Chelsea veteran Luhring Augustine is the latest—and, perhaps, highest-profile—gallery to establish a presence in Tribeca, the downtown New York neighborhood that is quickly luring smaller and midsize dealers with its relatively reasonable rents, landmark buildings, and collegial feel. The gallery, which represents artists including Christopher Wool, Simone Leigh, and Ragnar Kjartansson, plans to open a new space on White Street early next year.
Luhring Augustine already has two other spaces in New York City: one in West Chelsea and another in Bushwick, Brooklyn. But in recent years, Tribeca has emerged as a tempting new choice for many dealers as Chelsea becomes home to increasingly massive condo buildings and ballooning, museum-like spaces for just a few mega-galleries.
“We have long been looking for a space in Tribeca where we could join the growing community of notable galleries, both older and younger, in providing a fresh and exciting new context that is rejuvenating the contemporary art scene in New York City,” the gallery’s founders, Lawrence Luhring and Roland Augustine, said in a statement. “Operating three New York galleries in Chelsea, Bushwick, and Tribeca will allow us to present a diverse sweep of exhibitions, and encourage artists to show their work in distinct environments and areas of the city.”
The new 3,500-square-foot space will feature architectural elements characteristic of the neighborhood, including a tin ceiling and wooden floors. It is being renovated by architect (and perennial art-world favorite) Markus Dochantschi and his team at studioMDA.
The inaugural program in Tribeca will include a survey of prints by Georg Baselitz followed by the first major US solo show of the late Brazilian-born, London-based artist Lucia Nogueira, known for the poignant sculptures and drawings she produced in her relatively short career. Next summer, filmmaker Charles Atlas will present his first exhibition in New York since his 2017 presentation “The Illusion of Democracy” at the Museum of Modern Art.
The expansion to Tribeca comes after a change in ownership of the gallery’s longtime Chelsea space. In 2018, Luhring Augustine, which shared the commercial space at 531 West 24th Street with the adjacent Andrea Rosen Gallery, sold the building to real estate developers for a combined $28 million (just over $14 million each for each unit), according to PropertyShark.com. This marked a 1,650 percent return on their investment in the roughly 10,000-square-foot former garage, which they bought in 1997 for $1.6 million, according to Bloomberg. Since then, the gallery has rented back the space from its new owners.
Unlike other major dealers, such as James Cohan Gallery, Andrew Kreps and more recently, P.P.O.W., who have cleared out of Chelsea entirely, a representative for Luhring Augustine says the gallery will keep one foot in the neighborhood. It is planning to stay in Chelsea and maintain its gallery there.
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