As Chelsea recovers from the aftermath of Hurricaine Sandy, many galleries are still struggling with water damaged interiors along with soggy inventory. Art critic Jerry Salz writes a sobering piece in the Vulture stating,
Widespread devastation was in painful evidence in scores and scores of ground floor galleries between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues. Almost every ground floor gallery had been inundated with four or more feet of water. All of the many basement storage facilities were flooded. Computers and desk equipment were wiped out. Reams and reams of irretrievable historical material stored in notebooks and gallery files were washed away, destroyed. Sculptures, crates, furniture, and paintings floated inside water-filled galleries, ramming walls and other works of art. Whole shows were destroyed. Desks floated free. Glass doors had shattered from the pressure of the water inside the galleries. Walls already reeked of mildew or had rotted through.
New York Times critic Roberta Smith talks about the joys of visiting Chelsea galleries on a late Saturday afternoon and relays her post Sandy horror,
That point was brought home with special intensity when I returned on Wednesday and then again on Thursday, witnessing devastation everywhere, and also the purposeful reaction to it. On Wednesday, to the thunderous clatter of water pumps and generators, ashen-faced, sometimes teary-eyed art dealers, along with their staff members and often their artists, were pulling sodden furniture, computers and irreplaceable archival documentation and artworks from their dark, water-blasted galleries.
There were huge piles of wet, crumpled cardboard on the street. “You know, most people look at this and think it’s just cardboard,” said Michael Jenkins, a partner in Sikkema Jenkins & Company, on West 22nd Street. “They don’t realize that all of it was wrapped around works of art.”
Fortunately for us, Ahomina was able to see many of the now shuttered galleries in their full splendor before Sandy and over the next few days we will highlight some of the shows at a few of the hardest hit galleries and pray for their speedy recovery.