Lower East Side gallery Room East will no longer represent artists on its gallery roster and will instead stage historical shows, sources tell ARTnews. The new programming will begin next week, with a show of work by the filmmaker and photographer Hollis Frampton.
Opened in January 2012 by Baltimore native Steve Pulimood at 41 Orchard Street, Room East has staged shows by Darja Bajagić, Sebastian Black, Jacob Kassay, and many others. It has participated in fairs such as NADA Miami Beach, NADA New York, MiArt in Milan, and the Sunday Art Fair in London.
Sources had initially indicated that the gallery was closing, and calls to the landline listed on its website were not picked up. When reached on his cell phone on Tuesday, however, Pulimood denied that the gallery was shuttering, and indicated that the show of work by Frampton, who died in 1984, was all set to open in a matter of days. When asked about whether or not he was still representing artists, Pulimood hung up the phone.
ARTnews reached out to several of the artists who have previously shown at Room East, and four said they were no longer affiliated with Room East and had no plans to show there in the future. Several also confirmed that the gallery has ceased running as a representation-based gallery.
“All I can say is that I was told the gallery was closing its program and my work was returned,” said Dan Shaw-Town. “Therefore I no longer work with Room East, and have no intention to do so in the future.”
Shaw-Town was included in a group show at Room East earlier this year, and last had a solo show there in September 2015.
“From what I understand the program is no longer representing artists,” said Robin Cameron, who last had a solo show at the gallery in 2014. “I no longer work with Room East as a represented artist and don’t have any plans for a show in the future.”
Cameron added that it was her understanding that Pulimood was “shifting the model to show more historical artists.” One other former artist said the same.
In emails to ARTnews, both Bajagić and the artist Ebecho Muslimova also confirmed that they no longer work with the gallery.
Pulimood did not respond to an email request for comment, and was not reachable by phone.