The Upper East Side continues to sprout new galleries. This spring, Dominique Lévy, formerly a partner in the gallery L&M Arts on East 78th Street, will open a new, three-floor gallery, called Dominique Lévy, at 909 Madison Avenue, on the southeast corner of East 73rd Street. Joining her in the 9,000-square-foot former bank building will be the Paris-based dealer Emmanuel Perrotin, who is opening a New York branch.
For decades, Larry Gagosian has been a fixture at Sant Ambroeus, the Upper East Side cafe around the corner from his flagship gallery 980 Madison Avenue, which he opened in the late 1980′s. He even has a regular table, where he can watch the rest of the art world stream by, many stopping to pay their respects before taking their own seat inside the eatery that has long been the art world’s living room.
But soon Mr. Gagosian will be sipping his espresso closer to home—and it will be curious to see how many of his fellow connoisseurs will follow him.
As Gallerist reported in February, Mr. Gagosian plans to open a cafe in one of the storefronts at 980 Madison, and work is now underway on the project, which will include space for a gallery. In April, permits were filed with the Department of Buildings for demolition, plumbing and renovation work to the storefront previously occupied by the Spot Shop, where tchotchkes connected with the Damien Hirst show (books, prints, cufflinks) had been on sale.
Last week, the construction permits were approved by the city, and they reveal that the new cafe will be designed by Annabelle Selldorf. Additional city records filed with the Landmarks Preservation Commission provide definitive proof that Gagosian Gallery is opening a cafe in the multi-story storefront, along with additional gallery space.
For the past month, fashionable New Yorkers and art world connoisseurs have been streaming through a storefront at the 980 Madison Avenue building to pick up spotty souvenirs from a Gagosian-branded “spot shop” that was opened to coincide with the globe-spanning 11-gallery “Complete Spot Paintings” exhibition by Damien Hirst. With the spot show upstairs closing in less than two weeks, the Upper East Side may soon trade spots for espresso as Larry Gagosian is in talks with his landlord, Aby Rosen’s RFR Realty, to open a cafe in the space (call it Cafe Gilbert).