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Kenichi Hoshine, The Magician and The Thief, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and Hollis Taggart.
Kenichi Hoshine, The Magician and The Thief, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and Hollis Taggart.

US Galleries Expect 73 Percent Revenue Loss in Second Quarter, Venus Over Manhattan Withholds Rent, and More

A new survey conducted by the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) reports that art galleries across the US are forecasting a revenue loss of 73 percent for the second quarter of 2020, which began on April 1 and ends on June 30. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the galleries already experienced a 31 percent drop in revenue at the beginning of the year. While 85 percent of full-time staffers have retained their positions, 74 percent of contract workers that had regular assignments at galleries prior to March 13 are no longer employed.

The study mined data from 168 galleries across the United States between April 15 and May 4, in order to assess the health of the arts and culture sector and provide insight into the short- and long-term economic effects of the pandemic. Its findings conclude that the impact of the Covid-19 crisis was swift and devastating, leading to losses in revenue, reductions in business activity, and closures of physical spaces, and will likely be felt for the next twelve to eighteen months.

“It is essential that federal, state, and local governments take further action to ensure that the small business community, including art galleries, have access to the critical support that is needed if they are to sustain their businesses for the long-term and continue their essential contributions to the nation’s vibrant arts and culture landscape,” said Andrew Schoelkopf, president of the ADAA and founder of Menconi + Schoelkopf, and Maureen Bray, executive director of the ADAA, in a joint statement.

Michael Rosenfeld Gallery acquires estate of Bob Thompson (1937–1966). After twenty-three years of representing Thompson and working closely with his widow, Carol Thompson, the gallery now owns all the remaining works in the family’s possession and their intellectual property rights. “Throughout my career, I have been devoted to the legacy of Bob Thompson,” said Michael Rosenfeld. “I enjoyed many years of close friendship and collaboration with Carol Thompson and following her passing, sisters Elaine and Cathy. Bob is one of the great twentieth-century painters; he has been and will always be at the core of the gallery’s program. Acquiring his estate is a great honor and responsibility; I am confident that I can continue to further his reputation and legacy with research, scholarship and exhibitions.”

A forthcoming solo exhibition, “Bob Thompson: This House is Mine,” organized by the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville, Maine, and curated by Diana Tuite, is scheduled to open in the summer of 2021. The show will travel to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago. The exhibition aims to introduce Thompson’s work to new audiences, reexamining his oeuvre through the exploration of “his rejection of American painting and his refuge on the European continent” while considering how “legacies of dispossession, displacement, and exile shape aesthetic ownership.”

Xavier Hufkens, who founded his first contemporary art gallery in Brussels in 1987, is opening his third location in the city. The dealer represents some forty artists, including Tracey Emin, Antony Gormley, and Danh Vō, and has partnerships with the estates of Louise Bourgeois, Willem de Kooning, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Alice Neel. Located at 44 Rue Van Eyck, the new 3,800-square-foot outpost—designed by Belgian architect Bernard Dubois—will be inaugurated by an exhibition of artist Sterling Ruby’s new series of assemblages, “A RELIEF LASHED + A STILL POSE.”

Commenting on the new space, Hufkens said: “We could have opened abroad but chose to stay in Brussels. I want to prioritize quality over anything else, as it has always been the thread of our program. The third space will give our artists new spatial possibilities, new opportunities and challenges, supported by an experienced team. I want the gallery to be a destination, both physically and intellectually. A place where artists, art enthusiasts, collectors and students can come together. If we do this right, I believe art can reach beyond our walls.”

Jammie Holmes, Behold the Golden Horse, 2020.

Hollis Taggart has announced its representation of the New York–based artists Leah Guadagnoli and Kenichi Hoshine, both of whom have been featured in recent presentations at the gallery. Guadagnoli’s whimsical relief paintings were included in the gallery’s group show “Breaking the Frame” last fall. Her works were also displayed at the gallery’s booth at Untitled, Miami that same year. Hoshine’s solo exhibition, “The Magician and The Thief,” which included new paintings on wood panel that convey his interests in theater, poster design, and the occult, opened at Hollis Taggart in January. The gallery plans to announce new dates for exhibitions for the artists after it finalizes its reopening schedule.

“We are delighted to welcome both Leah and Kenichi to the gallery,” said Paul Efstathiou, director of contemporary art at Hollis Taggart. “Their distinct conceptual and material approaches to abstraction highlight the ongoing interest and intricacy of the genre. We have been enthusiastic about their work for quite some time and are very much looking forward to having them as part of our program and to engaging new and growing audiences with their visions and practices. We are also excited to be celebrating the first year of our contemporary program, which has seen incredible growth and response. Even with the current necessary shutdown, we have continued to work with a spectrum of artists and are enthusiastic about the exhibition and project ideas currently in development.”

Juan Uslé, who works primarily in painting and photography, has joined Galerie Lelong & Co. He has been represented by the gallery’s Paris location since 2011, and his relationship with the dealership now extends to New York. Remarking on his practice, Uslé said: “I mean to discover what is essentially different in every painting, treating each painting as an equal-size body, but with a different soul.” A selection of the artist’s recent paintings and works on paper will be presented in the gallery’s online Viewing Room through June 18, 2020.

In a review of Uslé’s recent exhibition at Alfonso Artiaco in Naples in the March 2019 issue of Artforum, Ida Panicelli wrote: “In the fourteen paintings (all works 2018), in his recent exhibition ‘Pedramala’ (whose title refers to an area in the south of Spain, near Valencia, where Uslé has a house), color, forms, and marks were regulated by a continuous movement, giving the sense of an apparently rigorous structure within which the artist allows himself a great deal of unruliness, with variations, fractures, pauses, and cancellations. The production of these geometric grids involves a process similar to that of weaving on a loom: Uslé accumulates vertical, horizontal, or diagonal signs one by one.”

Jammie Holmes has joined the roster of the Library Street Collective in Detroit. A self-taught painter from Thibodaux, Louisiana, whose canvases hover between social realism and raw abstraction, Holmes often grapples with issues of socioeconomic identity, race, and religion. He has produced paintings that range in subject matter from narratives from the daily life of black families in the Deep South to the experiences of child soldiers in Sierra Leone, where his father was born. On his work, which is on view in the New Art Dealers Alliance’s (NADA) online viewing rooms, Holmes said: “My brush strokes are raw because I want the viewer to see aggression, pain, and joy. When I’m working on faces, I get lost in the beauty and something will tell me to distort it. The child in me wanting acceptance comes out.”

Venus Over Manhattan’s owner, Adam Lindemann, is suing the real estate tycoon Aby Rosen to break the lease on the Upper East Side gallery space, reports the Art Newspaper. The lawsuit, filed in a Manhattan federal court on May 18, claims the New York gallerist is no longer obligated to fulfill his lease agreement—which is contracted through 2022—citing “frustration of purpose,” which allows tenants to break a lease if the original purpose of the agreement has been made untenable due to unanticipated circumstances—in this case, the coronavirus pandemic. (The building, at 908 Madison Avenue, also features galleries Danziger Gallery, Higher Pictures, and a Gagosian outpost.) Lindemann has withheld his monthly $73,814 rent from April onward, and is demanding his $365,000 security deposit and legal fees in the suit. This week, Lindemann and his wife, fellow art dealer Amalia Dayan, also listed their $65 million estate in Montauk for sale.