The National Exemplar Gallery Gets Down

Installation view of Richard Artschwager at National Exemplar. (Courtesy National Exemplar Gallery)

The National Exemplar Gallery opened a year ago, and quickly earned a reputation for showing a mix of work by established talent and up-and-coming artists. But there was something unusual about it: its location, on East 54th Street. Aside from the strip of blue-chip dealers along 57th street—Pace, Marian Goodman—and, of course, MoMA, the area is something of an artistic no-man’s-land. And so it is perhaps not unexpected that Eneas Capalbo, the National Exemplar’s founder, is moving his gallery downtown.

The space is set to open in the fall on the second floor of 381 Broadway with a show featuring a complete set of upstart Sebastian Black’s “period pieces” series. Such a thing is possible in the new space, which is a little larger. “We have very long walls,” said Mr. Capalbo.

Mr. Capalbo is looking forward to his move—“I just found this place that is better, so I thought, why not?” he told Gallerist—but will have fond memories of Midtown, where he’s enjoyed the unexpected setting for the likes of Dan Colen and Nate Lowman, who had a joint book party there last fall. But his new location will serve a similar function, giving a different context to the artists you might expect to find in his old neighborhood, like his recent presentation of Richard Artschwager—an artist in his late 80s whose paintings would actually feel right at home alongside Sebastian Black, and who has a major retrospective coming up at the Whitney Museum in October.

“To show someone very old and established down there, it will make a difference.” Mr. Capalbo said. “Showing art downtown, we’ll have much more fun.”

The National Exemplar Gallery Gets Down