A big hole will appear on Newbury Street this summer. At 130 Newbury Street, to be specific, where the Judi Rotenberg Gallery will have existed for decades.
The gallery will close its doors for good on June 19, 2010, ending a 40-year span of exhibitions that marked the commencement of the careers for generations of artists from New England. The Rotenberg Gallery has a reputation for taking uncommon risks for a commercial space, especially for Newbury Street real estate, but in so doing thrust many emerging, recently MFA’d, and conceptual artists into the view and onto the walls of Boston’s art buyers. The works of Ria Brodell, Bruce Bemis, Brian Burkhardt, Dave Cole, and Pixnit, to name a few, all adorned the walls of Rotenberg Gallery and now grace the walls of downtown row homes, New York galleries, and museums. The Rotenberg Gallery is in many ways a keystone of the Boston arts community and its shuttering will stunt the careers of the artists supported by the space and reshape the future of the Boston art scene.
The last exhibition for the space will be "All This & More," a solo show of work by gallery artist Anne Beresford.
Abigail Ross Goodman, the Executive Director and Owner of the gallery sent out the following letter to gallery patrons Monday evening.
It is with bittersweet emotions that I write to tell you that the gallery will be closing on June 19, 2010. The judi rotenberg gallery has been a 40-year partnership with truly great artists and with wonderful friends like you.
The ten years of my stewardship have been incredibly rewarding, and my profound gratitude goes out to every single member of our community for your support. I am so proud of everything that we have accomplished together. You have brought your enthusiasm and energy to our projects and you helped create a space for meaningful encounters with art and within the artistic community.
I will continue my deep engagement with the art world in new ways. I have learned from my artists: you have to keep inventing.
I hope you will join us for our final shows, Man Up which opens on April 29 and All This & More which opens on May 26, and that you will visit us in the next few weeks.
Warmly and deepest gratitude,
Abigail Ross Goodman
Matthew Nash, Big RED’s publisher, who has both written about and been exhibited in the Rotenberg Gallery, scribed an article based on a survey of issues relevant to commercial spaces in Boston four years ago. His analysis considered, among other significant factors, sales and demographics, under which the Rotenberg Gallery had significant deviations from the average commercial space in Boston. Nash says the gallery “totally skewed the curve on a number of data points.”
Like many artists in Boston, New England, New York, and beyond, Nash is mourning the closure of the Rotenberg Gallery.
He says, "for the artists who were lucky enough to work with Judi Rotenberg Gallery over the years, myself included, this is the end of an era. They were always supportive, creating a family out of a diverse group of creative people. We were lucky to have them."
Below: Staff of the Judy Rotenberg Gallery (clockwise from left: Abigail Ross Goodman, Executive Director/Owner; Kristen Dodge, Director; Patton Hindle, Gallery Manager). Image by 'DW' acquired with assistance from Google Image Search and Facebook on the World Wide Web.
We'll miss you.