The Gallery Program
Stux Gallery shows a diverse group of artists, drawn from a broad international spectrum including the U.S., Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. We highlight innovative work by mid-career, established, and emerging artists that challenges traditional notions of genre and medium, often with a deep conceptual bent.
Stux Gallery was first founded in 1980 in Boston by Stefan Stux and his wife, Linda Bayless Stux. Initially concentrating on the lively Boston art scene, the gallery exhibited work by significant artists in the region including Doug Anderson, Gerry Bergstein, Alex Grey, and Paul Laffoley, among others. An early discovery was Doug and Mike Starn (billed at the time as the Starn Twins), who had their first commercial gallery exhibition at Stux, not long after their graduation from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts.
In 1986 Stefan and Linda opened the gallery’s first New York location on Spring Street in SoHo, which then was the center of the contemporary art scene. At this point the gallery focused on the development and promotion of young, emerging talent and its roster grew to include not only the Starns but also Vik Muniz, Fabian Marcaccio, Lawrence Carroll, and Andres Serrano, among others. The gallery also exhibited more established, but under-known artists from time to time, most notably Gerhard Hoehme (an artist well-known in his native Germany, and whose work may have been an influence on the young Eva Hesse), and Elaine Sturtevant, whose early use of appropriation anticipated its deployment by artists like Sherrie Levine by decades.
Riding on the high tide of success in its primary market representation of emerging contemporary artists, in 1990 the gallery expanded its operations to include a new space, dubbed Stux Modern, in order to engage art historically significant work. The inaugural show for this new endeavor was “Abstract Expressionists: Studio 35/Downtown,” a select but powerful array of early works by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, Hans Hofmann, Lee Krasner and Joan Mitchell. The inspiration for Stux Modern arose in Stefan’s conviction that there was a real need for a masterworks gallery downtown, as a way to provide deeper historical context for the contemporary work presented by the gallery.
In 1996, Stux Gallery relocated to Chelsea, which at the time was just beginning to emerge as the new contemporary gallery neighborhood. It occupied a space in a large gallery building on West 20th Street, where its focus shifted to representing a larger proportion of established and mid-career artists, including Land Art pioneer Dennis Oppenheim and the French conceptual/performance artist Orlan.
Linda Stux passed away in 2000, and her vision and guiding presence at the gallery is still sorely missed. Her shoes were filled, in part, with the arrival of Andrea Schnabl in 2002 as a new Partner and Gallery Director. The German-born Schnabl brings with her a refined expertise in European Contemporary Art and Culture, and she continues today to serve as a leader of the gallery’s program.
The Gallery Today
In 2004 the gallery relocated once more, to occupy a prominent, expansive ground floor space on West 25th Street. Stux maintains a broadly international roster of artists, and in addition to one-person shows, it regularly presents curated group shows of the latest work from emerging regions such as China, Africa, and the Islamic world.
The range of work in the gallery program includes painting in many guises, from the immaculately rendered images of Thordis Adalsteinsdottir and Shimon Okshteyn, to the subversive political commentary of Wei Dong, to work that deconstructs time, space, and/or material in the work of Anna Joelsdottir and James Busby; painting is conjoined with performance in the groundbreaking work of Orlan and Margaret Evangeline. Abstraction collides with representation in the visionary paintings of Aaron Johnson and of CIRIA, while Michael Zansky’s monumental bas-relief sculpture and drawings literally expand on the imaginative, surreal content his innovative mixed-media paintings. Photography figures prominently in the gallery program as well, as a conveyor of conceptual and symbolic significance as seen in the work of Heide Hatry, Ruud van Empel, Lydia Venieri, Manabu Yamanka, and Harim al Karim. Sculpture figures in a variety of ways, from the fabricated steel constructions of Sokari Douglas Camp, CBE that engage African liberation politics, to the uncanny explorations in silicone, resin and other unorthodox materials by Kosyo Minchev or the cast-dirt sculptures of James Croak, to the large-scale ceramic gender/environmental mythologies of Kathy Ruttenberg. The gallery also supports a regular program of video work by its artists, including Zhang Xiaotao, whose work represented China in the most recent Venice Biennale.
From this quick sampling, it should be apparent that Stux Gallery’s artists are linked by a deep intelligence and commitment to conceptual innovation, rather than any particular formal characteristics. The vision of Stux Gallery is to present challenging, cutting-edge contemporary work in a context that recognizes its potential, eventual contribution to the larger narrative of art history, an undertaking that we have vigorously pursued for more than three decades, and to which we remain steadfastly dedicated today.