James Cohan Gallery’s Lower East Side Outpost Will Cater to Hip Art Patrons

291 Grand Street.

New York gallery owner James Cohan is opening up a downtown outpost of his eponymous gallery in October at 291 Grand Street.

He will join established dealers like Andrew Edlin and Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn as well as relative newcomers like Rachel Uffner and Candice Madey in crowning the Lower East Side as the city’s official neighborhood for happening art.

Cohan will open in the ground floor space on Grand Street with an exhibition of Robert Smithson’s rarely exhibited Pop works from the early ’60s, according to the New York Times. The gallery also has a space in Shanghai, which Cohan opened in 2008.

“The Lower East Side is associated with showing younger artists, and here’s an exhibition of an artist when he was in his mid-20s who then went on to make landmark sculpture,” Cohan, who represents Smithson’s estate, told the Times.

“With the ever-expanding art fair phenomenon, we think it’s important to focus on great exhibitions as well because, at the end of the day, that’s what matters for artists,” he continued.

The building, which is actually on the border of the LES and Chinatown, is also home to artist-run hotspot 47 Canal, an outpost of Gavin Brown’s enterprise, and the Nathalie Karg Gallery, a recent transplant from Noho, along with Lia Gangitano’s East Houston Street mainstay, Participant, Inc.

While Chelsea continues to be the undeniable mecca of blue-chip art, dealers are flocking to the hipper, grittier downtown area, where cheaper rents and a younger clientele allow them to show less established artists.

Last year, Marianne Boesky opened Boesky East around the same time Larry Gagosian launched a pop-up in the area, causing locals to wonder whether the neighborhood could possibly be over already. Luckily, it looks like a visit from Larry wasn’t enough to kill the vibes below Houston Street.

Those gallerists who aren’t tempted by the LES seem to be opting for the sunny haven of California, where space is ample and rent is similarly modest.

 James and Jane Cohan. Photo: Patrick McMullan.

James and Jane Cohan.
Photo: Patrick McMullan.

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