By Nate Freeman
In an East Side shakeup, David Zwirner Gallery will be opening a space at 34 East 69th Street, long the home of Richard L. Feigen & Co. And its co-habitant in the building will be Adler Beatty, a new advisory firm started by longtime Feigen director Frances Beatty and her son, Alexander Adler, a sales director at the gallery. (The news was first reported in the Times.)
“Alex and I are really excited about our new venture, and about sharing space with David Zwirner,” Beatty said in a phone conversation.
It’s a return to the block for Zwirner, who for nine years operated Zwirner & Wirth—his gallery with Hauser & Wirth founder Iwan Wirth—right next door at 32 East 69th. In 2009, the partners shut the gallery to open enterprises separately in Chelsea.
The new arrangement was kismet. As Feigen was deciding to move out, Beatty was mulling a new venture with her son, but wanted to stay in the same building. While looking for someone to share the space, Beatty ran into Kristine Bell, who directed the Zwirner & Wirth space and is now senior partner at David Zwirner, at a lunch. She mentioned to Bell, off-hand, that Feigen was moving out, and she had some extra space.
“She said, ‘We’ve been looking for space on the Upper East Side for two years,” Beatty told me over the phone. “It was a eureka moment. When she said that to me I almost fell over. I said, ‘Well, shall we go over there after lunch?’ “
She added that she’s close with Zwirner’s father, the dealer Rudolf Zwirner, and that she’s known David for over 30 years, since when he was a fledgling dealer in his 20s.
It will be Zwirner’s third gallery in New York, as he has two already in Chelsea. He also has a gallery in London, and a space set to open next year in Hong Kong.
In addition to its advisory services, Adler Beatty will also represent the Ray Johnson estate, which was previously handled by Richard L. Feigen & Co. They are currently working on the Johnson show that opens at Matthew Marks’s West 24th Street location on May 5.
A rep for Zwirner said the programming plan for the new space is still in the works, but it will offer a blend of private viewing and shows in the project space mold, as well as historical exhibitions.
Richard Feigen is moving a few blocks away, to 36 East 73rd Street, and will vacate the current space in the next few days. Zwirner plans to have programming up and running by the fall.
“It’s a revival of the Upper East Side as gallery territory,” Beatty said. “And a lot of galleries that are downtown want to be uptown. After 37 years on the Upper East Side, it’s great to see it being revived.”