Last week, following other major expansions on the Lower East Side, in the West Village and Williamsburg, two of Chelsea’s biggest galleries announced major moves: David Zwirner has bought a building on West 20th (pictured) Street to add to his trio of properties on West 19, and one of its new neighbors will be Bortolami Gallery, which is moving from 4,000 square feet on West 25th Street to a 6,000 sf space on West 20th that’s been vacant for over a year. All of which might sound like just another way for major commercial enterprises to make a lot more money off of artists, but it also means good things for you.
Namely, most obviously, two galleries with a penchant for organizing major, museum-caliber retrospectives and projects by their own artists and those represented elsewhere will have more space to do more ambitious things. But also, if the biggest galleries are snapping up post-boom real estate at such rates, it also means that there are more opportunities for emerging and non-profit galleries that were priced out of such areas back in ’07 to find cheap space for ambitious, non-commercial projects. And that’s why the ongoing crash in the specialized little world of art district real estate is a good thing. (Artforum/ArtInfo/Lindsay Pollock)