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Josée Bienvenu Heads Down to Street Level

A diagram showing the new location of the gallery.JOSÉE BIENVENU GALLERY

A diagram showing the new location of the gallery.


There’s always action and reaction in New York’s contemporary art scene, with moving vans and heavy-duty construction equipment intercepting pedestrians and looking entirely like transient installations themselves. And more than ever, we have grown accustomed to disruption, not least in Chelsea, where some gallery spaces are being razed, while others are being built and offered at prices beyond sky-high. But some galleries are bucking the trend to abandon ship or risk bankruptcy and are coming up with creative solutions.

Josée Bienvenu is one such survivor, taking the opportunity to move from her second-floor space at 529 West 20th to the ground floor, where she will occupy the front of the building, creating a private entrance from the street. Kim Foster Gallery, which occupies space in the rear of the building, will keep its entrance from the lobby.

“A lot of galleries are moving out of the neighborhood, but I have good neighbors and get to stay at the same address,” Bienvenu said. “I’ll go from invisible to visible.” She’ll be inaugurating the space with a group show opening in stages over the summer. The show, titled “microwave 10,” will be a continuation of Bienvenu’s roughly annual “microwave” series, which brings together international artists focusing on drawing and time. She began doing the exhibitions in 1999, when her gallery was located, nearly unfindably, at 123 Watts Street in Tribeca.

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