Jul 19, 2018

Sean Horton, a pioneering Lower East Side gallerist, will move his operation to Dallas.

After staging some 130 exhibitions at venues in various parts of New York and Berlin, the dealer Sean Horton has announced that he will move his operations to his home state of Texas and open a gallery in Dallas. ARTnews reports that the new spot, to be called Sean Horton (presents), will be in a Mission Revival building in the city’s Oak Cliff neighborhood, and that it will begin programming in September.
“As a native Texan from the area, I feel that this opportunity represents a homecoming to a city where, in my early twenties, I first discovered contemporary art,” Horton said in a statement.
Horton has the distinction of opening one of the first galleries on the Lower East Side, the neighborhood in New York that saw an explosion of small galleries showcasing the work of young artists in the years immediately preceding and during the 2008 recession. His origin story was recounted by Ann Fensterstock in her 2013 book, Art on the Block: Tracking the New York Art World from SoHo to the Bowery. In 2004, the Baptist-raised former museum guard took the mantle from Pascal Spengemann (now a director at Marlborough Contemporary) as curator of the Firehouse Center art space in Burlington, Vermont, after his predecessor left to open Taxter and Spengemann in New York’s Chelsea gallery district in 2003. After a few months on the job, Horton left Burlington to be a director at Spengemann’s Chelsea neighbor, Freight + Volume. In 2006, Horton decided to go off on his own, but bet on the burgeoning Lower East Side scene, signing a lease for a 480-square-foot space on Eldridge Street—near galleries including Participant Inc., Reena Spaulings, and Canada, but few others. He called the space Sunday L.E.S., and in the next few years dozens more galleries flooded into the neighborhood.
Since then, Horton moved his gallery to Chelsea in 2009, and Sunday L.E.S. operated more as a project space until 2010. That same year he opened another project space, this time in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district, and in 2012 he expanded to the Lower East Side, this time occupying the 2,100-square-foot space at 55–59 Chrystie Street formerly held by Canada. In 2014, he merged with Chelsea gallery ZieherSmith, and after that partnership ended he opened a small gallery near Madison Square Park. Horton said he will maintain an office in New York for private sales.