Galleries Continue to Bloom on the L.E.S.

Garis & Hahn Gallery Directors Mary Garis and Sophie Hahn with Andrea Pemberton who curated their inaugural show, “After the Fall,” which opened on January 11th.

As has been mentioned, the burgeoning art gallery scene on the L.E.S. is not showing any signs of slowing down — if anything, it feels like it’s speeding up. Three new arrivals – Garis & Hahn (263 Bowery), Shin Gallery (322 Grand St.) and Sasha Wolf Gallery (70 Orchard St.) have opened their doors in the last month.  We spoke with the newcomers at Garis & Hahn, as they prepared to open their inaugural show last week. The show, “After the Fall,” features photography by seven Yale School of Fine Art MFAs.

Co-directors Mary Garis and Sophie Hahn met in graduate school at Christie’s, here in New York. They were both working in the art world and decided they wanted to start their own gallery about a year ago.  Garis said they always knew they wanted to be on the L.E.S.; they didn’t even consider Chelsea.  “We wanted to do something fresher and more contemporary. And we’re interested in fostering emerging young artists,” she said.  “What’s going on down here on the Lower East Side is so cutting edge and exciting.”

They were thrilled to find their location on the Bowery. “It’s the perfect place to be, with the New Museum just down the street,” Garis said.  “The LES just feels more embracing — and the rent is still cheaper.”

Matthew Monteith, one of the photographers featured in their inaugural show, said of the L.E.S. gallery deluge — “I think it’s really great. There’s actually something happening where people are showing things which don’t get shown elsewhere. So that’s really exciting.”

Curator Andrea Pemberton agreed.  She said it’s nice for shows to pop up and be seen that don’t have to have a lot of financial backing.  She is hoping the current show at Garis & Hahn introduces people to some of the new and experimental techniques photographers are using today.

“After the Fall” will run through February 16th. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 11a – 7p, or by appointment.