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Alexander Berggruen | From Chelsea to the Upper East Side, New York’s Gallery Landscape Is Getting a Makeover Ahead of the Fall Season

Artnet News

Alexander Berggruen is opening his own gallery in the former Mitchell-Innes & Nash space on the Upper East Side.

Alexander Berggruen is opening his own gallery in the former Mitchell-Innes & Nash space on the Upper East Side.

Fresh Blood Uptown

The gallery landscape is shifting uptown, too. Art dealer and former Christie’s associate vice president Alexander Berggruen is taking over the lease for Mitchell-Innes & Nash gallery’s space at Madison Avenue and 78th Street on the Upper East Side this fall, marking his first solo foray into the gallery world. (The news was first reported by the Canvas.)

Berggruen, whose parents’ eponymous San Francisco gallery is marking its 50th anniversary this year, told artnet News that the deal came about in talks with owner David Nash, who had been considering moving to a smaller uptown space that was more focused on private sales. The location of the new, by-appointment showroom will be announced this fall; Mitchell-Innes & Nash will retain its Chelsea flagship on West 26th Street.

While Chelsea was once the go-to locale for an ambitious new gallery, Berggruen says his first choice was always the tonier, quieter Upper East Side. “Chelsea is changing quite a bit, and this was more suited to my needs and the more intimately presented exhibitions I’m planning,” he said. “A lot of collectors who I work with tend to be based on the Upper East Side.”

The first show, slated for October, will be focused on language and text and will feature work by artists including Paul Klee, Ed Ruscha, Jean-Michel Basquiat, John Baldessari, and Barbara Kruger, among others.

Meanwhile, two other Upper East Side galleries with a focus on more emerging art, Clearing and Half Gallery, have had to vacate their respective spaces on the other side of 78th Street a year before their leases were up due to the landlord’s fire code violations.

Clearing did not respond to questions. A representative for Bill Powers, Half Gallery’s owner, says he is looking to relocate but has not yet found a new site. He has, however, already determined his inaugural show at the to-be-determined location: a solo presentation of work by New York-based artist Tanya Merrill. Her oilstick-on-linen works inspired by the American West have earned her critical accolades and a spot in a group show at Gagosian curated by Powers that is due to open at its project space on 75th Street this fall.