As Art Basel Miami Beach brings the world’s dealers to South Beach, word has gotten out that two major European galleries are planning incursions into the New York City market.
Brussels-based Almine Rech Gallery plans to open a space on the Upper East Side in May, extending its reach beyond London and Paris, where it also has outposts. Meanwhile, the London powerhouse White Cube gallery has begun to look for office space in New York.
White Cube, which also has a space in Hong Kong, has not yet figured out where the office will be. Reps for the gallery denied that the move portends the opening of an actual gallery, but the decision could follow the trajectory of another London-based powerhouse, Lisson Gallery, which opened offices on the Lower East Side in 2012 before announcing, in 2014, that it would open a space in Chelsea.
The recent wave of Old World galleries opening in New York was punctuated this summer with the arrival of Galerie Buchholz, which has spaces in Berlin and Cologne, on the Upper East Side, with dealer Alex Zachary at the helm.
When a representative at Almine Rech was approached by a reporter at the gallery’s booth during the First Access VIP preview of the fair in Miami, he confirmed that they were in the process of locking up the lease on the Upper East Side, and that it would be a “project space.” He did not elaborate.
White Cube, which represents a number of the Young British Artists, like Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, and which shuttered its São Paulo space this summer, has long had a loud presence in Miami. Last night it threw its annual party at Soho House, which came complete with legendary disco producer Giorgio Moroder DJing and Emin burning up the dance floor.
When White Cube owner Jay Jopling was asked about the New York space at his booth during the fair’s VIP preview, he said, “We haven’t announced anything yet, and I’m busy today selling art.”