by Eileen Kinsella
Art dealer Clara Ha, a former partner at New York’s Paul Kasmin Gallery, is striking out on her own and joining the fast-growing gallery scene in Tribeca. Her new space, CHART, opens at 74 Franklin Street on May 2, just in time for New York’s Frieze Week. “What I wanted to do was open a space that offers different perspectives by collaborating with other art-world professionals and presenting special projects, exhibitions, and site-specific installations,” Ha told artnet News.
The inaugural show, titled “Reductive Seduction,” will present work by 16 artists including Jean Arp, Louise Bourgeois, James Lee Byars, Carmen Herrera, Loie Hollowell, Sheree Hovsepian, and Deborah Kass. The show is co-organized by Simone Joseph of SGJ Fine Art. Ha describes it as a “transgenerational show that explores the ways in which sensuality can be expressed through a minimal formal language.”
Ha worked with Kasmin for close to 20 years, first as director and, for the final three years, as a partner. “We started in SoHo together and later I worked in three spaces and three locations” across Chelsea, she noted. Her new, more intimate venture will focus on inviting thinkers and tastemakers to organize exhibitions; she describes it as more of a “collaborative platform” than a traditional gallery that represents a roster of artists.
“At the end of the day, I’m most interested in the idea of collaboration and community,” Ha said. “I think a lot has changed in the art world and the art business. People are trying different models. I really love the idea of dialogue.”
And while some might question the wisdom of opening a brick-and-mortar space at this moment in time, Ha notes that her choice of location—Tribeca—feels right. The neighborhood has become a hub for both established and emerging galleries fleeing higher rents, lower accessibility, and soulless architecture in Chelsea and the Lower East Side. “The gallery scene is burgeoning,” Ha says. “It’s an exciting time.”