Fortnight Institute, New York Gallery That Championed Experimental Artists, Has Closed

Somaya Critchlow, and Chris Oh were among those who had key shows at the East Village space over its eight-year run.

Chris Oh, Chasm. Courtesy of the artist and Fortnight Institute.

Many fans of the New York gallery Fortnight Institute—a proving ground for a wide variety of emerging artists—were surprised and saddened by a social media post today announcing that it is “concluding its programming and closing its doors as of today, April 2nd.”

The post was written by founders Fabiola Alondra and Jane Harmon, who thanked their gallery team, artists, supporters, visitors, curators, collectors, writers, and interns for their contributions over the past eight years.

The gallery, which was based in Manhattan’s East Village, was established in 2016. In the intervening time, “its journey has completed its full circle with its closure in 2024, reminiscent of the cyclic nature of the ouroboros,” a reference to the ancient symbol of the endless cycle of destruction and rebirth, the gallery said in the Instagram post.

“At the heart of our gallery’s inception was the desire to experiment and collaborate closely with artists,” the founders said. “Keeping this priority in mind, we, as advocates for creative expression, engaged in numerous discussions. We questioned whether we would need to adopt a more market-oriented approach and further expand the gallery to support our artists. Amidst these conversations, we reflected on the most enjoyable and valuable aspects of running this space.”

Chris Oh. Photo: Mario Gallucci. Courtesy of the artist and Fortnight Institute, New York.

Chris Oh. Photo: Mario Gallucci. Courtesy of the artist and Fortnight Institute, New York.

The gallery was instrumental in launching and supporting the careers of numerous figures who went on to fame, such as the London-based figurative painter Somaya Critchlow and New York’s Chris Oh, a creator of beguiling sculptural paintings.

Its many notable shows over the years included a 2016 one-person presentation by Carmen Winant, who is featured in this year’s Whitney Biennial, and a 2021 exhibition with Danielle Mckinney, who has found success amid the recent revival in figurative painting. It also hosted wry, unusual group affairs with somewhat self-explanatory titles, like “Only Small Paintings” (in 2017) and “Dicks” (2016).

Alondra and Harmon initially met in London while studying art history and later connected again at artist Richard Prince’s furtive New York bookshop, Fulton Ryder. “Both share a love of literature that is interwoven with their personal history,” according to a 2017 profile in Cultured magazine.

The founding of the gallery was financed in part by their day jobs. Harmon was Richard Prince’s studio manager, while Alondra headed 303 Gallery’s 303 In Print in venture, which focuses on artist’s books and other printed matter.

Fortnight’s final exhibition was a solo outing of paintings by Cheri Smith that had been scheduled to run through April 20.

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