Published: April 28, 2020
By Greg Smith
NEW YORK CITY – Aarne Anton’s American Primitive Gallery has moved out of its 49 East 78th Street gallery in Manhattan, its home for the past 12 years. For 20 years prior to that, the gallery had operated out of SoHo.
The gallery is known as a destination for folk, self-taught and outsider art and objects. The gallery’s site illustrates its focus, saying, “American Primitive has been known for expanding the field of contemporary art with its focus on self taught artists and outsider art. Our primary aim is to present art of singular vision by artists in self-made worlds that challenge the imagination.”
Anton, who had shared the space with Native American and Contemporary art dealer John Molloy, called the gallery’s storefront closure a victim of the pandemic. Malloy will continue on in the space.
“I had a very reasonable rent for New York,” Anton said, “But I don’t see any gallery business happening in the next year at least, or maybe two years.”
Anton will operate from his home in Pomona, N.Y., Rockland County, about 30 miles north of the city.
The dealer said he had already transitioned much of his selling to online venues and says he will continue doing shows, which include the Outsider Art Fair, Antiques in Manchester and Rhinebeck.
“I’m not unhappy being home,” he said. “I feel there’s a push to acknowledge that a lot of business is possible without a physical storefront. It’s expensive to do business in any city.”
Anton says he will continue selling as a private dealer, and will be doing some online shows highlighting individual artists on his website at www.americanprimitive.com.
His base-making business, which has always operated by distance and shipping, will move with him.
American Primitive will be open by appointment. For additional information, 845-461-8506.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm