Why galleries are moving to New York and LA

This decentralization also means galleries don’t have to compete as hard for real estate, and getting more square footage for less money is a major draw. “New York is a very densely populated vertical city. It’s become extremely difficult to find reasonable space,” said Allegra LaViola of Lower East Side stalwart Sargent’s Daughters, who cites LA’s affordability and space as reasons she’s opening a branch — which will be shared. with the gallery’s New York neighbor, Shrine – at Melrose. Hill later this year.

Dealers also mentioned the need to be closer to their artists – and collectors – as one of the reasons for their expansion, as well as the desire to introduce their artists to a new scene, giving the talents of a coast their first show on the other, for example. . And in terms of sales, Los Angeles is closer to emerging contemporary art and financial markets in Asia and Latin America, while New York has closer ties to Europe.

Asked if he is expanding into New York to be closer to artists or collectors, Los Angeles-based dealer David Kordansky, who will open an outpost in Manhattan in May, wrote in an email. mail: “Yes, to be closer to artists, collectors, writers, institutions, new audiences…to bring art closer to everyone. Technology has helped make art more popular and accessible, more mainstream in as a culture, but art should be felt and felt in the round, in space and in person.
And although galleries are at the heart of their financial operations, some gallerists mentioned a less commercial motive for opening new places, based on a sense of community. Joe Amrhein, who founded Pierogi in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn in 1994, looks down to ground level for the vitality of an arts scene. “The best barometer is whether younger galleries are opening,” he said. “In a city, galleries mean there is community. … Community is the engine that drives everything.”

LaViola of Sargent’s Daughters said sharing the Melrose Hill location with other galleries like Moran Moran and David Zwirner was a selling point. “As a relatively newcomer to LA, it’s nice to be in conversation with other galleries,” she said. “I wouldn’t have opened in Los Angeles in an area where there’s nothing else.”

About Margaret L. Portillo

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