Leila Heller Abruptly Shuts 57th Street Space

The outpost opened to much fanfare just 7 months ago.


Just seven months after Chelsea gallerist Leila Heller opened a second New York location at 43 West 57th Street—a six-floor, 18,000-square-foot space that was said to be among the largest in the city—the space was abruptly shut last week artnet News has learned. (See “Leila Heller Expands to Midtown With Enormous 57th Street Space.”)

“57th Street was not working for us,” said Leila Heller who confirmed the news during a telephone call. “It was hard to get people in.”

Heller said she closed the 57th street space because she was required to take more space in the building, an agreement that she made when she first took the space. Real estate records indicate the space is owned by BOB 57 LLC, described as a “New York foreign limited liability company.”

The 57th street space opened to much fanfare with a show that ran through August titled “Look at Me: Portraiture from Manet to the Present,” which featured over 200 works by 170 artists. It was curated by collector Beth Rudin DeWoody and Armory Show co-founder Paul Morris. The gallery also boasted a 60-seat theater and auditorium for film, video art installations, speaking engagements, and panel discussions. A project space there was earmarked for displaying work from emerging artists and curators.

Heller says she is relocating to Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side where she’s currently considering two spots. Heller operated in that neck of the woods for nearly 30 years (first at Madison and 72nd street, which she subsequently sold to Ralph Lauren, and then to a space at Madison and 78th street) before moving to Chelsea in 2010. She hopes the new outpost will be up and running by the end of January 2015.

“I love Chelsea and I love Madison Avenue,” she said. “I’ve always dreamed of going to the Upper East Side again.”

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