New York’s Denny Gallery Will Shutter After 10 Years, Making It the Latest in an Alarming Wave of Gallery Closures
The announcement came as a surprise to many.
After a decade of business, Denny Gallery has become the latest New York gallery to shutter in a recent wave of closures.
Denny Gallery will close on October 7, “after over a hundred exhibitions, three gallery spaces, two continents and ten years in business,” the gallery wrote in a message shared on social media. The business had just celebrated its decennial anniversary with a summer group show of work by all 16 of its roster artists, including Jessie Edelman, Michael Mandiberg, and Sheida Soleimani.
“The gallery’s recent milestones presented an opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of the past decade and consider actively and openly what we would like to focus on for the next 10,” the statement went on. “After heartfelt consideration, we feel that it requires a shift.”
Founded by Elizabeth Denny, the gallery opened on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 2013. Katie Alice Fitz Gerald signed on as a partner later that year; dealer Robert Dimin joined in the same capacity in 2015. Four years later, the gallery—then called Denny Dimin—relocated to a larger space in Tribeca and opened up a second branch in Hong Kong, led by Fitz Gerald.
A turning point came late last year, when Dimin left to start up his own gallery. The split wasn’t amicable, he told Artnet News this summer.
“The breakup happened kind of abruptly at the end of December . It was not something that I was anticipating at the time,” he said in the interview, alluding to the “drastically different personality types” between he and Denny. “I don’t know if she ever really looked at me as a partner, even though we had a partnership agreement, my name was on the door, I cosigned the PPP loans, the lease was in both of our names.”
The news comes amid an alarming wave of gallery closures in recent months as the art market’s middle class continues to be squeezed by broader economic downturns.
JTT, a beloved gallery that opened two years before Denny on the Lower East Side, shuttered in August. Foxy Production followed suit last month after 20 years, as did Queer Thoughts after 11.
“Am I nervous? Maybe a little, but it’s a motivating nervousness,” Sara Blazej, a former director at Karma who opened her own gallery, Sara’s, in the same Chinatown building as Foxy Production this spring, told us recently. But, Blazej went on, “even if there is some steep economic downturn coming and all the small galleries close or get cannibalized by larger ones, my feeling is that people will always find a way to do cool and interesting things, either within those new systems or not.”
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