Manhattan art gallery finds new home in Southport
At the height of the pandemic, many New Yorkers moved to Connecticut to get some fresh air and enjoy open space. Chelsea-based art gallery Hollis Taggart did the same.
Over the weekend, Paul Efstathiou, director of contemporary art at the gallery, launched the opening of the latest exhibition, Beyond the surface.
During installation, Efstathiou distributed the abstract and colorful pieces around the room, while deciding where to hang them in the new gallery space.
“You know, I guess to explain things in layman’s terms is like the same as instruments,” Efstathiou told the WSHU After All Things podcast. “You have five very powerful instruments on their own – drums, violin, harp – and you’re just trying to create how they can couple and blend together.”
Efstathiou said New York was a ghost town at the start of the pandemic. This is part of the reason the gallery opened its Southport location in the summer of 2020. COVID-19 infections were somewhat lower, and as the first Chelsea-based gallery to open in Connecticut, it presented a fun challenge.
“A lot of Chelsea-based galleries were going to Palm Beach or the Hamptons, which is great, you have the community, but I just felt like we had the opportunity to chart our own path,” he said. -he declares.
The gallery showcases abstract and figurative works with bold colors, funky shapes and overlapping mediums. It is a kind of contradiction with the building in which they are exhibited. Rustic wood floors and ornate ceilings provide a more traditional backdrop for these unique rooms. Built in the early 1900s, the building first housed a hardware store.
“Artists always like to exhibit in different places, different buildings, that excites them too. So it’s a win-win,” Efstathiou said.
Beyond the surface is on display until April 30, featuring five New York-based artists, Edward Holland, Will Hutnick, Emily Kiacz, Lizbeth Mitty and Erika Ranee.
The title of the art exhibition refers to the different ways the artists approached the actual surface of their canvas. Paint, pencil, sand, ink and other mediums were used to create these pieces. And although each is very different from the other, Efstathiou said he tried to display them together so they would have a conversation.
Seeing the art in person is a much more engaging experience for the viewer, Efstathiou said, and coming out of the pandemic, he’s excited to be able to invite audiences back.
“There were a lot of ‘jpeg shows’, or digital shows. But artists want their works to be shown,” he said. ” It’s really important.
Plus, with new gallery spaces popping up all over the state, all of those potentially new Connecticut artists will have plenty of empty walls to fill.