Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, New York 
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Top 10 Highlights of 2015


Dear Art Lovers,

At the end of 2014, The Observer nominated Catinca Tabacaru Gallery as one of five young galleries to watch in 2015. We hope we have made everyone proud. 2015 certainly was a big year! While difficult to settle on only 10 most memorable moments from the adventures we embarked on, the growth you helped us achieve, and the risks we chose to take, below is a list of those that still give us butterflies.

❤️ Catinca and the CTG Family

1. ZIMBABWE: Artist Residency Collaboration

The Summer of 2015 marked our first formal installment of the Gallery's newly formed Artist Residency Collaboration program.  We, together with three roster artists - Rachel Monosov, Xavier Robles de Medina and Justin Orvis Steimer - traveled to Harare, Zimbabwe where we teamed up with Raphael Chikukwa, 3-time Curator of the Zimbabwe Pavilion at the Venice Biennial and Chief Curator of the country's most prominent art museum the National Gallery of Zimbabwe and Dzimbanhete Arts Interactions, a hip artist space that supports emerging local artists on their journey to the international contemporary art scene. Together we selected 10 talented and ambitious local artists and embarked on an adventure in creativity. What started as an experiment resulted in surprisingly relevant and profound works. Collaboration was a key element as the artists worked both as individuals and collectives.  It went so well in fact that  the National Gallery of Zimbabwe has now put an exhibition rooted in the Residency on its calendar for 2016. We are thrilled, humbled, and more than a little bit excited about returning to Zimbabwe this coming April to curate and hang ZIG ZAG ZIM... needless to say, it was a unique cultural exchange that puts a necessary "wild" into the traditional creative process. [read our Zim diary here]

2. Working with Portuguese Master RUI CHAFES
We had the honor to work with Portuguese master sculptor Rui Chafes for our 3-artist exhibition Fictions and Constructions. Although Rui is famed around Europe, his work has not previously shown in the United States.  We were thrilled to bring these three anthropomorphic sculptures to New York audiences, and honored when Rui came out to join us for the exhibit's Opening Reception, which was also attended by curators form several major New York institutions including the Guggenheim. Such attendance is not surprising when considering Rui's ability to transform weighted and enduring iron into a fragile and suspended form. He places emphasis on the physical to defy the acceleration into the virtual, and by manipulating mass, he demands from us silence and our uninterrupted attention in an age of instantaneity... the relevance and beauty is unparalleled...
3. VENICE BIENNIAL: Justin Orvis Steimer in Personal Structures

It is no secret that we at Catinca Tabacaru Gallery are obsessed with the work of Justin Orvis Steimer. We were thrilled to have our opinions validated in 2015 by the curators of the European Pavilion in Venice.  Justin's work was selected for Personal Structures, the exhibition in the Palazzo Mora during the 56th Venice Biennale. Justin's series of three paintings completed while in residence in Venice, Italy hung next to the likes of Carl Andre, Herman de Vries, Hermann Nitsch and Yoko Ono. [read more]


4. Xavier Robles de Medina nominated for PRIX DE ROME

When the Mondriaan Fund announced the names of its candidates for the 2015 Prix de Rome for visual artists, we were overjoyed to learn that 25-year old gallery artist Xavier Robles de Medina was the youngest artist on the list. The Prix de Rome is awarded once every two years to a talented visual artist under the age of forty and is the oldest and most generous prize for talented artists and architects in the Netherlands.

5. WANAS KONST ACQUISITION of Joe Brittain major painting
It is not every day that an institution of the prestige commanded by Swedish Wanas Konst walks into our young gallery.  When founders Marika and Carl-Gustaf Wachmeister came by during Joe Brittain's solo show Intercourse, it was love at first sight and they immediately acquired the exhibit's mammoth gamble-shape painting, Proportionless Jewel, for The Wanås Foundation collection. 
6. ARTNET names Catinca one of 14 Young Dealers to Watch
Being featured on a list including powerhouses like James Fuentes, Augusto Arbizo, and Rachel Uffner as one of 14 Young New York Art Dealers To Watch was no small honor. The article fluffed the feathers of "14 young, ambitious art dealers from 11 spaces who are getting the art world to take notice," stating that it's in readers' "interest to keep an eye on them."  Thank you ArtNet... that felt pretty amazing.  xo
One thing that has become clear about the art world is that growth takes time and patience.  Sometimes a project will only bloom long after its inception. In November 2013, before we had the brick and mortar gallery, Catinca curated WAR-TOYS, a photo essay seeking to explore war from the perspective of children living in its day-to-day reality by Brian McCarty at the then named Peanut Underground. The exhibition was later picked up by the Mid America Arts Alliance and this month begins a 5-year string of institutional shows around the country. In addition to the original exhibition, for the traveling show, Brian and Catinca created an immersive “safe room” experience inspired by the classrooms and bunkers McCarty visited in Israel, West Bank and Gaza, complete with sound, furniture, and drawings created by children affected by war. “This exhibition is the powerful meeting between art and cause—process-driven images give voice to a war-torn area’s most vulnerable inhabitants,” says Catinca Tabacaru, J.D./LL.M., Curator of WAR-TOYS. Apparently the world has noticed, and in a bitter sweet piece of news, the destructive terrorist group ISIS appropriated one of the exhibit's images and is currently using it in its propaganda.... scary! [read Hyperallergic article]
8. NEW ARTIST: Terrence Musekiwa
The most exciting news that came out of our Zimbabwe Residency (aside from it being a life changing experience), is that we signed a new artist to the gallery roster. 25-year old Terrence Musekiwa started sculpting rock when he was four years old, taught by his sculptor father. His family may not necessarily understand Terrence’s “crazy and ugly” creations but the art world certainly seems to. Over roasted piglet, I explained to mom and pop that contemporary art has moved forward from known traditions and Terrence's mixture of tradition and international contemporariness is exactly what the market is looking for from up and coming African artists... Our biggest feat in this department is the recent acquisition of three works by the prestigious Tiroche DeLeon Collection. Our intentions are nothing short of making Terrence world famous!
9. BANKSY curates Greg Haberny into the DISMALAND
There are few people in the world who don't know BANKSY. It turns out Banksy loves our bad-boy roster artist Greg Haberny who was included in Banksy's sold out exhibition this past summer. Art News remarked: "...inclusion in Dismaland just goes to show how highly rated [Haberny's] idiosyncratic, raw and frenetic style of art is."  This was not the first time Banksy and Haberny worked together.  Back in 2010 Haberny was included in Banksy’s ‘Marks and Stencils’ pop up shop in Soho. All that said, we had a fun feeling more secretive than the CIA while working with Pest Control.
10. DEVOTION: most Ambitious and Star-Studded Exhibition
Devotion marks our most ambitious and star-studded exhibition to date. Featuring 16 artists including heavy-hitters Roxy Paine and Joyce Pensato, alongside newcomers like Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels and Sophia Wallace, and an immersive installation that transforms the gallery into a devotional space loosely inspired by a Greek Orthodox Church, the exhibition, co-curated with Will Corwin, has been met with rave responses including an Art Critical Review,  hundreds of beautiful compliments from visitors, and an upcoming review we cannot yet reveal (stay tuned).  Don't miss this last week to catch Devotion which is up until Sunday, January 17, 2016. [read Full Press Release]

HERE IS TO A 😃 🍎 AND💰 2016!
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Catinca Tabacaru Gallery

250 Broome Street
New York, NY 10002
Wednesday - Sunday
11:00am – 6:00pm


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