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New York’s Martos Gallery Plans Los Angeles Branch

The building.MARTOS GALLERY

The building.

COURTESY MARTOS GALLERY

New York’s Martos Gallery, which has staged shows under the banner of its Shoot the Lobster project space in cities the world over, will open a permanent location in Los Angeles. The new location, which at 1,000 square feet is smaller than its Chelsea flagship on West 29th Street, will launch at the end of the month or in early October.

The Martos team first tested West Coast waters in January when it mounted a pop­-up Henry Codax show at Michael Thibault gallery and participated in the Art Los Angeles Contemporary fair in Santa Monica.

“We just had such a great trip out there in January, doing the show with Michael Thibault and doing the fair,” said gallery director Taylor Trabulus, who is from L.A. “We met so many people, collectors, artists, and other dealers. It’s a different kind of pace that allows for different programming than we do in New York.”

A bevy of galleries, including New York’s Maccarone and international heavyweights like Hauser & Wirth and Sprüth Magers, are in the process of opening L.A. locations, and New York’s Team inaugurated a space last weekend.

Martos, which has a history of seeking out unlikely territory (its Shoot the Lobster wing once did a show in Iowa City, Iowa), chose a space on Washington Boulevard, outside the city’s densest concentrations of art galleries. “It’s a cool neighborhood—it’s a weird neighborhood, because you’re in between Downtown and Culver City, so you have a little bit of those two scenes, but you’re really in no man’s land,” said Trabulus.

Like many Martos ventures, the new branch came about through the gallery’s extended family.

“We have an artist, Jason Metcalf, and he said, ‘I’m looking for a studio and a place to live,’” explained Jose Martos. Metcalf proposed taking the building next to Michael Thibault, and Martos said, “Why don’t we take it together? You live in the back, you make your studio, we split the space and we split the rent.”

The gallery will likely open with a group show, followed by solo presentations of work by Agnes Lux and Tim Lokiec.

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