This Friday, January 11 will mark the opening of yet another art gallery in New York City. Garis & Hahn, located at 263 Bowery and run by two enterprising women, Mary Garis and Sophie Hahn, will be an exhibition space dedicated to hosting group shows of contemporary artists. Their inaugural exhibition is entitled After the Fall, and will be on view through February 16. We spoke with the gallery owners about their thoughts on their gallery, the exhibition, and the art world in general. Read on:
Hahn and Garis met while studying for their master’s degrees, both from Christie’s Education in New York. Hahn has previously worked “as an art expert at AXA Art Insurance and at Shapiro Auctioneers in Sydney” while Garis has been employed at multiple art galleries across the city, including Haunch of Venison. They both felt it was time for a new gallery to be introduced to Manhattan’s busy art scene – one that’s more viewer-friendly. Hahn writes, “We decided to open a gallery because we felt that there was a need for a new and different type of gallery; a gallery that would not only show great art, but would specifically organize carefully curated group exhibitions around specific themes that could
provide a new context for artworks and ultimately create an interesting dialogue between these works.”
The art market, like the rest of the country, was hit hard over the past few years, struggling to pick itself back up. But with record-setting auction sales and seemingly a new gallery or art fair popping up every month, it’s obvious that the arts scene is thriving now in the Big Apple. Garis and Hahn seem to have chosen the perfect time to open up a gallery. Garis notes,
“The LES arts scene has gone from fledgling to flourishing in the past few years, with no signs of slowing down.”
Hahn continues, “[In the LES] there are new galleries with exciting programs and outlooks on contemporary art and we can only hope to add to this vibrant art scene, promoting great art, educating collectors and supporting artists.”
The mission of Garis & Hahn gallery is to “mount exhibitions focused on conceptual narratives and relevant conversations in contemporary art. By displaying an array of carefully curated artists, the gallery endeavors to provide accessibility, education, awareness, and a market to the art while engaging both the arts community and a broader general audience.” What many of New York’s galleries lack today is a concerted effort to appeal to a broader audience, an audience that is not necessarily constantly in the market to purchase artworks, but instead one that simply has an interest in and love of art. It seems like Garis & Hahn may be on the way to breaking that mold and drawing in new crowds to the traditionally-intimidating art gallery scene.
The inaugural exhibition at the gallery is a photography show of the works of seven Yale MFA graduates. The show is curated by Andrea Pemberton, who works for Gagosian Gallery. Garis comments again on the gallery’s collective efforts with the surrounding community and art world, stating, “Sophie and I are very pleased with the exhibition and hope to accomplish a successful first run in the new gallery space. Although we do intend to curate many of the exhibitions in the space ourselves, our self-prescribed "gallery-cum-Kunsthalle" notion opens us up to a lot of collaboration and outside organizational influence.” After the Fall features images by Gideon Barnett, Felix R. Cid, Pao Houa Her, Matthew Monteith, Yorgos Prinos, Hrvoje Slovenc and Monika Sziladi. While each has the same educational background, the exhibit proves that each artist has a distinct style and technique of accomplishing their final product. After the Fall was originally supposed to open the gallery last year but due to a number of setbacks, was pushed back to a winter opening. The title came to reflect the tough times that individuals in society face and what we do to pick ourselves up in the aftermath. The opening reception will take place on January 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. – stop by and mingle with some great works of art and the artists and gallerists who made it all happen!
What do Garis and Hahn have planned after their grand opening? Garis tells us they’ll be finishing up some construction on the gallery before re-opening this March. She notes that Australian art will probably be on the list of pieces on view in the future, but they are prepared to present a wide array of art to appeal to a broad audience:
“We are crafting an intentionally-flexible program and are open to all media, nationalities, topics, and all manner of curatorial ideas.”
Check out garisandhahn.com for more information or to contact the owners themselves.
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