It’s that time of year: the final month of the peak gallery season, which runs from September to June. So every scheduled tour I lead this month is the final one of the season. It turns out that this entire season there were only two Upper East Side gallery tours, the last one being almost 4 months ago. And the next one after my Sat. June 13 Upper East Side gallery tour won’t happen for at least 4 or 5 months more, some time after the start of the new gallery season in the Fall. So it’s now or (seemingly) never.
Other than Chelsea and the Lower East Side, which have so many galleries per neighborhood that I schedule tours there automatically every month, for other neighborhoods I wait until enough good exhibits have opened to ensure I have a quality tour. That’s exactly what’s happened for my UES tour this coming week.
I will say this: the Upper East Side is legendary for its gallery spaces, a good number of which are in mansions and townhouses. On my June 13 tour, 3 galleries are in mansions, 2 are in townhouses, and the remaining 2 are in more average spaces. I never choose exhibits based on the gallery spaces, but only on the art that they’re showing. And in this case, it happens to be a higher percentage of extraordinary spaces than usual.
Highlights of this tour: (1) a French artist’s innovative paintings that look spectacular in their opulent mansion gallery, (2) two artists in their 20s showing eye-popping experimental photography and video, and (3) a rising-star British artist’s imaginative large-scale portrait sculptures, in the world’s wealthiest gallery. We’ll visit 7 fascinating shows in total.
Farewell Upper East Side mansions, at least until the Fall.
Rafael Risemberg, Director
New York Gallery Tours