Earlier this year, Jeff Poe shocked the art world when the gallery co-founder announced his exit from Blum & Poe. Now, Poe’s name is leaving, too. Moving forward, the gallery will be known as BLUM, as announced today (October 17) by co-founder Tim Blum.
Founded by Blum and Poe in Santa Monica in 1994, the gallery has since expanded to three locations across California, Tokyo and New York, representing more than 60 global artists and estates. In August, Poe revealed his plans to leave Blum & Poe after nearly 30 years in order to pursue a “simpler and more fluid path.” In light of the news, the gallery, which will continue to be run by Blum, promoted longtime employee Matt Bangser to the newly created role of Managing Partner.
BLUM’s name isn’t the only change at the gallery—in spring of next year, it will relocate its current New York location to a larger space in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood. Located at 9 White Street in Tribeca, the new gallery will occupy two floors with a total of 6,200 square feet. Meanwhile, BLUM’s current Upper East Side space at 19 E 66th Street, which opened in 2014 in a renovated townhouse, will close its doors this December.
It will join a growing roster of prominent art galleries in Tribeca, which is now home to Alexander and Bonin, Bortolami and David Zwirner, among others. Pioneering art neighborhoods are nothing new for BLUM, which in 2003 relocated its California space to Culver City in Los Angeles. Its presence in the area has been largely cited as influencing the rise of Culver City’s thriving cultural scene.
Celebrating 30 years with an inter-generational survey of Japanese art
To inaugurate its new gallery, BLUM will reopen with a 30th anniversary exhibition surveying Japanese artwork from the 1960s to today. “It’s a major moment in the gallery’s history, in my personal history, my family’s, and our collective future,” said Blum in a statement. Co-curated by Blum and postwar Japanese art historian Mika Yoshitake (who previously worked with the gallery on exhibitions like its 2012 survey Requiem for the Sun: The Art of Mono-ha), the show will feature work by artists from Gutai, Mono-ha and Superflat movements.
Japanese artwork has long been a key focus of the gallery. Blum, who spent four years living in Japan before launching Blum & Poe, brought his extensive knowledge of the nation’s art scene to the gallery by emphasizing contemporary Japanese artists like Yoshitomo Nara and Takashi Murakami. After opening a location in Tokyo in 2014, the gallery continued to champion Japanese movements and artwork from the likes of Kazunori Hamana,Yukie Ishikawa, Yukinori Yanagi and Shio Kusaka.
“This coming chapter will unveil new relationships with artists, new initiatives in publishing and a beautiful new space in Tribeca that will enable us to build upon the legacy of ambitious shows that we have been staging in Los Angeles, Tokyo and New York for years,” said Blum. “I feel emboldened by the amazing global team we have built, and the outstanding group of artists, some of whom we have worked with for 30 years.”