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‘Chelsea Just Got to Be Too Corporate’: New York’s P.P.O.W Becomes the Latest Gallery to Depart Chelsea for Tribeca

The TriBeCa neighborhood.

COURTESY PPOW GALLERY

The main gallery district in New York is now in Chelsea—but this may not be the case for much longer. Several galleries have recently left the neighborhood for Tribeca, perhaps pointing the way to a new top gallery district in the city, and now one more storied Chelsea enterprise has announced plans to move there.

P.P.O.W gallery, which was formerly based in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood on West 22nd street, will move to Tribeca in fall 2020. The gallery has been based in Chelsea since 2004, and it will now be located at 20 Cortland Alley, next door to the newly inaugurated space of Andrew Kreps Gallery, which is itself a Chelsea transplant.

“There are things we could get [in Tribeca] that we just couldn’t get in Chelsea anymore,” Wendy Olsoff, the gallery’s cofounder, told ARTnews in a phone conversation. “We’re able to gain a beautiful space in a neighborhood we felt comfortable in…. Chelsea just got to be too corporate for us and our identity. It just didn’t match anymore.”

Following the relocations of a number of premier galleries, Tribeca has become one of the most closely watched art neighborhoods in New York. These galleries include James Cohan, Canada, Denny Dimin, and Andrew Kreps Gallery; all of them have announced their moves within the last year. Ortuzar Projects, a gallery run by former David Zwirner partner Ales Ortuzar, also set up shop in Tribeca in 2018.

P.P.O.W—which represents the estates of David Wojnarowicz and Martin Wong, as well as Hilary Harkness, Carlos Motta, and Betty Tompkins, among others—has signed a 10-year lease on its new home. It will now occupy 8,000 square feet of space and be spread out over two levels. (A representative for the gallery said that the Tribeca space will be bigger than a Chelsea one, though a current square footage for the Chelsea gallery was not immediately available.) Another benefit of the new space, Olsoff said, is that P.P.O.W will now be on the ground floor. In a release, the gallery said it would continue to “honor its legacy, expand its program, and continue championing the artists and estates it currently represents.”

“The community [in Tribeca] seemed to us to be a very supportive community,” Olsoff said, adding, “We love being near Artists Space,” a storied alternative space in Tribeca set to reopen on White Street on an as-yet-unannounced date.

The reaction from longtime locals has already been ecstatic. In a tweet, Magda Sawon, the director of Postmasters Gallery, another neighboring space, wrote enthusiastically, “BOOM ta da! Welcome. PPOW is best.”

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