The re-Deitchification of SoHo is complete. ARTnews can confirm that this August, Jeffrey Deitch will take back the cavernous primo real estate at 18 Wooster Street that housed Deitch Projects during its glory days—which means it current occupant, Swiss Institute, will be looking for a new space.
“Swiss Institute has been a fixture of the NYC art community since our founding almost 30 years ago, and we will continue to present exhibitions at our location at 18 Wooster Street until our lease ends,” Swiss Institute director Simon Castets told ARTnews in a statement. “We will soon be announcing details about our future plans.”
The contemporary art organization moved into the storefront space in late 2011 after Deitch shopped off to Los Angeles to take over as director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the lease was secured through August 2016. During that time, Deitch still served as the landlord: the building is owned by the entity Eighteen Wooster Street, which Deitch incorporated in 1996 and runs as CEO.
After Deitch resigned from his position at MOCA in 2013 with two years left on his contract, speculation circulated regarding how he would reestablish himself in New York. In what might be a surprise, he’s simply gone back to where he was before—he returned to the original Deitch Projects space at 76 Grand Street last September, and now his homecoming on Wooster is imminent. Exhibitions at that space began in 1996 and ran through 2010, when it closed after an exhibition of work by street artist Shepard Fairey.
It is unclear to where Swiss Institute will relocate. From 1994 to 2011, the nonprofit organization had a third-floor loft space in the New Era building, a few blocks away on Broadway between Spring and Broome Streets, but it is unclear whether it will stay in SoHo. The Swiss Institute website indicates that programming on Wooster Street runs until at least early May.
Deitch did not respond to a request for a comment that was sent Monday. In response to a reporter’s query in January, he said, “I prefer not to address this because I do not want to interfere with the programming of the Swiss Institute.”