The event’s 50 contemporary-art galleries, include big guns like Hauser & Wirth on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Marian Goodman in Midtown, David Zwirner in Chelsea and Jeffrey Deitch, the soon-to-be director of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, in SoHo. Almost every venue is offering free beer or wine.
“It’s a way for galleries to be recognized as a real community in the city, just like the Tribeca Film Festival, Fashion Week, Restaurant Week,” said Casey Kaplan, a Chelsea dealer who came up with the idea a year ago. “This is our week.”
All participating galleries will be open through the weekend and on Monday, when they are typically closed. Uptown and Chelsea will greet visitors until 8 p.m. on Saturday. Lower East Side, East Village and SoHo will follow suit on Sunday.
More than 20 galleries will open new exhibitions. The highlights include Martin Creed at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, Jorge Pardo at Friedrich Petzel, and Nate Lowman at Andrea Rosen. Shepard Fairey, showing at Deitch Projects, has also contributed a giant mural outside the gallery.
“You can walk in and participate even if you are not going to buy something,” Kaplan said. “We wanted to break the myth that galleries are unfriendly places. We are sweet and loving.”
Festivities conclude on Monday night with a party at the Maritime Hotel in the Meatpacking District. It’s open to the public and runs from 6:30 to 10:30. Afterward, the sleepless can move downtown to Santos Party House where several art dealers and artists will take turns on a spin table and a drum set.
“It’s a way to tie it all together while doing something different,” said Pascal Spengemann, partner in Taxter & Spengemann gallery, which is hosting the after-party. “It might be fun to have a celebration with some other things people do. And just have a party.”