After two months of construction, San Juan, Puerto Rico’s Roberto Paradise gallery is set to open at a new location on Roberto H. Todd Avenue in the Santurce district on August 20.
Roberto Paradise director Francisco Rovira Rullán, who founded the gallery in 2011 told ARTnews in a telephone interview he thinks the gallery’s new, larger ground-floor space will provide a slew of new opportunities. (The gallery had previously been located on the second floor of a nearby building.)
José Luis Vargas will inaugurate the new gallery with a painting exhibition titled “Ya se acabó,” meaning “It’s over,” which is based on images from freak shows.
Rullán described the new Roberto Paradise location, a former warehouse, as a dreamy, spacious 1930s Art Deco building with rounded edges. Its ceilings measure nearly twice the height of those at the gallery’s existing home.
However, “as much as I celebrate our beautiful new space,” Rullán said in an email, “what’s most important to me is our special bond with the artists.” Roberto Paradise has been ramping up its program recently, with Chris Bradley, Caroline Wells Chandler, Poncili Creación, and Michael Berryhill all joining in the past year. They join well-known artists like José Lerma and Katherine Bernhardt at the gallery.
Rullán got his start at the Ronald S. Lauder Collection in New York before working at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico and founding the Galeria Comercial in 2003. He noted that Roberto Paradise is the only art gallery in San Juan that regularly travels to art fairs and has relationships with transnational galleries (like Andrea Rosen in New York, Josh Lilley of London, and ltd of Los Angeles, which represent some of the gallery’s artists). In February 2014, Roberto joined the New Art Dealers Alliance, and is a regular at NADA fairs.
The second and third shows at the space will come from, respectively, Caroline Wells Chandler, who is known for her crocheted fabric works, opening on October 7, and Berryhill, a Brooklyn–based painter, who will present work on December 10.