Renato Danese. Photo: Danese/Corey.

Renato Danese (1944–2020)

New York gallerist Renato Danese, who together with Carol Corey ran the gallery Danese/Corey for more than twenty years, died at his home in Westerly, Rhode Island, on Thursday, April 2, at the age of seventy-six years old. Corey confirmed that the cause of death was cancer. 

Danese was raised in New Jersey and New York and studied English at George Washington University in Washington, DC. Under Walter Hopps’s tutelage, he began his career as a curator of twentieth-century art at the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, an independent arts space that exhibited the work of Sam Gilliam, Arshile Gorky, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, and Anne Truitt before it merged with the now-defunct Corcoran Gallery of Art.

Danese went on to work as a curator of exhibitions at the Baltimore Museum of Art. During his tenure at the institution, he also served as associate director of the National Endowment for the Arts’ visual arts program. In 1978, he relocated to Los Angeles, where he opened a branch of Light Gallery. Shortly thereafter, he joined Arne Glimcher at Pace, staying on as director until 1995.

After a stint as senior partner at C&M Arts in New York, Danese opened his eponymous gallery in the Fuller Building on Fifty-Seventh Street in 1997. The gallery moved in 2008 and relocated to its current home on Twenty-Second Street in 2013. It became Danese/Corey in 1998, when Corey, formerly a vice president at Knoedler Gallery, became partner.

While initially focusing on the secondary market, the gallery’s program also presented artists such as Dozier Bell, Connie Fox, April Gornik, and Elizabeth King. When asked how the gallery determined the artists for their programming during a 2015 interview with the Art Dealers Association of America, Danese answered: “The quality of their work. We have no other defining agenda.”