Dealer John Connelly is closing his gallery this Friday after nearly a decade at the helm of a cutting edge emporium associated with artists such as Assume Astrid Vivid Focus, Scott Hug and Mungo Thomson. He will become director of the Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation.
John Connelly Presents, located at 625 West 27th Street, closes on Friday with a reception from 6-8 pm. The final exhibit features the somber, historicizing paintings of Jeronimo Elespe. Connelly’s program was known for artists favoring political and social themes. “He was drawn to themes that were not necessarily things built to sell, but emerged outside of the commercial arena,” said art adviser Sheri Pasquarella.
Connelly launched his nomadic curatorial project in 2000, while working as a director at Andrea Rosen Gallery. Rosen represents the Gonzalez-Torres estate.
In 2002, Connelly, a founding member of NADA, opened a small 10th floor space on West 26th Street. In 2006 he teamed up with Pasquarella and others to transform a desolate strip along West 27th Street into an art dealing hub.
In 2003, Roberta Smith tagged Connelly as among the three best young galleries in town. (The other two were Daniel Reich and LFL, which has since disbanded). Connelly was featured among New York Magazine 2006′s art world “Influencers.”