Only a few years after settling at 17-17 Troutman on the Bushwick/Ridgewood border, the many galleries that occupy the massive space have been asked to leave by the building’s landlord.
The news comes via Art F City: Over the weekend, or shortly before, owner David Steinberg asked all six of his gallery tenants to no longer operate as galleries and pack their bags regardless of previous lease agreements. Regina Rex, the building’s first gallery, closed down on Sunday. Meanwhile, Parallel Art Space, Harbor Gallery, Bull and Ram, Ortega Y Gasset Projects and Underdonk are scrambling to find new spaces in the area with some even looking at Maspeth as an option.
There are rumors that the sudden eviction followed Steinberg’s complaints that gallerists were jeopardizing the building’s security, but the gallerists Art F City spoke to claim they were working closely with the once-supportive landlord to solve those problems. Other gallerists told Bushwick Daily that Steinberg may be afraid that all the attention the galleries are getting will draw attention to the poorly-maintained building. We think it’s more likely that Steinberg has read one too many Bushwick trend pieces and hopes to convert the building into something more commercially viable and less culturally relevant.
Whatever the case may be, this is a huge blow to the Bushwick/Ridgewood arts community and the only good news to come of it is that the five remaining galleries will be around for Bushwick Open Studios, which will take place from May 30 to June 1. After that, there’s no telling where they will all go. We’ll bring you updates as this story develops.
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