“Everything must change in order to remain the same,” says Antonio Homem, the adopted son of Ileana Sonnabend, about the Sonnabend Gallery’s move to Chelsea last month. “I liked SoHo” – where they had been since 1971 – “and the only way to stay in SoHo was to come to Chelsea.” Homem was the chief designer of the 12,000-square-foot West 22nd Street space, purchased for $1.9 million and divided into seven showing spaces for $600,000. For their first show, they mark nearly 40 years of business (Sonnabend, the former Mrs. Leo Castelli, first opened a gallery in Paris in 1962) by highlighting the work of artists they’ve represented, including Warhol, Rauschenberg, Nauman, the “Neo-Geos” of the eighties, and their newest, Rona Pondick (pictured). Traffic has increased to the old levels of SoHo, and recent customers include art-book publisher Benedikt Taschen, who bought a Jeff Koons painting for $250,000, and a “newbie” who purchased a John Baldesarri photo work for $90,000. Sonnabend and Homem say they intend to continue in this spot for the next 40 years – or until the SoHo art world moves yet again.
More art-world news can be found online at www.baerfaxt.com .