The New New New Taxter and Spengemann
PASCAL SPENGEMANN, KELLY TAXTER. PHOTO BY JOHNNY MISHEFF
After a brief stint on East 12 Street in Frank Stella’s skylit studio, Taxter & Spengemann, the gallery that brought you Kalup Linzy videotapes in a storage space way-back-when, is heading back to Chelsea. There, Pascal Spengemann and Kelly Taxter have picked up a new gallery on the ground floor (and basement) of a condo on West 18 Street, and a new partner in Carolyn Ramo.
JOHNNY MISHEFF: How old is the gallery?
KELLY TAXTER: We opened in September of 2003. It’s September of 2010. That means we are in our eighth season. We’re actually getting old!
MISHEFF: This new 18 Street location will be the third space you’ve occupied in the last eight seasons. Can you talk about working in and with all these various spaces, and the way you have been able to work (or not) with them?
TAXTER: 459 W 18 Street is a new condo, designed by Jared Della Valle. Frank Benson, whom we show, brought his book over. That means our space is a bit generic because the developers didn’t want to invest in the commercial unit, knowing a tenant would. We had to think carefully about how to deal with our gallery, which is on two floors and has pretty low ceilings and various other quirks. We enlisted an artist, Ara Dymond, to design it for us—walls, lights, offices, our crew, everything. It was an adventure of sorts, figuring things out as we went along, kind of like making a big sculpture.
MISHEFF: Your first location was in Chelsea, albeit in a much smaller space. How does it feel to be back?
RAMO: Obviously it is a huge advantage being back in Chelsea. Our artists have more exposure and it’s less of a hike for our collectors. As much as there were amazing parts of that storied 12 street space, this feels more “right now.” The building may be new but there are still some T&S touches: there have been two floors in each space, for instance, and the ceiling is unfinished. Plus now we have heating and air conditioning, which is essential.
MISHEFF: Carolyn, you’re joining the gallery at a crucial time.
RAMO: It’s amazing to join the gallery at a time when there is a lot of energy around it what with the new space and a lot of attention being paid to our artists.
TAXTER: We’ve known Carolyn for years… she was the director at Nicole Klagsbrun and most recently at David Zwirner, managing production for artist’s works and projects. We were at a party last summer, and started talking about how it would be nice to have a third brain, someone who could help us focus our energies and see us through to another stage of our development. We aren’t kids anymore.