Bullish amid cooling market, galleries keep betting on New York real estate

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Commercial galleries are expanding and opening in New York this autumn as The Armory Show kicks off a new art market season. An expansion of Hollis Taggart gallery’s Chelsea space will nearly double the gallery’s first-floor exhibition space with an opening date scheduled for the week of The Armory Show. Set to open to the public on 7 September, the expansion will add 698 sq. ft to an existing 887 sq. ft of exhibition space.

“After Labor Day, things start up again; it’s sort of the official kickoff of the fall season. It just seemed to make sense to do it when people are in town for The Armory Show,” Hollis Taggart, who founded his eponymous gallery in 1979, says. “The first Thursday of every September after Labor Day is a big, big opening night for the Chelsea galleries, so there’ll be a lot of people looking to see what’s going on.”

The initial hang at the newly expanded space is somewhat of an extension of the gallery’s Armory stand and will include work from American Abstract Expressionist artists like Dusti Bongé, Ralph Iwamoto and Michael (Corinne Michelle) West, according to the gallery. The stand at the fair will place special emphasis on women Abstract Expressionist painters, Taggart says.

White Cube is preparing to open its first New York location on the Upper East Side in early October. The inaugural show at the new space at 1002 Madison Avenue—a former bank—will feature work by artists including Julie Mehretu and Theaster Gates, followed by a presentation of new paintings by Tracey Emin in November, marking the artist’s first New York solo show in seven years. Goodman Gallery, South Africa’s leading commercial gallery, will open its first permanent US location in New York on 6 September. Rather than a gallery space, the Upper East Side location will operate as an office and viewing room for “focused presentations” of the gallery’s artist roster.

Ortuzar Projects, which had been scheduled to open a new 10,000 sq. ft space in Tribeca in autumn, has pushed back the opening until 2024. Almine Rech is scheduled to open a second location in Tribeca with a Vaughn Spann exhibition in early October. Other galleries recently moving into the neighbourhood include Lio Malca, Timothy Taylor, Stephen Friedman, Marian Goodman and Alexander Gray Associates.

While Tribeca may be the trendiest neighborhood to open a new art gallery, Taggart says he is comfortable continuing to invest in his Chelsea location, pointing out that megadealers like Gagosian, David Zwirner and Pace all own property nearby and are likely to remain in the area long term.

“It is a vote of confidence for the Chelsea gallery district,” he says. “I’m confident that Chelsea is here to stay.”

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