Gavin Brown

British-born gallerist now hopping between Harlem and Rome

If you locate your space outside the usual New York gallery neighbourhoods, you’re either foolish or supremely confident in your exhibition game. Brown, we’d assess, is the latter. He’s right to be so; staging Arthur Jafa’s debut gallery show just after the US election proved a powerful gesture (The New Yorker noted that ‘Jafa’s subject is bigger than politics – it’s the matter of black life in the United States’). Brown completed the refurbishment of his Harlem gallery (which complements a space in Chinatown and an outpost in Rome), and the rest of his programme has proved no less notable: solo shows for Joan Jonas, Rirkrit Tiravanija (who also hosted a fundraiser for Puerto Rico) and Rachel Rose (whose exhibition boasted 6pm – 6am openings hours). Brown does good business, but the gallery also acts with the spirit of an off-space: in February, he cohosted a minifestival of talks that attempted to formulate a collective response to the changing political and cultural landscape in America.