date on their work or in their portfolios for this reason.I simply don’t see a compelling reason on the other side of the argument that outweighs this potential risk for an artist who is trying to sell their work in the current art market.I would argue that it’s not that we’re trying to hide something from potential buyers, but rather that we simply don’t emphasize the age of the work by including the date.