JTT, the Beloved New York Gallery That Boosted Artists Like Jamian Juliano-Villani and Issy Wood, Will Close

JTT, a New York gallery that launched the careers of many rising talents, will shutter after more than a decade in operation.

On Thursday, the gallery said in an email that it would officially shutter August 11, at the end of the run of its current group show, “Playscape,” featuring the work of Dena Yago, Borna Sammak, and Sable Elyse Smith, among others.

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“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 announcement read. “In that time, we mounted more than 83 shows, including many artists’ first New York solo exhibitions.”

It continued, “We would like to express our deepest appreciation to all of the artists who shared their visions with us and contributed to the gallery over the years. Without all of you, none of this would have been possible.”

Since its opening in 2012, JTT exhibited a venturesome sensibility, regularly mounting shows that didn’t align with what was in vogue—even if their presentations would go on to help spur new trends.

In 2015, long before the current craze for figurative painting, JTT mounted its first show with Jamian Juliano-Villani, whose canvases blending unlike images in surrealist ways are now well-known. That show memorably featured an 18-foot-long painting of a wheeled vehicle navigating alien terrain.

And in 2018, before art critiquing mass incarceration was exhibited widely in New York, JTT staged a solo exhibition by Sable Elyse Smith, whose art reverses common conceptions surrounding criminality. Smith’s work went on to appear at the 2022 Venice Biennale alongside that of Juliano-Villani and another JTT artist, Elaine Cameron-Weir.

The gallery continued to keep its finger on the pulse, with solo shows of work from Sam McKinniss, Issy Wood, Becky Kolsrud, Anna-Sophie Berger, Abigail DeVille, and others in recent years.

Such shows as these made JTT one of the most closely watched galleries on the Lower East Side, where it was based before relocating to Tribeca in 2022.

JTT founder, Jasmin T. Tsou, created a program whose sole binding principle appeared to be offering something truly unexpected.

Urs Fischer, arguably the only artist to have secured blue-chip status before showing at JTT, staged an exhibition whose centerpiece was a one-to-one clay replica of an Aristide Maillol sculpture. Aki Sasamoto once transformed the gallery into a stage for her offbeat performances; when she wasn’t there to perform live, beers were available for the taking. The JTT debut of Doreen Lynette Garner, who now goes by the name King Cobra, offered a heavy dose of body horror, with objects on view that included a sculpture paying homage to Henrietta Lacks: it resembled a puckered tumor wrapped in barbed wire.

The gallery exhibited other artists who were more off the beaten track: Marlon Mullen had four solo shows with JTT that featured his abstracted versions of ARTnews, Art in America, and Artforum covers. Diane Simpson, a giant on the Chicago art scene who remains lesser-known beyond that city, showed her sculptures that dialogue with vernacular architecture and design, and James Yaya Hough recently exhibited a grouping of drawings of fantastical visions made while he was incarcerated.

Some of these artists found support at other, smaller galleries in New York or in spaces outside the city, but JTT’s support demonstrated that the gallery was willing to take a chance on them in a place where their reputations were less established.

It isn’t immediately clear what Tsou will do now that JTT was closing.

“In the coming months, I will share what my next chapter will be,” she said. “In the meantime, I wish you a wonderful summer, and I’m sure I will see you soon.”

Source: artnews.com

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