Queer Thoughts, the influential New York gallery that play a pivotal role in launching the careers of artists such as Diamond Stingily, David Rappeneau, and Puppies Puppies, has officially close its doors. This closure marks the conclusion of an extraordinary 11-year journey for the small but adventurous art space.
The Farewell Show
Queer Thoughts bid adieu with a captivating exhibition by artist Arthur Marie, featuring matte-finish paintings portraying figures with distinctive bulbous heads. This exhibition perfectly encapsulate the gallery’s unconventional and offbeat sensibility.
The gallery’s founders, artists Miguel Bendaña and Sam Lipp, reveal that the decision to close Queer Thoughts carefully plan to coincide with the expiration of their lease in the Tribeca neighborhood.
In a statement to ARTnews, Bendaña and Lipp express, “The gallery’s evolution far surpas our wildest dreams and expectations. After 11 years, we made the decision to close the gallery to pursue other projects, primarily our individual artistic practices.
Working with numerous inspiring artists and presenting the first New York solo exhibitions for talents like Diamond Stingily, David Rappeneau, Chelsea Culprit, Lucie Stahl, Mindy Rose Schwartz, and Dean Sameshima has a tremendous honor.”
A Hub for Emerging Artists
Queer Thoughts becomes the third Downtown New York art space to announce its closure in the past two months, following in the footsteps of JTT in Tribeca and Foxy Production in Chinatown. These galleries renown for their dedication to showcasing conceptual art that defie easy categorization, often featuring emerging artists at the outset of their careers.
Bendaña and Lipp embark on their artistic journey in 2012, initially operating Queer Thoughts from a closet in a Chicago apartment. In 2015, they expand their horizons by relocating to a Tribeca office space in New York. At the time, Tribeca experience a resurgence in its influence within the art scene. Today, it boasts a vibrant gallery scene, with establish names like Andrew Kreps, Bortolami, James Cohan, P.P.O.W, Mendes Wood DM, and 52 Walker, which is affiliate with David Zwirner.
Nurturing Emerging Talent
Queer Thoughts began its artistic journey with a show by Puppies Puppies (now known as Jade Kuriki-Olivo), who is set to be feature in an upcoming New Museum exhibition. Puppies Puppies became a recurring artist at the gallery, presenting unique exhibitions that ranged from an exploration of the iconic Gollum character from “The Lord of the Rings” to addressing issues of anti-Asian racism.
The gallery continued to embrace this offbeat ethos, propelling artists like Diamond Stingily and David Rappeneau into the spotlight. Diamond Stingily, whose career took off after her first New York show at Queer Thoughts in 2016, is now featured at the Museum of Modern Art.
Meanwhile, David Rappeneau, who had his debut solo show at Queer Thoughts in 2014, has gone on to collaborate with the prestigious Gladstone Gallery.
Throughout its existence, Queer Thoughts introduced a diverse array of artists to the world, solidifying its legacy as a hub for groundbreaking talent and innovative artistic exploration.