On 20th Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues, one of the many Chelsea streets dotted with white-walled exhibition spaces, there is a gallery that is easy to miss at first glance, but upon further examination is revealed as utterly quirky in its existence. "The Wrong Gallery" a project started by Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni and Ali Subotnick has the same glass doors and the same white walls as most of Chelsea, but that’s where the similarities end. It turns out the "gallery" is actually just a pair of doors that serve as vitrines; behind them sit about two and half total square feet of gallery space, one artwork in each.
The tiny "gallery" doesn’t require a receptionist or a guestbook, doesn’t have openings and doesn’t send out glossy postcards to prospective buyers. In fact, it is sometimes difficult to even ascertain an artist’s name or artwork’s title.
Designated as a "no-profit, no-budget initiative" the gallery has been described by the founders as "a stray cat in Chelsea’s world" or "the back door to contemporary art." The intent seems to be clearly to be a stage for artwork with limited market interest (in an increasingly market-driven art world) and provides a place for experimentation and play.
Playfulness abounds in almost all the works shown in this gallery. In these past few months, the westernmost of the doors has seen an "ice-man" constructed of ice cubes and adorned with a solitary black top-hat: with intermittent days of warm weather over the past few weeks, the snowman has melted from its full glory to its current state; simply a hat on the floor. While the placement of the work tends to elicit reflection on the temporary nature of the artwork, the image of the ice-man and its slow demise had an incredibly droll and youthful sensitivity.
The gallery is "open" when the adjacent gallery (Andrew Kreps) is open, which is generally 10-6 Tue-Sat.
The Wrong Gallery, 516A ½ W 20th St.