Earlier this month, Marlborough Chelsea hired hip former gallerist Pascal Spengemann as its new director. Now, the venerable gallery’s longtime former director, Eric Gleason, has announced he is moving a few blocks down the road to Meulensteen, the contemporary art gallery formerly known as Max Protetch. Gleason began his post last week; he resigned from Marlborough after seven years at the gallery. As Meulensteen’s new director, Gleason says he will work to bring younger artists and architects from New York and Europe into the program.
He’ll have some extra new space to play with, too. Meulensteen recently completed renovations on a 3,000-square-foot subterranean gallery below its West 22nd Street space, which it previously used for storage and private viewing. Beginning on March 5, the venue, called “Downstairs,” will present a show of site-specific work by artists including Deville Cohen, Lovett/Codagnone, and Ethan Greenbaum. “We’ll be taking on some new artists in the next couple years,” said Gleason.
During his last year at Marlborough, Gleason worked with owner Pierre Levai’s son Max to rebrand the gallery as a younger, edgier offshoot of the more staid international franchise, which represents commercial heavyweights like Fernando Botero and Dale Chihuly. The duo held a much-buzzed about two-week performance by art-world satirist William Powhida and a solo show of the recently-signed Rashaad Newsome.
As for why he left his former employer, Gleason says that “the time seemed appropriate for a new challenge, and I’ve loved engaging with the space, the staff, and the artists at Meulensteen since my first minutes in the gallery. My walk to work in the morning went from seven minutes to nine, but I’m sure I’ll eventually adjust to that.”
— Julia Halperin