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New York’s American Medium Gallery Closes

Installation view of “Ann Hirsch: Muffy,” 2014, at American Medium’s Bed-Stuy location.

COURTESY AMERICAN MEDIUM

A little more than a year after it moved from Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood to an above-ground space in Manhattan’s Chelsea arts district, the gallery American Medium is closing. The outfit made the announcement today in an emailed letter that reads simply, “american medium has come to an end”—with the last word linking to the music video for the 1999 Semisonic classic “Closing Time.”

The letter was signed by the gallery’s three founders—Travis Fitzgerald, Josh Pavlacky, and Daniel Wallace—who opened the business in a Union Square loft owned by Fitzgerald’s father and began showing in 2012 with an exhibition by Jon Rafman. Exhibitions followed by Artie Vierkant, Jasper Spicero, Brenna Murphy, and other enterprising early-career artists plumbing the digital-analog divide.

In 2014, the gallery set up shop in Bed-Stuy, where it hosted shows by artists like Ann Hirsch, Harm van den Dorpel, and E. Jane, before decamping for Chelsea in September of 2017. The last affair at that location was an exhibition and performance project by Jaimie Warren that ended December 15. Reached by phone, Fitzgerald declined to comment on the gallery’s closure.

The end of American Medium comes after a brutal few years for New York galleries focused on emerging and vanguard art, with enterprises like Real Fine Arts, Signal, Broadway 1602, and others shuttering.

It should be noted that that Semisonic song includes the line, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” Given the three partners’ long involvement in contemporary art, it seems safe to assume that this is not the last we’ll hear from them. And it certainly won’t be the last we hear of the many promising artists that their gallery represented.

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