This month we reviewed two exhibitions in Chelsea that carried the theme of water based tragedies. The show of Mr. at Lehmann Mauphin referenced the tsunami in Japan with the central gallery containing an emormous pile of worldly possessions haphazardly stacked up to the ceiling.
The show of Thomas Hirschhorn at the Gladstone referenced the sinking of the Concordia off the coast of Italy and included a gallery that appeared to be fully upended, full of strewn furniture, dining ware, and life preservers.
Well it appears that life does indeed imitate art as many if not most of the street level galleries in Chelsea are now in a similar state as Hurricane Sandy breached the seawall on the Hudson river on the west side of Manhattan and flooded Chelsea. Especially damaged were the many basement galleries which according to Bloomberg reports were completely flooded. The Gallerist has a blog post detailing the damage on a gallery by gallery basis. As seen in pictures, the offices of Zack Feuer have been completely ruined. Bloomberg states that several individual galleries have claimed over $100,000 in damage much of it involving especially vulnerable works on paper. Standing amidst her soggy ruins, gallerist Rachel Churner of Churner and Churner on 22nd St and 10 th Ave states,
I’ve probably lost $100,000 worth of art. Our basement is wet all the way to the ceiling,” she said. Churner said the gallery is insured. But she feared “that there’s some act of God or hurricane clause.