The Harbingers: Four Young Galleries to Watch in 2017

Kat Herriman

C L E A R I N G – Calvin Marcus – Were Good Men – 2016
Calvin Marcus' Were Good Men, 2016. This is Marcus' second solo exhibition at Clearing, New York.

The art market has a healthy appetite for its young. Museums, advisors and collectors are always on the prowl for the next low-risk, high-reward. New galleries are a primary source. They are the prism through which young art is filtered and ultimately consumed by a greater public. Like visionary dealers Pat Hearn, Paula Cooper and Leo Castelli, those who are able to create a self-sustaining community rise to the top. With strong, interlocking rosters, these four young dealers are ahead of the class—and setting the agenda for everyone else.

JTT, New York

The Lower East Side is chockablock with galleries, but few are as savvy as JTT. Jasmin Tsou, JTT’s fearless leader and namesake, has cultivated not only a leading program but also an enviable circle of friends. “I feel like the gallery sort of came together like any community does,” Tsou says. “It’s a mixture of people I’ve known for a long time, like Becky Kolsrud and Borna Sammak, whom I went to school with, and people I’ve come across and reached out to.” Home to Kolsrud, Sammak and Jamian Juliano-Villani, the four-year-old gallery recently got an upgrade—moving from their storefront location on Suffolk Street to a larger second-floor space on Chrystie Street. An exhibition of Diane Simpson’s early Samurai works inaugurated the new space in November.

An installation view of Charles Harlan’s “Cave.”

SIGNAL, Brooklyn

What was once a warehouse for rugs is now a second home to artists like Meriem Bennani, Aidan Koch, Rachel Rossin and Andrew Ross. The space’s positive energy radiates out from its founders, Kyle Clairmont Jacques and Alexander Johns, who live and work in the gallery. The private and public mingle often at Signal; the intimacy of their solo-show-driven program is contrasted by their ambitious calendar of lectures, readings and performances, in addition to larger initiatives like the Bushwick Art Book & Zine Fair. “The physical space is a huge reason why we’ve always kept such an active calendar,” explains Jacques. “The same qualities that allow us to host hundreds of people at a time for a diverse array of events and performances are the reason why solo exhibitions are also so important to us—allowing an individual the freedom to take over the entirety of such a space and pretty much do what they want.”

Tim Bruniges’ MIRRORS installation


Tucked away in a small residential corner close to Le Marais, High Art looks like a fluorescent jewel box with its big street-facing windows. In its brief history, the three-year-old gallery has quickly earned a reputation for its varied and forward-thinking program, which includes Valerie Keane, Cooper Jacoby and Max Hooper Schneider. “In Paris, there are only a few young galleries, and the few are close friends. The dialogue is very immediate,” says director Jason Hwang. “While we are trying to return to a local experience—and the majority of young galleries would feel that way—we’re still working within a global sphere. We see our peers as across the board in New York and L.A. as well as the less visible places.”

An installation view of “Apple of Earth,” 2015.

CLEARING, Brussels and Brooklyn

This fall, Clearing abandoned their Belgian townhouse to move closer to Wiels, Brussels’ brewery-turned-arts-center, and the international train station. Like Wiels, Clearing is a reliable bellwether for young talent. Having expanded to two locations in Bushwick and Brussels, the almost six-year-old gallery boasts a roster that most can’t: Marina Pinsky, Marguerite Humeau, Lili Reynaud-Dewar and Korakrit Arunanondchai, to name a few. According to director Olivier Babin, in the beginning Clearing was “mostly about wild dreams.” Today, “We are closer to the spirit of the gallery’s beginning than we were two or three years ago. Now there is a strong, natural, organic connection between the artists. We stand for an absolutely sincere, not cynical, very faithful understanding of art and the responsibility the gallery has to keep things alive. Galleries are usually a place where the goldfish die.”

Eduardo Paolozzi’s “Horizon of Expectations.”