Soho Art Emigrant John Szoke Splits for Midtown’s 24 West 57th
Tom Acitelli Nov. 2, 2009, 10:59 p.m.
Before there was Chelsea, there was Soho. Now the whisperings of rezoning laws and the sprouting of luxury condominiums beg the question: Has Soho reached its artist saturation point? And if so, where will the galleries go next? A few, among them John Szoke Editions, have chosen midtown as an unlikely enclave. But not just any midtown skyscraper. The Art Deco–era 24 West 57th Street has long been cultivating a colony of art galleries. Its tenants include Galerie St. Etienne, which houses the work of “outsider” artist Sue Coe, and a showroom owned by renowned Croatian painter Ana Tzarev.
Departing from its longtime home on Mercer Street, John Szoke Editions, which specializes in contemporary prints, signed a lease on the building’s third floor.
Sierra Realty Corp.’s Peter Braus, who represented the art gallery in the transaction, noted that John Szoke has been a vital Soho presence since 1974, but that “New York’s art scene has been on the move over the last several years, so when the third floor on this particularly famous gallery building became available, it seemed a natural move.”
John Szoke, an accountant with a collecting side habit, turned to art full time some 30 years ago and now represents artists from across the globe, including Janet Fish, Jeanette Pasin Sloan, Richard Haas and, most recently, Will Barnet.
Steve Pressler of Promenade Real Estate Corp. served as the building’s exclusive leasing agent and represented owner APF Properties in negotiations.