James Cohan Gallery

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James Cohan
  • 48 Walker Street (Tribeca)
  • 291 Grand Street (Lower East Side)
TypeArt gallery

James Cohan is a contemporary art gallery in the Tribeca and Lower East side neighborhoods of Manhattan, New York City.


James Cohan Gallery opened in New York City in September 1999 with an inaugural exhibition of early photo-pieces by Gilbert & George and has continued an on-going exhibition program that includes the work of both established and emerging artists. The gallery maintains a strong international focus representing a diverse selection of contemporary artists from Ethiopia, China, Vietnam, Japan, Costa Rica, The Dominican Republic, the U.K. as well as the United States. The gallery also represents the estate of pioneering artist Robert Smithson as well as the influential Californian painter Lee Mullican. Other notable artists represented by the gallery include seminal video artist Bill Viola and highly influential land artist Richard Long.

The gallery has experienced significant recent growth and development, adding a number of new artists to its roster. In 2017 the gallery announced the representation of Kathy Butterly and Grace Weaver[1] who both had solo shows with the gallery in September 2018, in the Chelsea and Chinatown locations respectively. Further additions to the gallery's roster were made in 2018 with the gallery announcing the representation of artists Josiah McElheny[2] and Matthew Ritchie[3] as well as the most recent addition of Firelei Báez.[4]

In October 2018 the gallery made the announcement that it will be moving its primary space in Chelsea to the neighborhood of Tribeca, where it will take up residence at 48 Walker Street in September 2019. The gallery is to be opened with a solo show by the artist Josiah McElheny. James Cohan, the gallery's owner has said of the move, “There’s a certain migration out of Chelsea heading into TriBeCa. For me, it’s very simple, in that I feel like I’d rather work for my artists than for my landlord.”[5]


A coalition of Asian American groups entered and protested Omer Fast's 2017 exhibit in the gallery's Lower East Side location that attempted to reproduce stereotypical Chinatown aesthetics. Fast's exhibition, August, constructed a caricature of a derelict Chinatown business that visitors walk through to see the artist's video work in the backroom. Protesters outside held a large yellow banner that said “Racism Disguised as Art” in three languages (English, Chinese, and Spanish). In response to these allegations, the gallery issued the following statement;[6]

We support the right of free speech by the protesters to Omer Fast's exhibition at the gallery. We also support our artist's right to free expression and oppose censorship.

Fast issued an apology for the insensitive or offensive nature of the exhibition, stating that the point of the work 'was never to insult or incite but to talk about identity and immigrant experience,' but not before comparing the protesters to the white supremacist marchers in Charlottesville.[7]


  1. ^ Greenberger, Alex. "James Cohan Gallery Now Represents Kathy Butterly and Grace Weaver". Artnews.com.
  2. ^ Greenberger, Alex. "James Cohan Gallery Now Represents Josiah McElheny". Artnews.com. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  3. ^ Selvin, Claire. "James Cohan Gallery Now Represents Matthew Ritchie". Artnews.com. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  4. ^ Duron, Maximiliano. "James Cohan Gallery Now Represents Firelei Báez". Artnews.com.
  5. ^ Armstong, Annie. "James Cohan Gallery's Flagship Chelsea Space Will Move to Tribeca in September 2019". Artnews.com. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  6. ^ Vartanian, Hrag. "Chinatown Art Brigade Protests Omer Fast's "Racist" Exhibition at James Cohan Gallery". Hyperallergic.
  7. ^ Boucher, Brian. "'I Expect This From Right-Wing Trolls Carrying Tiki-Torches': Omer Fast Responds to Protests of His Chinatown Installation". Artnetnews.com.

External links[edit]

Media related to James Cohan Gallery at Wikimedia Commons