Feuer/Mesler to Close for Good in February

Lauren Marinaro is launching a new gallery in its place.

Lauren Marinaro. Courtesy Feuer/Mesler.

Lower East Side gallery Feuer/Mesler will close at the beginning of February, artnet News has learned from the principals, Zach Feuer and Joel Mesler. Gallery partner Lauren Marinaro will take over the venue Feuer/Mesler has occupied, at 319 Grand Street, opening Marinaro Gallery there just two weeks later.

The gallery represented a merger of two successful dealers: Zach Feuer, who ran a gallery in Chelsea, and Joel Mesler, who had run a Lower East Side gallery called Untitled. Over its two years, Feuer/Mesler has hosted exhibitions of artists like Kour Pour, Brie Ruais, and Brad Troemel; the final show, on view through February 5, is of the German-born painter Roger Herman, who lives in Los Angeles.

“Lauren has been the glue that kept the gallery together,” said Mesler in a phone interview with artnet News. “She has the support and trust of both artists and collectors, which is crucial, and through the public programs she’s organized, she’s brought new people into the gallery, building excitement and new communities and friendships. It helps to give the whole thing a purpose.”

Zach Feuer. Courtesy Feuer/Mesler.

Zach Feuer. Courtesy Feuer/Mesler.

On tap first at Marinaro will be a show of Johannes VanDerBeek, opening Sunday, February 19. The New York-based artist is known for staging exhibitions that incorporate painting and sculpture, and works that sometimes merge the two. Marinaro will work with many of the same artists who’ve been on the Feuer/Mesler program, she told artnet News, while also adding some new names to the roster. The gallery’s website currently lists artists including Tamy Ben-Tor, Keren Cytter, Ry Rocklen, and Artie Vierkant.

Feuer and Mesler have both moved away from New York City and are raising families, with Mesler decamping for Long Island and Feuer relocating upstate. Since she’s been running the show as a partner for a year after working at Feuer’s gallery for seven, Marinaro feels confident about running a business of her own.

She admits to some trepidation, though, in view of the contracting art market and uncertainty over the economy in the wake of the election of Donald Trump as president.

“There’s a huge question mark about what’s going to happen,” she said. “Based on the strength of the art market in 2009 even after the events of 2008, it could go either way. But apart from that, I’m fully prepared, and I’m excited.”

Joel Mesler and Sarah Aibel at the opening of The Salon: Art + Design, New York, 2013. Photo Patrick McMullan.

Joel Mesler and Sarah Aibel at the opening of The Salon: Art + Design, New York, 2013. Photo Patrick McMullan.

Mesler wasn’t quite ready to reveal the next step in his professional life, though he will continue working as an artist, which has been a sideline for him in recent years. He’ll have a solo show at Kantor Gallery, a new initiative in Los Angeles by dealer Niels Kantor (who formerly partnered with Feuer on Kantor/Feuer). That show is set to open next month, during Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair (February 24–26).

For his part, twelve months ago, Feuer departed for what he expected to be a year-long sabbatical, teaching bike repair to special-needs students. “It’s so much harder than being an art dealer, but I feel like a different person when I do it,” he said in a phone interview. “I got into the art world to be an advocate for cultural production… but after fifteen years as an art dealer, I felt I’d done all I could do.”

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