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Irvine Contemporary has moved on from 14th Street NW—and Contemporary Wing is moving in.
Lauren Gentile, the former director of the Irvine Contemporary gallery, will take over the space that Irvine held from May 2006 until it closed in late August. Gentile’s gallery, Contemporary Wing, opens in November.
The decision to stay on 14th Street may come as a surprise to art watchers who have seen other dealers—including Gentile’s former boss Martin Irvine—decamp in the face of rising rents and incoming luxury-furniture purveyors. In fact, the new space at 1412 14th St. NW will offer both art and design. Gentile’s Contemporary Wing will share an address with Lori Graham Design, an interior-design firm and furniture outlet.
The space at 1412 14th Street NW has been one of the city’s premiere white-cube galleries, under one name or another, for a decade. When Sarah Finlay and Patrick Murcia opened the much-missed Fusebox gallery there in 2001, it marked the beginning of a migration of the city’s art scene from Dupont Circle to points further east—including Irvine Contemporary, which took over the space from Fusebox.
Though Irvine Contemporary closed up shop at the end of August, it hasn’t spelled the end of Irvine Contemporary, exactly; an Irvine show of Moby‘s photographs opens at the Montserrat House at 2016 9th St. NW on Oct. 27. A solo exhibition by Gaia is planned for December. In addition, Irvine, who is the founder of Georgetown University’s Communication, Culture & Technology Program, is focusing on writing two books and opening a digital media lab at Georgetown.
A number of Irvine artists are staying on with Contemporary Wing: Kerry Skarbakka, Gaia, Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi, Sebastian Martorana, Barnaby Whitfield, and Paul D. Miller (better known as DJ Spooky) are among the artists who will show with Gentile. Don’t expect things to look exactly the same, though, as the new tenants are currently renovating the interior.