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wood sculpture of woman
wood sculpture of woman

A standing virgin, c. 1150. Courtesy of Luhring Augustine and Sam Fogg.

Walking down West 24th Street in Chelsea right now, you can duck into an exhibition featuring T.J. Wilcox’s video art, see a painting created with a push mop, and find expressive portraiture made by millennials. At Luhring Augustine, however, you’ll find an assortment of objects significantly different from this contemporary fare.

The gallery—which normally exhibits work by a roster that includes Christopher Wool, Sanya Kantarovsky, Ragnar Kjartansson, and Rachel Whiteread
—is playing host to stained glass windows, a crucifix, and monumental columns with carved lions at their bases. All were fabricated between 1150 and 1570, during the late Middle Ages (the medieval era roughly spans the 5th century through the 15th century).

The exhibition, “Gothic Spirit: Medieval Art from Europe” (on view through March 7th), is a collaboration with London-based medieval art dealer Sam Fogg. It offers an enlightening reprieve from Chelsea’s emphasis on blue-chip newness—and, ironically, feels like one of the freshest shows on view. Gallery co-founder Roland Augustine said he and his business partner, Lawrence Luhring, are excited about temporarily breaking from “the monolithic exercise of contemporary art shows, one after the other.” Yet between the markets for these two eras of work, there’s more overlap than one might expect.

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