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HistoryHorton Gallery was founded by C. Sean Horton in 2010 and occupied the parlor floor of a federal-style house on West 22nd Street in Chelsea for two years. During these years the gallery also operated a project space in the Kreuzberg neighborhood of Berlin, Germany.
Between 2006-2010, Horton operated SUNDAY L.E.S. in a small storefront on Eldridge Street. The gallery quickly became an integral part of the emerging group of galleries on the Lower East Side offering the first New York solo shows to an intergenerational mix of artists like Leidy Churchman, Keltie Ferris, and Kirk Hayes alongside legendary outsiders like Joel Gibb (of The Hidden Cameras), G.B. Jones, Miroslav Tichý, and Royal Robertson. Represented artist Peter Gallo was also enlisted to curate a posthumous survey of Gayleen Aiken, who is often referred to as “the Grandma Moses of Vermont.”
The gallery, its artists, and highly idiosyncratic program have since received critical acclaim in Artforum, Flash Art, Frieze, Modern Painters, Art in America, Time Out New York, The Brooklyn Rail, The New York Sun, The Village Voice, and The New York Times, among others. (more…)
Early PressAnd he came from Texas. Along with CANADA, Sean Horton earned a place as a poster boy for the Lower East Side gallery movement. After some time spent in Boston, where we first met, Horton went to New York and worked with Nick Lawrence before opening Horton Gallery. Horton loves painting, and he has an extraordinary eye for picking emerging talent – he seems to constantly discover new artists. Horton recently moved from Chelsea into the former LES space of CANADA. -New American Paintings: 40 Galleries That Love Paint, February 2014.
Since 2006, when Horton rented a small storefront in New York City’s Lower East Side—lured by a group of galleries he admired for their do-it-yourself attitudes—the gallerist has been known for giving artists their first NYC solo shows. “I have always tried to distinguish the gallery from the trendy provincialism of New York by promoting and exhibiting an intergenerational group of artists working outside of New York, and especially in rural areas,” he says. Naturally NADA, the fair known to unveil new and underexposed art, would attract Horton’s attention, who first showed at the fair in 2007. -Artsy Editiorial: "Why Sean Horton <3's NADA Miami Beach," December 2013.
Down the hallway of a generic Chinatown office building, Horton Gallery’s new space combines fluorescent lighting and a floor of 1820s cobblestones from the property’s former life as a brewery...-Departures: "Doing the New New York Art Scene," Maud Doyle, Anthony Rotunno, September 2013.
The transgenerational was also at the core of three other independent-minded programs that got underway just before the New Museum opened—at the Miguel Abreu, James Fuentes Gallery and Sean Horton's Sunday LES…As Fuentes added to the mall group of individuals to the south of the neighborhood, another young dealer added weight to the northern hub on Rivington Street. An out-of-towner with just a couple of years of Chelsea experience, Sean Horton took a 480-square-foot space on Eldridge Street just below Houston and called his gallery Sunday LES. The name had is roots in a variety of quirky personal notions including a Southern Baptist upbringing and yen to explore the religious in contemporary art. It was also a sly aside to the Chelsea galleries who so mercifully shut up shop on Sundays and left the field open to younger and as yet less established dealers... -Art on the Block: "Tracking the New York Art World from Soho to Bowery, Bushwick and Beyond," Ann Fensterstock, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
Horton opens today with an exhibit by multimedia artist Martha Colburn. The show features “an hour and a half program of about thirty manipulated found footage and stop animation films from the mid-1990s to the present as well as Polaroids and large-scale collages.” -Bowery Boogie: "Horton Gallery Opening Locale at 55-59 Chrystie Street," September 2012.
