How to Start a Gallery in Your Apartment

As commercial real estate balloons in cities like New York and London, and art galleries professionalize, limiting the freedoms artists are given within their spaces, artists, art professionals, and collectors have begun to make use of living space—be it an entire apartment, a guest bedroom, or even a walk-in closet—to put on the shows they want to see.

Apartment galleries offer viable alternatives to see art outside of commercially focused, white cube gallery spaces, and to witness a more intimate, inclusive side of the art world. And while these galleries are nothing new—Leo Castelli famously turned the living room of his 77th street apartment into a gallery in 1957—with time, they’ve become less novel and more widespread. So what does it take to open an apartment gallery today?

This fall, Ariela Gittlen and Scott Indrisek opened a gallery, dubbed Teen Party, rather suddenly out of their Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, apartment. This was a first for the couple, who work as a graphic designer and art writer, and editor-in-chief of an art magazine, respectively. Within the span of some six weeks they confirmed two artists for the inaugural show—the esteemed Peter Halley and young painter Tracy Thomason—secured a liquor sponsor, cleared out the spare bedroom-turned-home office, installed the show, and put on an opening that saw around a hundred people filter in and out of their 600-square-foot apartment. “We were both exhausted at the end of the night, and we said to each other, ‘This could not have gone better, everything worked exactly like it was supposed to,’” Gittlen recalls. Weeks later, unexpectedly, they’d sell two of Thomason’s works. Despite how it sounds, this is not an easy venture. more here