Thursday, January 14, 2010

LES Gallery Update

Basically good news -- more galleries opened than closed last year, but things are still a bit shaky:

Anastasia Photo
166 Orchard Street (and Stanton)
They’ve been around for a year or so, but I’ve been conflicted about including them since they’re a documentary and photo-journalism gallery, not an art photography gallery. But, what the hay.

Blackston Gallery
29C Ludlow Street (between Canal and Hester)
They weren’t opened Wednesday when I went by, but they had a sculpture show that closed January 10th so maybe they were installing. On the other hand, their very rudimentary website doesn’t mention anything about an upcoming show, so there is some cause for concern there.

102 Allen Street (just above Delancy on the east side of Allen)
This is a small space and according to their website: ChinaSquare is committed solely to the promotion of Chinese contemporary work, and only Chinese artists.

Forever and Today
141 Division Street (where it intersects Canal)
NOTE: open Thur-Sun 12-6pm
They are a non-profit with a very small space and small staff. I must confess that I never saw any of their shows. When I finally located them it was a Wednesday, and they were closed. According to several dealers that told me about them, their shows have been really good; unfortunately no shows are posted on their website for 2010.

Lesley Heller Workspace
54 Orchard Street (below Grand)
This is a very professional gallery. Their first show, Catherine Howe, is a bit slick for my taste, good, but too facile. The really exciting thing though is in their back room. They will be having curated shows -- and very professional ones indeed. Their first, curated by Jason Andrew, is Wells Street Gallery Revisited: Then and Now. The Wells Street Gallery was a cutting-edge gallery in Chicago in the 1950’s. They showed such artists as: John Chamberlain, Robert Natkin and Aaron Siskind. This exhibition demonstrates Chicago was doing a lot before the Hairy Who.

Robert Natkin, Earth Quake, 1957
Ludlow 38
38 Ludlow Street (near Hester)
NOTE: open Fri-Sun 1-6pm
Ludlow 38 is the downtown satellite for contemporary art of the Goethe-Institut New York. They’ve been around for a couple of years but I didn’t include them because of the limited hours, but again -- what the hay.

Feature Inc.
131 Allen Street (below Rivington, on the west side of Allen)
Anne Doran does the invaluable Lower East Side Galley Guide that’s published by Feature Gallery and distributed free in most of the galleries. She’s been a great resource on new galleries.

Feature’s new space is smaller than other ones they had, but the proportions are very comfortable and the work looks great there. They have an encyclopedic, 21-artist, sculpture show up now (skulture, until January 23rd). The work relates to Orozco (see my post) but I feel it’s simpler, more playful and inventive. I was particularly impressed with B. Wurtz (see photo below).

B. Wurtz, Untitled, 2007 (courtesy of Feature Inc.)

Luxe Gallery not only moved but changed its name to:
Stephan Stoyanov Gallery
29 Orchard Street (between Hester and Canal)

Participant Inc.
253 E. Houston (between Norfolk and Suffolk

Nicelle Beauchene
21 Orchard Street (Between Canal and Hester)


Michali Fine Art, 45 Orchard Street, closed as I predicted last Spring. (

Smith-Stewart Gallery,
Amy Smith-Stewart unfortunately closed her space (I heard because of crime on the block), and has been curating shows at various spaces. This was a really good gallery; I hope she finds another space soon.

Sunday LES
237 Eldridge ((just below Houston)
The website address isn’t a mistake; they changed their name to Horton Gallery.

Janos Gat Gallery
195 Bowery, 3rd floor (at Spring)
It's now by appointment only.

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