Martos Gallery has announced that it will be moving from its Chelsea location at 540 West 29th Street to a new, two-story space in Chinatown at 41 Elizabeth Street. The gallery been located in Chelsea for the past 16 years. Coinciding with this move, the gallery has hired Ebony L. Haynes, a former associate director and artist liaison at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, as director. A press release also noted that changes to the gallery’s L.A. space will be announced soon.
Martos Gallery will be closed for the summer while renovations are underway at the new space, which is set to open in September. Their last show in Chelsea, Agnes Lux’s “Winter, summer, together,” closed on June 3. When I spoke with Haynes over the phone this afternoon, she told me she was in DUMBO, Brooklyn collecting wood samples for the new gallery space.
“They’ve been in Chelsea for a long time, and this move has been in the works long before I arrived,” Haynes said. “I’m kind of jumping into this in the middle. The space is great—it’s huge and it’s right in the middle of Chinatown. Chelsea, especially 29th, where Martos has been, is a difficult street for foot traffic. The space was really great, and our neighbors have been really great. But I think it’s just time for a change.”
Haynes echoed the feeling that many have had surrounding the recent mass exodus from Chelsea: “I think [we’re moving] to get out of something that Martos and a lot of Chelsea galleries have been comfortable with—the thinking that Chelsea is the place to be. Maybe it was at one point, but now the Lower East Side and Chinatown have begun to include so many other kinds of spaces, and I think it’s really exciting to not have the same epicenter of art galleries.”
“Who knows what’s going to happen in the next ten years?” she added. “Maybe the Lower East Side will be overrun with art galleries. But right now, it feels like a really exciting place to be.”