A Climate Change in the Art World?


The art community is digging out, drying off, counting its losses, helping its neighbors–and starting to prepare for the hurricanes of the future

The benefits are in formation, online fundraisers have launched, and the first emergency grants have been delivered. A week after Hurricane Sandy, gallery-goers were back in Chelsea, picking their way around rubble, shattered glass, and dealers who were still hauling damaged art out of their basements.

In the new reality, several Chelseas coexist: there’s one of power suits; and another of rubber boots, hazmat suits, and no power at all. Pace, Cohan, Kern, Anna Kustera, and Magnan Metz reopened, along with a growing list of spaces that due to geography or luck escaped serious damage. Others are relying on improvisation: Gasser Grunert ³ is opening Thursday in a 20-foot rental cube truck in front of the gallery’s space at West 19th Street; Michael Rosenfeld, a new transplant from 57th Street, has set up shop on the mezzanine level of its new (flooded) Chelsea quarters at 100 Eleventh Avenue and has started seeing clients by appointment. Various other galleries have also reopened, but their phones don’t work.

Others won’t be back anytime soon. Ed Winkleman, one of several 27th Street gallery owners who need to detoxify their basements urgently, doesn’t expect electricity for a few more weeks. He’s looking for a generator.

As for how many galleries wouldn’t return at all, no one was ready to say.>>READ MORE

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