By almost any measure, Fort Gansevoort, the gallery that husband-and-wife duo Adam Shopkorn and Carolyn Tate Angel founded in Manhattan in 2015, has been on a winning streak.
In recent years, its artists have entered dozens of museum collections, including those of the Museum of Modern Art and the Met in New York. In late 2019, it opened a second location in Los Angeles, and in 2020, three of its shows graced various best-of-the-year lists, including one by critic Jerry Saltz, who praised the gallery’s “whole presence and program.”
Representing artists who’ve had little commercial exposure, many of whom are Black, Indigenous, and working into their twilight years, Shopkorn similarly brands Fort Gansevoort as an outsider to the status quo.
“I like to go further out in my boat than all the other boats, and I like to fish by myself,” he told Artnet News, before adding, “I’m not equating artists to fish—my point is that there are so many amazing artists in the world, and I want to find these artists on my own.”
Today, as he continues to work directly with Sugar Lovelace, scanning Michelangelo’s archives and selling his work, Shopkorn feels he has lots left to do. “I want a museum to have a big survey of his work, 60, 70 paintings,” he said. “And you could put Willie Birch’s paintings next to Alice Neel’s paintings, or Dawn Williams Boyd’s cloth paintings next to Faith Ringgold’s. It’s wildly important to me to give a platform to these undervalued, underrepresented artists. I’m working my ass off to build careers for them, to put them in front of the right people, to talk to more curators, and to keep doing the work that we’re doing.”
Dawn Williams Boyd, for one, is pleased. “I’m reaping the benefits of Adam doing a fabulous job, and he’s reaping the benefits of me doing a fabulous job,” she said. “It’s business.”