Commercial galleries Market USA

Chicago dealer buys second space—in cash

Kavi Gupta is expanding into a new building making it the largest commercial gallery in the city

Architect's rending of Gupta's new space in Chicago

Chicago gallerist Kavi Gupta has bought, and paid for in cash, a second gallery space in the city. The 8,000 sq. ft gallery will open later this year with a show of new works by recent recruit Roxy Paine. “The gallery has been doing incredibly well and we're at a point when we could finance it on our own—we didn’t need any banks. It’s kind of scary,” Gupta says.

The building, which will be called Kavi Gupta Elizabeth Street, cost around $550,000 and Gupta says he will spend an additional $500,000 renovating the property. “It’s cheap for a build-up—you can only do that in Chicago,” he says. Gupta has no plans, as yet, to move to an art world hub such as New York. “We can do a lot more here right now. We may not be making the biggest or the fastest moves, but there is a real void in Chicago, and we’ve still got so much work to get done.”

The former investment banker has gained a reputation for working with socially engaged artists including current art world darling, Theaster Gates. “We’ve always focused on finding artists and working with them to develop their careers,” Gupta says. The new space will be the largest commercial gallery in Chicago, he says. It will bring the gallery’s total exhibition space to 15,000 sq. ft, including Gupta’s existing Chicago gallery and a smaller Berlin space that opened in 2009.

This article was updated on 8 March to correct the cost of renovating the new property.

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