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On Saturday, 190 Bowery Opens to the Public For the First Time Since 1966 (Updated 5/16)

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190 Bowery.
190 Bowery.

Unless you happen to talk your way past the security guard, gaining admittance to 190 Bowery (the former Germania Bank Building) is a tall order. But at least for one night, the foreboding front doors will swing open, offering a glimpse of one of the Lower East Side’s most fascinating landmarks.

The building was, as you probably know, sold to developer/art collector Aby Rosen last year. In April, a new creative agency leased the upper floors, while brokers continue to seek a tenant for 4500 sq. ft. on the ground floor. As it turns out, this coming Saturday, Rosen and Vito Schnabel are hosting an art opening in the building.

190 bowery art opening

Here’s the invite from Schnabel:

Vito Schnabel is pleased to announce the opening of First Show / Last Show, a group exhibition at 190 Bowery on May 16, 2015. Featured artists include Joe Bradley, Dan Colen, Jeff Elrod, Ron Gorchov, Mark Grotjahn, Harmony Korine, and Julian Schnabel. “The artists included in First Show / Last Show are seven of my favorite painters. I have had the privilege of living with some of their works and have long wanted to show them together. There are very few artists whose work immediately conveys its significance, like each of these seven. They represent three generations of great American contemporary art, ranging in age from 35 to 85. I grew up in New York City, walking by the former Germania Bank countless times. I always wanted to go inside, thinking it might be a perfect place for an exhibition. This is the first time this 1899 landmark building will be open to the public since the bank closed in 1966 and it became a private residence.I am most grateful to Aby Rosen for letting me use this space and for his continued support. I’d also like to thank the artists, all of whom I am honored to be able to work with. Joe, Dan, Jeff, Ron, Mark, Harmony, and Julian—thank you.”

The opening takes place Saturday from 5-8 p.m. Think they’ll attract a crowd?

UPDATE 5/16 Looks like there’s been a change of heart by Rosen and Schnabel. According to Artnet News, the show has been ‘abruptly closed to the public for reasons unknown. “Due to unprecedented demand, the opening of First Show/Last Show is now closed,” read an email obtained obtained by the publication. Recipients of the email were advised that they should call for an appointment to see the show. Artnet News added:

The original invitation didn’t even require an RSVP, so it’s not surprising that Rosen, Schnabel, and their coterie of rich and famous friends got a little spooked by the prospect of the unwashed masses showing up to rub elbows with the art elite.



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  1. Nice trick to get the “masses” to come and make them look like they are a happening place, if a bit duplicitous…One of those allowed to enter offered that this is going to be good for the neighborhood….
    Finally the Capital has deigned to visit District 12!
    I guess if the art isn’t a solid enough a draw you go for theatrics?

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