Nothing stays new in New York for long, and even less is blessed with the chance to grow old. That applies double to the city’s commercial art world, as several storied institutions learned in 2023.

Amid a flurry of Tribeca openings, the downtown gallery ecosystem shrunk: Queer Thoughts, the taste-making operation that promoted the careers of off-beat talents like Diamond Stingily, Mindy Rose Schwartz, and Puppies Puppies, closed in September after 11 years; Denny Gallery, a decade-old outfit, said in October that it would shutter, marking the fourth gallery in the neighborhood to cease business within three months. Foxy Production, a veteran space that helped spur the careers of artists such as Sterling Ruby and Sara Cwynar, ended its gallery program after 20 years in business. JTT, from Jasmin T. Tsou, a beloved purveyor of artists who snubbed what was in vogue for what personally scintillated, inciting trends in the process (as only the truly cool can), also closed. 

A brutal rent market, blue-chip enterprises snagging rising stars from small and mid-size competitors—galleries end in New York for myriad reasons, and few are willing to divulge the details. The founders of Foxy said in a statement that “it is now time for [the gallery] to take on new forms”; Queer Thoughts, when contacted by ARTnews, said “we decided to close the gallery to pursue other projects, namely our individual artistic practices.”

Mystery aside, each closure marks one less platform for hard-to-define, often off-beat art and curation (I’m thinking of a 2015 show at Foxy based on the character Gollum from the Lord of the Rings series). 

Well, we’ll always have uptown—even if it continues to move further south. Throughout 2023, a stream of midsize and blue-chip galleries opened branches in Tribeca. Tim Blum, of the Los Angeles–based gallery Blum & Poe, announced that he would remove his former partner Jeff Poe’s name from the gallery, close its Upper East Side location, and move to White Street. Another Los Angeles stalwart, Anat Ebgi, opened a branch on the stretch of Broadway already home to Arnie Glimcher’s Pace-affiliated project space, 125 Newbury, and P.P.O.W. Next year, the block will welcome dealer Marian Goodman, as well as Alexander Gray Associates.

Realtor and art collector Jonathan Travis, a key strategist in the rebranding of Tribeca as New York’s hippest arts hub, told ARTnews earlier this year, “So many people were under the wrong impression, that galleries were driven out of Chelsea based on rents.” As the price-per-square foot is roughly comensurate in Tribeca and Chelsea—around $100-$120—the migration, he added, is more about “feeling than balance sheets.”

The vibe shift, it seems, continues.