This new gallery is advocating for female artists

Published September 20, 2017

IMAGE COURTESY OF TOMMY AGRIODIMAS/UNGANO + AGRIODIMAS.

The former Rivington Arms gallery has a new tenant. Sara Kay, founder of the Professional Organization for Women in the Arts and former director of White Cube London, is moving in to the 19th century townhouse on East Second Street to open her eponymous gallery, which will focus on showcasing pieces by women artists.

“I come from a long line of powerful women that supported one another,” says Kay. “But we don’t do this alone. We need men. We need community of all kinds—this is not simply about gender.”

In that vein, the Sara Kay gallery is gunning for outsiders. Part of that effort is her showcasing of Art Brut, or psychedelic raw art pieces made outside the academic limitations of fine art, genre-bending and unadulterated by cultural expectations. Literally, “outsider art.”

Her opening exhibit, A Limitless Vision: The Collection of Audrey B. Heckler, assembles an incredible amount of raw art from the likes of psychiatric Swiss artist Aloïse Corbaz, who began producing work after being hospitalized for schizophrenia, and mediumistic British artist Madge Gill—two of few widely recognized women in the outsider art world. Many of the featured artists are self-taught.

“I am interested in showing artwork that speaks to me,” Kay explained. She plans to exhibit work by Pablo Picasso and Jean Dubuffet, father of the Art Brut movement, alongside Heckler’s, “no doubt one of the most comprehensive and important collections of outsider art held privately.”

THE SARA KAY GALLERY OPENS SEPTEMBER 28.