JTT Gallery, a staple in New York City’s art world known for its trend-setting and experimental shows, is abruptly closing after 11 years. The Tribeca venue will shut its doors on August 11, coinciding with the end of its current show Playscape, which features artists like Jenny Holzer and Sable Elyse Smith.
“It has always been our mission to exhibit visionary work and present exhibitions in which we believe without compromise, and we are so proud that this remarkable project has lasted for over a decade,” the gallery announced yesterday (August 3). “In that time, we mounted more than 83 shows, including many artists’ first New York solo exhibitions.” While JTT did not specify why it is closing, the gallery’s founder Jasmin Tsou said, “I think we all know it’s been a tough market this year,” in an emailed statement to Observer.
JTT was beloved by many in New York’s art scene
Scores of art world players offered their condolences to the gallery via Instagram, with Manhattan’s Half Gallery declaring that “the art world will be less interesting without JTT,” while art advisor Kimberly Gould called the news “a huge loss for the art world.” Meanwhile, art critic Jerry Saltz commended Tsou’s “vision” and “passion,” while artist Christine Sun Kim described her JTT show in 2022 as “a huge honor.”
Opened in the Lower East Side in 2012 by a then-27-year-old Tsou, the gallery quickly garnered a reputation for risk-taking moves as it hosted solo shows with artists like Urs Fischer, Glen Fogel, Charles Harlan, Diane Simpson, Aki Sasamoto and Jamian Juliano-Villani, among others. After moving to a second location in 2016, it began presenting solo shows with the likes of Issy Wood, Sam McKinniss and Doreen Lynette Garner, the latter of whom now goes by King Cobra. JTT’s third move was to Tribeca, the city’s newest art hotspot, in May of last year.
All the while, the gallery continued presenting the unexpected. Its earlier shows included Marlon Mullen’s exhibition of painted versions of art magazine pages and Glen Fogel’s exploration of an ex-boyfriend’s film documenting their relationship. During the Covid-19 pandemic, JTT mounted a show of Becky Kolsrud’s examination of isolation and mourning through large-scale canvases. And earlier this year, the gallery displayed White Meat, a show of King Cobra’s engagement with diseased and bruised white flesh, which included a sculpture of a decaying white shark named When You Are Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.
The response to JTT’s closure has been “touching” and “overwhelming,” Tsou added. The gallery “was born out of the idealism of a group of young artists right out of art school, and our program was driven by that idealism for many years,” she said. “We really believed we could do things on our own terms, and for 11 incredible years, we did.”