New York’s Washburn Gallery will close its space in Chelsea after five decades in operation.
In 2017, the gallery’s owners, Joan and Brian Washburn, vacated their previous space at 20 West 57th Street in Manhattan and suspended their exhibition schedule when a city demolition plan threatened to displace a group of galleries there. Washburn Gallery had been in that location for 25 years before their landlord ended the lease agreement, forcing them to move to their next and final current location, at 177 10th Avenue, in Chelsea’s gallery district, close to mega-dealers like David Zwirner and Gagosian.
The gallery was established in 1971 and for years it spotlighted American artists like Philip Guston, Al Held, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Alfred Steiglitz. They worked with the estates of prominent American figures like Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock, who were married for more than a decade until Pollock’s death in 1956.
Over the course of 53 years in business, they mounted more than 400 exhibitions and managed to bring their artists to a fair nearly every year since the early 2000s. Their final show was a Claude Carone exhibition that closed on December 23.
In a statement, the gallery’s founders said that they will continue to represent artists and estates, even without a permanent location, and will maintain an existing website to manage the gallery’s history. They will also continue to stay involved in research initiatives with museums, galleries, curators, and collectors. The decision to close the gallery was sudden and due mainly to a harsher financial climate, said Brian Washburn in a call with ARTnews.
“The market is going through a very tough time– it’s been this way since Covid,” he added. “There was another sea-change that went on after the pandemic. The new generation of collectors, they just don’t have the attention span to look in depth into things. The art fairs have chipped away at a lot of savings.”
The doors to the space will officially shutter in two months, after the dealers return inventory to clients and artist estates who they work with.
Washburn joins other small and mid-size peers that have closed their doors in the last two years. Among the New York galleries that have closed since 2022 are JTT, Metro Pictures, and Cheim & Read.
The post “New York’s Washburn Gallery to Permanently Close After Five Decades” by Angelica Villa was published on 01/11/2024 by www.artnews.com