This week New York Magazine is running a package called Art After Money. Here’s a mashup of two different Jerry Salz pieces. Let’s start with a graph from his essay-ette that works as good intro to his picks of the 25 new galleries that have opened in New York City since 2008:
All of this is to say that the demise of the art world has been greatly exaggerated, including by me. It’s as if a bunch of spotlights went out when the market crashed last October, and now, as they flicker back on, we’re able to see new green shoots busting out of the establishment’s cracks. The plug was pulled, but life went on—invigorating life. There might not be a new movement, per se, but there are radically adjusted mind-sets. Fear of form, color, and physicality are diminishing. Previously forbidden methodologies are reemerging: pours, patterns, laminations, complex (even mystical) counting systems, obsessive mark-making and surface manipulation, suggestions of still life, digital motifs, even trompe l’oeil. Artists are—hallelujah!—finally tiring of recycling Warhol and Richter and are instead investigating the handmade, and how irony and sincerity can coexist.
What is especially noteworthy is Salz’s quote from Allen Schwartzman where the art adviser compares the current art crash to the wasteland of the early 1990s:
“Back then,” says art advisor Allan Schwartzman, “there was a complete loss of confidence. No one bought anything. Everything fell apart. Now people are spending less, but they are spending. Collectors sidelined by the recent hysteria are finding ways to buy in this slowed-down market. A few, finding greater opportunities, are spending more.”
Below are Salz’s 9 picks out of the 25 galleries listed as having opened in the last two years. We won’t comment Salz’s comments except to ask whether Zwirner and Wirth’s fissiparous emergence as David Zwirner and Hauser + Wirth really qualifies as two new galleries in New York.
2. *Sue Scott
1 Rivington St., second fl. 212-358-8767
Scott’s sizable space, known for group shows and curatorial projects, is presenting an installation by Franklin Evans, who has transformed the gallery into a weird riff on his own studio (through October 24).
4. *Rachel Uffner
47 Orchard St.; 212-274-0064
Uffner’s September opening for Sara Greenberger Rafferty—who’s showing her murky manipulated portraits of seventies comedians through October 25—was packed to the rafters. A definite up-and-comer.
5. *Lisa Cooley Fine Art
34 Orchard St. 212-680-0564
Cooley represents a small crop of eclectic (and critically well-received) artists, and with the exception of a Texan and one West Coaster, all are local. Up now: a two-man show by painters Jon Pestoni and Zak Prekop (through October 18).
9. *X Initiative
548 W. 22nd St.; 917-697-4886
A one-year project in the old Dia space, this is a not-for-profit spearheaded by dealer Elizabeth Dee. Phase two of its three-part season is on view through the end of this month. In addition to seeing the three artists within the building, don’t miss the roof installation made of swimming-pool noodles.
10. *Horton & Liu
504 W. 22nd St.; 212-243-2663
This gallery specializes in painting and is located on the parlor floor of a Chelsea brownstone, giving it the pre-white-cube vibe of an earlier age. It debuted in September with a show of brightly colored, densely structured, faintly Cubist paintings by Michael Berryhill (through October 10).
11. *David Zwirner
524 W. 19th St.; 212-517-8677
Mega-dealer David Zwirner—who’s showing Chris Ofili and Raoul De Keyser across the street through October 24—will open his fourth Chelsea storefront early next year, expanding his retail space to an immense 40,000 square feet. The new building, a.k.a. Shigeru Ban’s Metal Shutter Houses, is almost an exhibit itself.
516 W. 20th St.; 212-229-1088
Inaugurating its huge new ground-floor space, ZieherSmith kicked off the season with a big group show celebrating its roster. Highlights include Rachel Owens’s sculptural jabs at consumer high society—junky found objects painted gold, sculpture incorporating Manolo Blahniks—and a rollicking mechanical-bull chair by Javier Piñon.
17. *Hauser & Wirth
32 E. 69th St.; 212-794-4970
The Swiss mega-gallery finally gets a home in America, and though it’s way off the Chelsea rounds, it’s also too big to skip. The gallery’s first show, “Allan Kaprow: Yard” (through October 24), is William Pope.L’s restaging of Kaprow’s 1961 tire-pile installation—which the mid-century dealer Martha Jackson mounted in this very house in 1961.
18. *The Boiler
191 N. 14th St., Williamsburg 718-599-2144
Joe Amrhein and Susan Swenson, who run the nearby Pierogi gallery, use their huge space (yes, in an old boiler room) to foster bigger projects from Pierogi artists like Douglas Henderson, who (on November 7 and 8) will stage a live musical composition of contractors hammering on-site.
A New Kind of Boom (New York)
See Here Now–25 New Galleries (New York)