With your year long Carla subscription, you will receive a new issue right to your doorstep every 3 months.
Our advertising program is essential to the ecology of our publication. Ad fees go directly to paying writers, which we do according to W.A.G.E. standards.
We are currently printing runs of 6,000 every three months. Our publication is distributed locally through galleries and art related businesses, providing a direct outlet to reaching a specific demographic with art related interests and concerns.
To advertise or for more information on rates, deadlines, and production specifications, please contact us at email@example.com
As art fairs have become the dominant means for galleries to travel their programs and expand collector bases, Condo has proven a more sustainable and accessible model, avoiding the sheer financial demand, hierarchical mode, and rigid homogeneity of art fair exhibition formats and viewing conditions. Taking its name from condominium, Condo is a gallery share program. Local galleries host visiting galleries in their spaces, either allocating exhibition space or collaborating to curate a selection of work. Begun in 2016 by Vanessa Carlos (of Carlos/ Ishikawa, London), Condo has already taken place in London, New York, São Paulo, Mexico City, and Shanghai. The second New York iteration—totaling 47 galleries hosted by 21 (mostly downtown) spaces— opened at the outset of an extended, record-breaking heat wave. With temperatures in the humid 90s, I spent the day traversing the city’s streets on foot, finding temporary respite in each air-conditioned gallery along the way.
The first of these was Bureau, which hosted both Kristina Kite Gallery (Los Angeles) and Hopkinson Mossman (New Zealand) with a seven-person group show. Two of Amy O’Neill’s vivid bean bag objects occupied the gallery entrance. In the main space, a single upright painting by Dianna Molzan, Untitled (2018), faced Fiona Connor’s freestanding Closed Down Clubs, Tonic (2018), a meticulously recreated façade of the now-shuttered nearby Lower East Side club.
The group show served as the primary exhibition format across Condo, as was the case for Queer Thoughts’ gallery share with L.A.’s Park View/Paul Soto. Entering the small space, I slipped into blue booties to tread across a custom floor vinyl by Puppies Puppies, The Difference Between Sex and Gender (2018). A floor monitor screened Sandra’s Walk (2016) by Diamond Stingily, a minute-long video work showing the artist’s mother climbing and descending a staircase in her home. On the wall, Aidan Koch’s 2018 What are the odds?—the phrase could be Condo’s byline—proffered a story told in comic-strip-like fragments.
As with many Condo presentations, the groupings of works at both spaces could as easily have been found in a fair, the big difference being that I didn’t have to enter the intense and dominant environment of one. Instead, the treasure hunt-style gallery-hop that Condo necessitates provides a slower approach; and since it spanned a whole month, visitors were granted a more solitary and peaceful viewing experience.
White Columns was one of the few participants to break from a group exhibition format, offering their space for a second year to the Claremont, CA based non-profit, First Street, who presented a solo exhibition by Micheal LeVell. The works on view—a bright suite of painted interiors alongside a group of micro-scale ceramic furniture pieces— were visual “amplifications” (LeVell’s term) of images found in his prized collection of Architectural Digest. White Columns was also the only non-profit space that participated in this iteration of Condo, and used the opportunity to promote another. LeVell, who is diagnosed with autism, and is deaf and legally blind, was one of the eight artists who helped found First Street in 1989, creating a space that provides resources to a community of artists living with developmental disabilities.
Elsewhere, Company Gallery (hosting Carlos/Ishikawa, London) elected to pair two artists. Four paintings by Marisa Takal contained a frenetic logic, morphing brilliant color into muscle mass and loose grids. Emblazoned with the word “SATISFACTION,” one work, titled like a poem, If You Want to See a Butterfly in Space, Land on My Face. What’s my Name. You Better Tell Me Whose… (2017), gave clues into Takal’s broader practice of writing as well as object-making, and echoed the large-scale text forms in Diana Lozano’s suspended sculptural clusters.
If most of its presentations still dealt in fair aesthetics—choosing to carefully highlight gallery programs over particular curatorial conceits—what Condo does offer is a generous alternative to art fairs. New York and Los Angeles galleries face their own serious struggles with the rising costs of rent owing to neighborhood gentrification, not to mention the culpability that galleries share in being harbingers of it. In the midst of this, Condo is an experiment with the Gallery as Entity. It is conducive to camaraderie between galleries and insistent on the particularity of their local spaces. Like many alternative fairs (from the hotel rooms of Gramercy International Art Fair, started in 1994, to more recent endeavors including Independent and Mexico City’s Material Art Fair), Condo was started by gallerists. And so, while establishing itself as an alternative, it can also be understood as an extension of the fair model. Although Condo proclaims to make way for “experimental gallery exhibitions,” for both galleries and viewers, exhibition making was the least of its experiments.
Originally published in Carla issue 13