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INTERVIEW

 

Tatyana OkshteyN

FouNDer of Black & White Gallery / Project space


Black & White Gallery Booth featuring Joanne Carson at PULSE Art Fair | Miami Beach 2017

Black & White Gallery Booth featuring Joanne Carson at PULSE Art Fair | Miami Beach 2017

Please give us a brief history of yourself and your gallery.

I opened the gallery to the public in 2002 in Williamsburg as a platform for artists to express a contemporary cultural perspective that was alternative to the mainstream. The gallery is considered, within that context, a pioneering influence, particularly in the field of site-specific installations. In 2006 on the eve of the economic downturn and art market contraction, in an effort to support the upward trajectory of my artists’ careers, I opened an additional space in the still-booming Chelsea. The Williamsburg location was kept as an outpost for new arrivals and showcase of more experimental work. In 2009, in an effort to reduce gallery dependance on sales, without jeopardizing the support of artists working in less traditional mediums and provide temporary studio space in an environment that was becoming hostile towards artists, a non-profit Black & White project Space was founded.*

From 2010 to 2018, both Black & White Gallery and Black & White Project Space continued to operate side by side presenting simultaneous exhibition programs out of the gallery's original indoor/outdoor location in Williamsburg until 2012 and alternating exhibition programs in our new location in Bushwick until 2018. Currently our brick-and-mortar space is closed.  Black & White Gallery/Project Space continues to experiment with different exhibition modules both in digital and physical spaces.

Can you tell us about some of the artists that you’ve brought to PULSE over the years and why you decided to present them at our fair?

I always brought to PULSE young, talented and promising gallery artists whose careers could have benefited from the wide exposure provided by PULSE.

Installation view of Julian Montague’s  The Stray Shopping Cart Identification System  (2006) at Black & White Gallery and Project Space’s Chelsea location

Installation view of Julian Montague’s The Stray Shopping Cart Identification System (2006) at Black & White Gallery and Project Space’s Chelsea location

Julian Montague | PULSE Art Fair, Miami Beach 2010

Now, Julian Montague is known for his photography, design, and installation work. His first ever solo show was at Black & White Gallery’s original Brooklyn location in 2004. In 2010, we presented his conceptual project at PULSE Art Fair, Miami Beach. The piece was selected by The Norton Museum of Art curators from tens of thousands of works brought to 14 fairs by more than 850 gallerists that year to Miami for the museum’s special exhibition called” Now WHAT?”.

Julian Montague is represented in the collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, The Burchfield Penney Arts Center, The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, The Norton Museum of Art, The Progressive Insurance Company, as well as numerous private collections.

Shantell Martin | PULSE Art Fair, Miami Beach 2012

Shantell Martin’s first ever solo gallery show was at Black & White Gallery/Project Space in the fall of 2012 where she premiered her black and white drawings that quickly became her signature style. Martin’s ambitious presentation at PULSE Art Fair, Miami Beach 2012 jumpstarted her successful career. She went on to carve an artistic path for herself that is as much intellectual as it is visual. Since her first solo show at Black & White Gallery/Project Space in Brooklyn and PULSE, she has had prestigious solo shows at some of the most renown art institutions including the 92Y Gallery in New York City, the iconic Albright Knox Gallery and the MoCADA Museum,

Shantell Martin, Continuous Line, installation view /  Image ©Shantell Martin

Shantell Martin, Continuous Line, installation view / Image ©Shantell Martin

Isidro Blasco | PULSE Art Fair, New York 2016

In 2006 I started working with Isidro Blasco out of the Black & White’s newly opened Chelsea location. Since then I included his work several times in the gallery’s group presentations at PULSE New York and Miami Beach. In 2016, Isidro’s solo presentation at PULSE New York resulted in a sold out booth with works going to important corporate and private collections.

Isidro Blasco,  Rolling House s. 2018, C-Print, acid free museum board, wood, 76 x 63 x 8 inches

Isidro Blasco, Rolling Houses. 2018, C-Print, acid free museum board, wood, 76 x 63 x 8 inches

Isidro Blasco is held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Chicago Institute of Contemporary Art, The Baltimore Museum of Art and many international museums.

What makes PULSE special compared to other fairs?

Since 2003, I participated in many different art fairs but found PULSE to be more suitable for showcasing the gallery program and artists. PULSE appears to be the only art fair that provides both commercial and non-commercial platforms. Such a dual approach resonates strongly with my business philosophy represented by the gallery structure. The gallery consists of 2 distinct entities: Black & White Gallery (commercial entity) committed to cultivating promising artists in the initial and more advanced phases of their careers exploring contemporary themes and concepts through multiple mediums and Black & White Project Space (non-commercial entity) dedicated to providing artists the freedom to experiment with new ideas and mediums without commercial pressures.

Are there any topics in the contemporary art discourse and the art market that are of particular interest to you right now? Any trends you see coming?

With great interest I have been witnessing the formation of a “global” art world.  How the call to join with the global would be answered in art remains an open question. As people and ideas began to move across borders, money did too. Since its birth in the mid-20th century, the art market has been oscillating between art and market, content and skill. I see the coming trends shifting towards market and aggressive content as the art market practitioners find themselves faced with cultures they do not understand and seek global approval by pander to a global community with unlimited resources and enlarged spectacle.

 What’s coming up next for your gallery?

The gallery originated as a space for artist and I will continue to fulfill that promise. After almost 20 years in the business I’m in the process of reevaluating the gallery program and reorganizing its operations to remain relevant in the evolving new global art world where the national boundaries would dissolve, centers and peripheries would level out, and the Internet would host worldwide cultural exchange. I look forward to introducing our new dynamics and highlight our future direction by premiering a very ambitious conceptual project.

Anastasia Ax performance at Black & White Gallery / Project Space in Bushwick (2015)

Anastasia Ax performance at Black & White Gallery / Project Space in Bushwick (2015)


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Exhibitors are eligible to participate in PULSE Prize, Projects and Play by applying either with a solo artist or a survey.