6 Dealers Under 40 to Watch
Here's where to find them.
Gaining one’s foothold in the art world as a dealer is not an easy feat, with pressure to nurture one’s own passions while also supporting one’s artists, to reconcile creative freedom with commercial interests, and to stay afloat amid rising rents. Nevertheless, new dealers pop up at every fair. Here are six young US dealers whose programs have made waves and caught our eye.
1. Tara Downs, Tomorrow Gallery, New York
After running Tomorrow Gallery in Toronto for a couple of years with fellow-founders Aleksander Hardashnakov and Hugh Scott-Douglas, Tara Downs headed to New York as sole manager, following a brief stint spending half her time with Berlin’s Tanya Leighton Gallery. You can find her at art fairs from New York to Dallas, from Los Angeles to Milan. Since touching down in New York’s Lower East Side, she’s gained attention for shows by sculptors Carlos Reyes and Brad Troemel and painter Louisa Gagliardi, among others.
2. Jesse Greenberg and MacGregor Harp, 247365, New York
While the relationship between artists and dealers can sometimes be painted as adversarial, there are those who straddle the divide and play both parts. Jesse Greenberg and MacGregor Harp bring the eye of an artist to the process of selecting artists they work with, including sculptor Benjamin Reiss, whose eye-poppingly detailed sculptures impressed at NADA New York in 2016, and Lizzie Fitch, the Rhode Island School of Design grad who’s widely known for her work with Ryan Trecartin.
3. Mariane Ibrahim, Seattle
Somalia-born gallerist Mariane Ibrahim—already operating outside of art-world hubs simply due to her Seattle location—differs from her peers in that she specializes in contemporary African art, with the idea of capturing the emotional ramifications of identifying as African. “I am hoping to support artists really grappling with the complexities of African identities and to provide space for such work that might not be shown in other contexts,” Ibrahim told the Visual Arts Journal. The gallery represents the likes of photographer Scarlett Coten, who was recently selected as a finalist for the Oskar Barnack Award, and Maïmouna Guerresi, whose portraits of fellow Africans, according to the New Yorker, achieve “the conjunction of the individual with something greater.”
4. David Petersen, Minneapolis
David Petersen launched his gallery four years ago after an even decade as artistic director of Minneapolis’s artist-run gallery Art of This; he brings an artist’s sensibility, having earned a BFA (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities) and an MFA from New York’s Hunter College. A member of the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA), he exhibits at the NADA art fair and the groundbreaking Art Los Angeles Contemporary, where he shows artists like Scott Nedrelow, who’s also had recent outings at Kansas Gallery in New York and the Walker Art Center, in Minneapolis, and Shawn Kuruneru, who was recently included in a show at New York’s Skarstedt organized by painter David Salle.
5. Tif Sigfrids, Los Angeles
Tif Sigfrids isn’t afraid to go out on a limb for her artists. When she launched her Hollywood gallery in 2013, she exhibited a whole show’s worth of paintings by artist Joe Sola in her own ear. She also shows ceramic sculptor Zachary Leener, whom the New York Times dubbed “a worthy heir to the tradition of West Coast Funk” in its 2015 Frieze New York review, and Lisa Williamson, who, per Art in America, brings “a dash of wit” to her engagement with Minimalist and modernist forebears.
6. Kate Werble, New York
Werble started her gallery with a trial by fire, opening just before the market crash of fall 2008, but has pulled through with aplomb. She now shows mostly her contemporaries, artists in their 30s, such as Columbia MFA sculptor Brock Enright, who was featured in Performa 07 and has been written about in publications from Artforum to the Los Angeles Times; performance duo Gerard & Kelly, whose show “Timelining” at New York’s the Kitchen was warmly received; and LA-based Melanie Schiff, whose multimedia work has appeared in prestigious shows and venues like the 2008 Whitney Biennial and the Paris location of Marian Goodman Gallery.
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