In something of an unusual move, Johannes Vogt Gallery, which has been based on Chrystie Street on New York’s Lower East Side since 2016, will relocate this season to a new neighborhood: the Upper East Side, the home of more-established spaces like Lévy Gorvy, Gagosian, Petzel, David Zwirner, and Michael Werner. The gallery will now be located on the second floor of 958 Madison Avenue, putting it one block away from the Met Breuer. It is slated to open with an Abby Leigh solo show on September 20.
“If you told me five years ago that I’d be setting up shop on the Upper East Side, I’d have called you crazy,” Johannes Vogt, the gallery’s owner, told ARTnews in a phone interview. “What I show is not as well-represented [on the Upper East Side], and that’s very exciting, to me. I can create a new framework for the work I’m showing.”
Vogt’s slate tends toward emerging artists and established ones that have yet to receive recognition in the United States. Among the artists who’ve had solo shows at his space over the years are Mernet Larsen (who went on to be represented by the more blue-chip James Cohan Gallery), Marc Horowitz, Garth Evans, Monika Bravo, Chelsea Culp, and Marisa Olson. The gallery first opened on West 26th Street in Chelsea in 2011.
Many Lower East Side dealers talk of anxieties about rising rents and declining foot traffic, and although Vogt spoke mainly of the new opportunities the space afforded him, he did not deny that these concerns influenced his decision to move. Rather than opting for a ground-floor space (his Chrystie Street gallery was on the second floor), he decided to switch neighborhoods entirely. “You’re wondering: Does it make sense to pay ground-floor prices when the traffic is going down so much?” Vogt said. “It just feels like the wrong move at the wrong time.”
He remained optimistic about the Upper East Side, adding, “I’m not going to lie, this is totally uncharted territory for me. I’ve only come to the Upper East Side as a visitor—I’ve never lived here, or spent a significant amount of time here—so it will be exciting to see how it resonates.”