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This Is the Toughest Challenge My Business Has Ever Faced. But Here’s Why Small Galleries Like Mine


Postmasters Gallery in Tribeca. Photo courtesy of Magda Sawon.

Postmasters Gallery in Tribeca. Photo courtesy of Magda Sawon.

We Poles are optimistic fatalists.

My gallery, Postmasters, opened in New York on a murky Saturday night on December 13, 1984—the anniversary of the post-Solidarity imposition of martial law in Poland, no less. In the gallery’s 35 years, my partner Tamás Banovich and I have weathered many storms and upheavals.

We moved four times as gentrification pushed us back and forth across the city (from the East Village to Soho to Chelsea and, in 2013, to Tribeca). We survived the savings and loans crisis of the late ‘80s; 9/11; the Great Recession; Hurricane Sandy; and various smaller setbacks along the way. The global pandemic and subsequent economic collapse are, by far, the toughest challenges we’ve faced.

But I have hope for galleries like ours. In fact, I see a path forward from our current, painfully deficient online existence to one in which IRL galleries—and, specifically, small-to-midsize galleries—become vital again.