New York’s Hasted Kraeutler Gallery Closes Amid Accusations of Financial Misdeeds

Hasted denies rumors that she had "disappeared."

Joseph Kraeutler and Sarah Hasted.
Photo: Patrick McMullan.

The doors are shut for good at New York’s Hasted Kraeutler gallery.

News first broke about the “unexpected closing” of the gallery, which was located at 537 W. 24th Street, in the July 24 edition of the industry newsletter the Baer Faxt. Josh Baer noted that things at the gallery had “turned very very ugly with accusations of financial improprieties against one of the partners by the other partner.”

“Basically there was some friction between myself and Sarah,” gallery co-owner Joseph Kraeutler told artnet News over the phone about his former partner Sarah Hasted. “And I brought up some concerns regarding finances and what gallery money was being used for.”

He said he had raised the issue with Hasted numerous times over the years. “There was always a very strong emotional reaction [from her] each time.”

Kraeutler claims that about a year ago he hired a forensic accountant to “investigate the books.” While he claimed it “eliminated the possibility” of their continuing to work together, he didn’t give any further detail. “There’s some serious matters for Sarah and I to handle,” he said.

One dealer, who spoke to artnet News on condition of anonymity, told us Hasted was rumored to have “disappeared.” Kraeutler further alluded to this alleged disappearance.

“She’s been hard to track down,” he said. “I’ve been trying to get the art back to the artists. But she apparently can’t be found.”

Hasted, however, told a different story.

“Clearly I haven’t gone missing, I’m talking to you,” Hasted told artnet News over the phone. In response to Kraeutler’s statements and the rumors about financial impropriety, and specifically about the forensic accountant, Hasted said, “Everything he said is awfully inaccurate.”

According to Hasted, her brother died on Christmas Eve this past year and she decided to spend more time with her family in New Mexico and to “semi-retire” from the gallery business. “It was a huge loss…. A loss like that makes you reevaluate your priorities.”

She sent a formal note to gallery artists telling them about her plans to partially retire and claims she had many conversations with Kraeutler about it and was very clear about leaving the gallery. “Everyone was aware, it was no secret. I was communicating with everybody on a regular basis.”

Hasted said it was Kraeutler who had closed the gallery without telling her and that she was in New Mexico at the time she found out. “Joe was taking over the gallery. That was his plan. I think when he realized he couldn’t take over financially, he closed it. He made a unilateral decision to close it.”

According to Hasted, the lease was up in April. Weinberg Properties, which lists the building on its site as one of its properties, did not return a call for comment.

The last opening Hasted attended was in March for the Kim Dong Yoo show, “Living Together.” “It took me three years to put that show together,” said Hasted. “I installed that show and opened it.”

Kim Dong Yoo, Eros and Psyche (2015).

Kim Dong Yoo, Eros and Psyche (2015).

From 2005–09, Kraeutler was head of photographs with auction house Phillips (then Phillips de Pury & Company), at which time he joined forces with Hasted.

Hasted had worked for a decade as co-director of photography at Chelsea’s Ricco/Maresca Gallery before partnering with fellow photo dealer William Hunt, also a former Ricco/Maresca director. Their gallery, Hasted Hunt, sublet space in Ricco/Maresca’s 20th Street gallery.

“All I can say is we and several of our friends in the field have had very unfortunate experiences with [Hasted],” Roger Ricco wrote in an email to artnet News without elaborating further.

Hasted maintains that around the time of the AIPAD show in April, after her decision to partly retire, Kraeutler had told people “it was going to be the Kraeutler Gallery.”

“Joe moved all the artwork to a storage facility,” Hasted said with respect to the location of artwork by gallery artists. “I do not know where it is.”

The gallery, which focused on photography, represented artists including Edward Burtynsky, Andreas Gefeller, Jean-Paul Goude, Erwin Olaf, Paolo Ventura, and Albert Watson. The gallery also took on Awol Erizku in 2012, when the artist was just 24 years old.

“They were kind enough to take me in when I was really young,” Erizku told artnet News in a phone interview. The artist, who is now mainly based in Los Angeles, told artnet News that he parted on good terms with the gallery after a showing at Pulse in 2014, and that he was “shocked” by Hasted’s and Kraeutler’s split.

Additional reporting by Brian Boucher.

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