The Painting Center was founded in 1993 by Dana Gordon, Louisa Waber, Carl Plansky, David Fratkin, Marilyn Giersbach, Mark LaRiviere, Jenny Lynn McNutt, Lisa Lawley, Charlie Hewitt, Andy Watel, Riley Brewster and Tony Martin. These artists felt there was an urgent need for a space devoted entirely to the exhibition of painting. After locating a space at 52 Greene Street in Soho, they transformed it into a gallery. In September of that year, they launched an inaugural show featuring forty-nine artists including Jake Berthot, Louise Fishman, Bill Jensen, and Milton Resnick. This exhibition celebrated the first season of The Painting Center and brought attention to it as a new exhibition space. The Painting Center moved to Chelsea in 2010. This location has a larger Main Gallery space measuring over 1,200 square feet and a second space known as the Project Room, which measures 400 square feet. The Painting Center has shown thousands of artists in a variety of formats: solo and group exhibitions, exhibitions curated both by outside curators and exhibitions organized by members.
How The Painting Center Got Started - By Dana Gordon (Founding Member)
Did you know that Louisa Waber and I and three other people actually thought up and started The Painting Center? In early 1993 she and I and Carl Plansky and Marilyn Giersbach and David Fratkin hung out at Carl's paint store on Elizabeth Street and talked about how the galleries weren't showing real painting much anymore. We thought about doing something about it; maybe starting a gallery of some sort that focused solely on painting. One day, Feb 17 to be precise, Louisa was walking along lower Greene Street and saw a 2nd floor space for rent. She enquired about it and then brought the info back to the group via Carl's store. And the rest is history. We (mainly Carl I think) brought more people in, to provide more energy and finances. I thought up the name, The Painting Center, and designed the logo (still used) and put it up on a sign in front of the gallery. The highly energetic Carl Plansky, who died a few years ago, was an excellent painter and was the inventor and proprietor of Willamsburg Paints and the real mover in keeping the project going at the very start. Marilyn is a painter who worked at Carl's store then. David Fratkin is very much around. Neither Carl nor Louisa nor I nor Marilyn stayed with the group for long, leaving within a couple of years or so. The group's makeup regularly changed over the years. In addition to we five, the other founding members were Mark LaRiviere, Jenny Lynn McNutt, Lisa Lawley, Charlie Hewitt, Andy Watel, Riley Brewster and Tony Martin.