New Kid on the Block: Friedrichs Pontone

Add another notch in the belt that is the Tribeca Gallery District. Friedrichs Pontone is the first US gallery for the duo of Martin Friedrichs, who has directed two international galleries, and Domenic Pontone, the founder of Pontone Gallery London and director of The Albemarle Gallery London. Their niche: the mastery of technique.

“We look for artists who are very good at their craft,” says Martin, who ran Hollis Taggart and opened Galerie Gmurzynska’s first space in the US. “A good concept is not enough. It has to be something we would want to live with. That doesn’t mean it cannot be intellectually challenging — it has to be something that moves us.”

Their first group show is installed now through Oct. 2 and includes paintings, video, sculpture and the work of Christopher Thompson, Chris Rivers, Yigal Ozeri and Hwang Seontae, among others. There are two floors; they will likely display two artists at a time for many installations.

The two met at an art fair 12 years ago, with Domenic living in London and Martin, who is German, living in New York since 1998 (“That makes me a New Yorker no matter what metric you use.”) The two saw art the same way, and gelled with artists the same way. “These sort of things seem to be fairly instantaneous. You just kind of know.” Domenic also has a long tradition of showing Korean artists at his gallery in London.

They are still building their roster for New York, and it will include mid-20th century post-war artists as well as contemporary artists. “I always love going into the studio of the contemporaries,” says Martin. “It’s a lovely way to be in touch with the work and to see something from creation to then having it in your gallery a few months later.”

They never considered looking anywhere but Tribeca for a space, and when they found the former South’s space on Church, it was sealed.

“This is such a dynamic neighborhood and it feels like an actual neighborhood,” said Martin. “I’ve seen the collapse of retail on the Upper East Side but it’s nothing like that here. I open the door and love seeing people on their way to do something else. But they still stop in.”

Friedrichs Pontone
273 Church | Franklin & White
(212) 918-1358
Tuesday – Saturday | 10a – 6p
Sunday | By Appointment



1 Comment

  1. Great art, great opening!