Will Kathy Grayson Become the New Jeffrey Deitch?

As reported before Jeffrey Deitch is stepping down from his long and impressive gallerist run to become MOCA’s new lord. The move to MOCA however comes with a major downfall — Deitch must let go of all his galleries and his roster of over 30 artists. That is where 29-year-old Kathy Grayson steps in. According to an interview by ARTINFO, former receptionist-turned-director to Deitch’s Wooster Street space will by taking a large part of that stable.

Grayson says she has lined up a partner, whom she would only describe as “a young gallery owner from Europe,” and though she hasn’t signed a lease just yet, she has been eyeing the 3,200-square-foot building on Wooster that recently housed French fashion brand Marithé + François Girbaud. (Deitch had been thinking of taking the space himself after his Grand Street gallery closed last fall due to construction problems at the building next door.) “It would probably be smarter if I took a smaller, cheaper space, but I’d cry if I was running a small gallery on the Lower East Side,” she admitted. “And artists are ambitious, especially the ones I work with, so you need to have a space that excites them.” 

One helpful hand available to Grayson, of course, is Deitch. Will he be involved in the gallery? “No, because literally he can’t,” Grayson said. “But of course he will be, because he’s my closest relationship in the art world, which is to say he’ll be involved as my mentor and a very respected friend. If I had my druthers I’d be in constant contact with him. But in no way will he be financially involved. He’s really just passing the baton because he’s going to be so busy himself. He’ll probably just be an avid follower who can come and have fun at our parties.”

Deitch started as a receptionist at the Leo Castelli Gallery before earning a Harvard Business School MBA and eventually founding one of New York City’s premiere contemporary art galleries — in three separate spaces.  In less than fifteen years, Deitch Projects has become an emblem of intelligent, progressive, and farsighted curatorial practice. Now he will, it seems, assume control of the largest gallery space imaginable.

Click to view the Deitch Project website

Images: Kathy Grayson, by Patrick McMullan; Andy Warhol, Heart, 1979; Jeffrey Deitch by Patrick McMullan

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