Lifestyle: Spotlights

From New York To Newtown: Art Galleries Head East

By Richard Lewin - July 22, 2020

Like most businesses, especially those with retail spaces, art galleries in New York City were turned upside down with the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic and its strict rules of social distancing, PPE and restricted visits by clients. Forced temporary closures and furloughed staff sadly became commonplace. The art world was particularly hit hard, since the sale of valuable works of art requires time, knowledge, and a comfortable place to chat and to feel the work being considered.

A second major blow hit the art world on June 6th, 2020, when Art Basel announced that the pandemic had caused the cancellation of the 2020 edition of Art Basel in Basel, considered the most important annual art show in the world. Some of the most prestigious New York galleries came up with a clever alternate plan, to open in the Hamptons, where many of their clients had second homes anyway. In addition, the gallerists themselves already had residences on the East End. Four familiar names (in alphabetical order) have arrived in East Hampton: Pace Gallery, Skarstedt, Sotheby’s and Van de Weghe.

Pace Gallery East Hampton. Pace Gallery, founded in 1960, already has galleries in NYC, London, Hong Kong, Seoul, Geneva and Palo Alto. So, a Hamptons location seemed a perfect complement. 68 Park Place in East Hampton has been a destination art gallery space since 1977, so it was a natural choice f o r P a c e Gallery President and CEO Marc Glimcher (seen above fichecking out the finishing touches before the July fi3rd opening of the first show, “After all I’m cosmic dust”, featuring works by Yoshitomo Nara).

When Esther Paster of HAMPTON CRE was looking for tenants at 66 Newtown Lane, she let flher personal passion for art influence her choices, so Skarstedt, Sotheby’s and Van de Weghe moved in, joining long-time gallery tenant Ross+Kramer (who are about to open a new space in Chelsea). A special bonus was room for large works because of the thirteen-foot ceilings.

Skarstedt. Owner Per Skarstedt (shown above with his son Hugo, and de Kooning’s “Untitled VII”) has had a home in Sagaponack for many years, so he feels right at home in East Hampton. He was so prepared for Art Basel that the gallery’s fifirst show, which opened on June 17th, was called “Selections from Basel 2020”, featuring works originally intended to be shown there.

Sotheby’s East Hampton. According to Sotheby’s, the new East Hampton Gallery “brings together exceptional works of art, design and luxury in a curated setting”. Offerings will include wristwatches by Patek Philippe and Jewels from Cartier, among others. David Schrader, Global Head of Private Sales at Sotheby’s (seen above with Nicholas Cinque, Director of Private Sales and “Mira” by Morris Louis) plan frequent exhibition rotation.

Van de Weghe East Hampton. Christophe Van de Weghe, gallery owner (shown above in the green shirt with gallery Director Pierre Ravelle- fiChapuis) was actually first of the three to open at 66 Newtown Lane, convincing his industry friends at Skarstedt and Sotheby’s to join him there.

East Hampton has once again reinforced its role as a major center for the art world, as we welcome these four new galleries in town.

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