Two years after opening a 1,000-square-foot space in Los Angeles, Martos Gallery has decided to switch gears: instead of being a Martos Gallery outpost, it will be an outpost of owner Jose Martos’s project space, Shoot the Lobster.
The news comes just a few months after Martos announced he would be moving his gallery from Chelsea, its home for 16 years, to Elizabeth Street in Chinatown.
“After two years of many memorable exhibitions and events, Martos Gallery LA has closed its doors to make way for the second STL project space,” the gallery announced in a release. “This space, like its East Coast accomplice, will feature a mix of exhibitions, performances, concerts, pop-ups, and more.”
This is just the latest development for Martos’s once-itinerant, now brick-and-mortar Shoot the Lobster franchise. It began as a happening in a back room at the dealer’s old New York space on West 29th Street, before moving to a semi-underground former fish market on Eldridge Street, where it remains today. Earlier directors have moved on—Mary Grace Wright (the first to helm the operation) to Bureau, Taylor Trabulus to Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, and Alexander Shulan to his Bowery gallery Lomex—and the space is now overseen by Martos Gallery director Ebony L. Haynes, along with artist and ARTnews contributor Quintessa Matranga.
There have been shows branded with the Shoot the Lobster imprimatur in Los Angeles before, though not at its own space. There was also once an STL show is Iowa City, Iowa, and another in Miami with Ryan Foerster.
The first exhibition at Shoot the Lobster LA is “Astral Oracles,” and it’s described as a witches’ coven. According to the STL LA website, “candles, potions, spells, magic objects, crystals, and books created by the Oracles will be available for purchase.”
Sounds about right for a Los Angeles show. It opened last night at sundown.