Nara Roesler’s move from a third-floor gallery on New York’s Upper East Side to a brand new, street-level space in Chelsea is a mark of its investment in creating a bridge between the Latin American and US art worlds, the gallery says.
The space, which opens in January and is designed by Brazilian architect Miguel Pinto Guimarães, will be four times larger than its previous gallery. “We have many estates, as well as young artists showing for the first time in North America, so we wanted to think long-term,” says Daniel Roesler, the gallery’s senior director and partner.
While several other galleries in the area have recently decamped to Tribeca, Roesler sees opportunity in Chelsea, citing the reopening of Dia Art Foundation there in April, and the relocation of Frieze New York in May to The Shed and The Armory Show to the Javits Center (September), as factors he believes will add momentum to Manhattan’s west side. Proximity to major institutions and international art fairs may serve the gallery’s goal of starting a larger conversation about Latinx art. To help in pursuing that agenda, it will launch Nara Roesler Books—publishing titles on gallery artists and anthologies of critical essays on art from Latin America—and a curatorial residency program that will bring Brazilian curators to the New York space to organise exhibitions.
The gallery will launch the space with a series of five mini-shows titled Cross-Cuts that will unfold from 12 January. “You can call them haiku or petit four exhibitions,” says Luis Perez-Oramas, the gallery’s Artistic Director who the gallery hired from MoMA, where he served as curator of Latin American art. The marathon of 5-day-long shows will be bookended by exhibitions of Antonio Dias’s conceptual paintings from his 1970s series, The Illustration of Art, and the calligraphy-inspired sculptures of late Japanese-Brazilian artist Tomie Ohtake, works that she created at the age of 101.
While the gallery has been expanding its online footprint and participating in virtual fairs during the pandemic, Perez-Oramas sees a physical encounter with art as particularly fundamental for Brazilian contemporary art, which he says is “informed by the perceptual aspect of materiality.”