Three New York Galleries Find New Spaces
TWENTY FIRST GALLERY
RENAUD VUAILLAT BEGAN HIS TRADE by patiently staking out the Serpette flea market—now the largest antiques market in Paris—always on the lookout for pieces to sell in the gallery he opened in 1999. Vuaillat’s expertise in eighteenth-century decorative arts was much in demand in Europe and the U. S., and he has continued to consult even after he switched his focus to contemporary furnishings. After developing his own line, Vuaillat opened a store in 2004 on the Left Bank, and also began representing other designers, working closely with them in their creative process.
After years of commuting between Paris and New York, Vuaillat moved to New York in 2006 and opened Twenty First Gallery on, of course, West 21st Street in Chelsea. Forced to move from that location in 2012, he reopened on West 29th Street but soon became disenchanted with how the work looked in a typical “white box” setting. Twenty First Gallery reopened this past May in a beautiful town house on 22nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues, with two marble fireplaces, high ceilings, a very large antique display cabinet, and a garden at the back.
This past summer the gallery featured French designer Emmanuel Babled, whose playful pieces fit well in this type of space. “People who collect contemporary art can still be quite conservative about furniture,” Vuaillat says. “Displaying it in this setting shows them the possibilities of how it would look in their own homes.” 21stgallery.com — Annette Rose-Shapiro