While the in-person art world in New York City remains mostly shuttered because of the pandemic, some galleries are opening spaces in the Hamptons.
One of them, Pace, will open a temporary 1,700-square-foot exhibition space in July in an East Hampton Village that it plans to keep open through Oct. 12. The inaugural exhibition will feature new drawings by the Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara. This month, the auction house Sothebyâ€™s will open a pop-up gallery, which a spokesman, Darrell Rocha, said would allow for â€œimmediate purchase across both fine art and luxury goods.â€ In an email, he said Sothebyâ€™s recognized â€œthat many of our established clients as well as many potential new clients have been and will continue to be out East.â€
Marc Glimcher, chief executive and president of Pace Gallery, said in an email, â€œWe saw an opportunity to get business back on its feet during the summer by opening in East Hampton.â€
He added, â€œAbove all else, we believe the opportunity to connect audiences with art in person is an important one.â€
It will not be entirely business as usual, however. At Pace, only 12 visitors and two staff members will be permitted in the space at the same time. Everyone will be required to wear masks; hand-sanitizer stations will be at the door and the front desk; and the gallery will be cleaned daily. â€œArt handling staff who are installing will fill out a daily health questionnaire, will be required to wear supplied P.P.E. since their jobs donâ€™t allow for social distancing, and they will work in small, dedicated teams to reduce exposure,â€ Adriana Elgarresta, a spokeswoman for Pace Gallery, said by email.
A more unique distanced gallery is a project called Alone Gallery, organized by the art dealers Max Levai and Tripoli Patterson; the collector Bob Rubin; and the design agency Bean.la. It will open on June 17 in a warehouse space in Wainscott, on Long Island, with an exhibition of Alex Katz paintings.
The gallery experience is designed for solo visitors â€” or for up to four people who are living together. No staff will be present in the space, and the gallery will be monitored from afar via surveillance. Visitors will register for a 30-minute time slot online and will receive a door access code or can text upon arrival to have the door remotely unlocked. They will receive face masks, shoe covers and hand sanitizer at the door, and the space will be sanitized daily.
The organizers said they would try to arrange viewings outside of the ticketed time slots, too. â€œWeâ€™ll try to be open 24 hours a day,â€ Mr. Levai said.
â€œAs terrible as all this has been, there are things that have come out of this that are making us question the norms,â€ Mr. Levai said. Among those norms is the experience of viewing art while surrounded by others. This will be a rare chance to enter an unstaffed gallery and spend time alone with a work of art.