Tuesday, April 01, 2008

More gallery closings, changes

From my report in this week’s Boston Phoenix on big changes in the Boston gallery scene:
A week after Allston Skirt Gallery got two of its artists named among the four finalists for the Institute of Contemporary Art’s 2008 Foster Prize, word began to spread that the nine-year-old gallery would be closing at the end of its next show.

The news turned out to be the first sign of a major gallery shake-up involving a number of Boston’s most prestigious venues. Three galleries are closing, several are moving, and others are restructuring. Are these changes just the start of a contraction as the tanking economy begins to affect the local art market?

The three-year-old Space Other gallery at 63 Wareham Street will close after its April 4-26 show, but it’s planning a series of “Space Other at other spaces” exhibits in Amsterdam, Berlin, New York, San Juan, and Mexico City in 2008 and ’09. Judy Ann Goldman at 14 Newbury Street plans to close, at least temporarily, at the end of June and “use the summer to reassess my next move.” There are widespread rumors that Rhys Gallery at 401 Harrison Avenue may leave town; owner Colin Rhys declined to comment. At least three additional galleries seem to be on the bubble and may close in the coming months.
Read the rest here.

Space Other to close

I was saddened to learn last week that Space Other gallery at 63 Wareham St. will close after its April 4 to 26 show "In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni/We go in circles in the dark and are consumed by fire." The closing is another piece of the major shakeup happening in the Boston gallery scene that I reported on last week.

The 3-year-old gallery, which is run by Gamaliel Herrera and Mark Schwindenhammer, specializes in smartly produced, challenging shows, generally with an international bent. And they slipped in some locals, like Bostonian Andrew Mobray, whose “Bathyscape” show made my list of the best art of 2007.

Schwindenhammer says economics weren’t the driving factor. Instead they’re pursuing new opportunities, including planning a series of international projects over the next couple years. And, he says, they’re mulling eventually opening another gallery somewhere around Boston, or Europe.

Herrera writes in a press release issued today: "For the next year Space Other abandons its sessile exhibition space in Boston's South End and proceeds to develop a series of exhibitions under the umbrella title 'space other at other spaces,' which will take place in non-traditional exhibition spaces in Amsterdam, Berlin, New York, and San Juan during the remainder of 2008. During the fall of 2006 we participated in an exhibition where we took over an empty store space in a commercial district in Hamburg for one month. This is the nomadic model to follow. A self published book compiling information on the 21 exhibitions and the many artists presented in Boston during the last three years will be published this fall."

Related reviews:
Andrew Mowbray’s “Bathyscape” at Space Other.
Erik Levine’s “More Man” at Space Other.
Alexander Apostol’s “In Lieu of Modernity” at Space Other.