Vito Schnabel’s Hotly-Anticipated 190 Bowery Show Closes Before It Even Opens

190 Bowery Photo: John Williams via Flickr
Vito Schnabel, Heidi Klum  Photo: Clint Spaulding/Patrick McMullan ==

Vito Schnabel, Heidi Klum
Photo: Clint Spaulding/Patrick McMullan

The Vito Schnabel-curated show that was set to open tomorrow at 190 Bowery, a downtown landmark recently acquired by Schnabel family pal Aby Rosen (see Aby Rosen Pays $55 Million for Gilded Age Building Artist Jay Maisel Bought for $102,000 Around 1966), has been abruptly closed to the public for reasons unknown.

Invitations to the opening, which would have marked the first time since 1966 that the graffiti-laden former bank has been open to the public, were disseminated last week via email, and word traveled fast. The three-hour public opening, which would have taken place from 5–8 p.m. on May 16 (see 6 Must-See New York Gallery Shows During Frieze New York), was announced on New York-centric blogs including Gothamist and Curbed, as well as by several art writers, some of whom were not happy with the show’s all-white, all-male billing.

But it looks like no one will be getting inside the famed building on the Bowery without an appointment. “Due to unprecedented demand, the opening of First Show/Last Show is now closed,” reads an email obtained by artnet News this morning. “The show will be open by appointment May 18 – 29, Monday through Friday from 12-6 p.m. Closed Memorial Day. Please respond with your requested time and we will do our best to accommodate you.”

190 Bowery Photo: John Williams via Flickr

190 Bowery
Photo: John Williams via Flickr

The original invitation didn’t even require an RSVP, so it’s not surprising that Rosen, Schnabel, and their coterie of rich and famous friends got a little spooked by the prospect of the unwashed masses showing up to rub elbows with the art elite. (See Artnet Gets First Look Inside Vito Schnabel’s New Show in Aby Rosen’s Landmark Building).

If you’re lucky enough to score an appointment to view the show, you’ll be treated to works by Joe Bradley, Dan Colen, Jeff Elrod, Ron Gorchov, Mark Grotjahn, Harmony Korine, and Julian Schnabel, which Schnabel described in the show’s email announcement as “seven of my favorite painters.”

“There are very few artists whose work immediately conveys its significance, like each of these sevenThey represent three generations of great American contemporary art, ranging in age from 35 to 85,” Schnabel wrote on the exhibition website.

Three generations of great white, male American artists, naturally.

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