headlines | about |

the great recession

Artists Exhibiting in Vacant Commercial Spaces, New York 2009

Matthew Lusk's Untitled Hobo at the NADA County Affair

I read an article in the NY Times on Monday, October 12, 2009, entitled "Luring Artists to Lend Life to Empty Storefronts". At the time, I thought it might inspire an interesting posting, especially considering an opening I had recently attended way downtown (south of Trinity Church) which the article failed to mention. Organized by Ellen Scott's Smart Spaces, which "presents contemporary art in the windows of vacant storefronts", the exhibition Regeneration opened October 7th at 88 Greenwich Street and featured window installations by Kim Krans, Hilary Harnischfeger, and Cordy Ryman.

But somehow I lost the impetus for this posting until a series of Facebook "friends" redirected my attention to the NY Times article, the thesis of which is that

as the recession drags on and storefronts across New York remain empty, commercial landlords are turning to an unlikely new class of tenants: artists... On terms that are cut-rate and usually temporary — a few weeks or months — the artist gets a gallery or studio, and the landlord gets a vibrant attraction that may deter crime and draw the next wave of paying tenants.

Thursday, September 10, 2009: One Time Only Back-To-School Special

While I continue to compile listings for my own use, I stopped publishing an online events calendar years ago. But perhaps this one off, ad hoc effort will not only serve to introduce the new season, but might also illuminate the art world's commercial zeitgeist at a pivotal moment in the marketplace.

Despite grim forecasts of galleries closing over the summer and Chelsea becoming a ghost town, notices of 113 openings and events have thus far been received by email, regular mail, Facebook etc. for the first Thursday after Labor Day, shaping up to be a watershed evening. Since back-to-school Thursdays in previous years could also top 100 events, it seems there has not been a significant falling off. Most galleries that closed did so prior to the summer recess. The direness of the anticipated "death watch" was exaggerated, although there certainly could be additional casualties during the ensuing season.

Syndicate content