Sean Horton, the gallery’s owner and director, is not a newbie to the Lower East Side. In 2006, he opened Sunday L.E.S. on Eldridge Street, which became part of the burgeoning squadron of L.E.S. galleries. In 2009, as the gallery opened a second location in Chelsea on the parlor floor of a federal-style house, where it currently resides, Sunday had its last show and remained a kind of project space for friends and colleagues during 2010. During this time of expansion, the gallery also opened a third space, a project space in the Kreuzberg neighborhood in Berlin, Germany, which it has been running for the past two years. -Gallerist NY: "Horton Gallery to Expand to Chrystie Street," Rozalia Jovanovic, August 2012.
Horton Gallery, currently in Chelsea, announced this month that it will expand to a 2,100-square-foot space at 55-59 Chrystie St. on the Lower East Side. Horton will take over the facility from Canada Gallery, which will move to 333 Broome St., perhaps as early as November. -Art in America: "Four Young Galleries on the Move," Brian Boucher, August 2012.
Chelsea’s Horton Gallery is adding a third space next month in the Lower East Side because, as owner Sean Horton put it in an email, “Increasingly the lack of smaller galleries in Chelsea makes it a less interesting place to be. It’s a great destination for museum-quality exhibitions, but there’s less sense of discovery there now.” -Gallerist NY: "Supersize Chelsea!: In New York’s Main Art District, It’s Go Big or Go Home," Rachel Corbett, August 2012.
But this week all eyes will be on the Armory Show, where a backlash to the backlash may be underway. “We have this nostalgic idea of showing new work at the Armory Show,” said Chelsea dealer Sean Horton, who will debut new paintings by Wallace Whitney. “It still has a weightiness to it.” -Gallerist NY: "The Fairs That Ate Manhattan," Sarah Douglas, Andrew Russeth, Rozalia Jovanovic, March 2012.
"It’s important that I think the work is relevant to contemporary culture and has the potential to become historically significant, that I can have a good working relationship with the artist and that I can sell the work or that it helps form a critical context for the other artists whom I represent. Operating a gallery involves balancing a lot of different kinds of relationships, and in my experience, some of the best artists are the most difficult to represent. The reality is that I almost always go into a studio visit wanting to offer an exhibition — I enjoy being surprised and impressed by what I see in studios. But I’m often dissuaded during the visits by a lack of originality, seriousness or commitment. It’s not easy to make great art, but a lot of young artists are under the impression that it is." -Interview with Sean Horton, Paper City Magazine: "Collector's Conversation," Bill Arning, February 2012.
“It’s a slower pace,” Mr. Horton said. “Which allows for a much more engaging dialogue about the art whereas the conversation in New York is very much about the market, which is not a negative necessarily, but the conversation you can have in Berlin is a much slower pace you can spend time with people coming in the gallery.” -The New York Observer: "L.E.S. Gallery Expands in Berlin," Dan Duray, June 2011.
Sean Horton, who opened a tiny storefront gallery called SUNDAY on the Lower East Side three years ago, has extended his initial short-term rental of the parlor floor of the federal-style house on West 22nd Street...Mr. Horton, whose taste runs to unknown artists who make quirky paintings...said Chelsea “has a need for young art dealers and young artists.” - Smith, Roberta. "The Mood of the Market, as Measured in the Galleries." -The New York Times: "The Mood of the Market, as Measured in the Galleries," Roberta Smith, September 2009.
Leidy Churchman’s sly, tenderly wrought paintings both sort out and blur issues of gender and sexual orientation with a quasi-naïve, sometimes folkish style. His use of oil on beautifully grained wood panels that are often left partly bare enhances the glow of wholesome normalcy...Taut and deliberate, Mr. Churchman’s paintings brim with emotion and quietly, but surely, form a remarkable debut. -The New York Times: "Art in Review," Roberta Smith. July 2009.
My first stop was Sunday, a small gallery that shows a lot of good, young painters, including Lauren Luloff, whose canvases encrusted with rumpled bedsheets offer smart reconsiderations of Rauschenberg's combines. -The Village Voice: "Canvasing the Neighborhood at Sunday, Jen Bekman, Janos Gat, and Beyond," Martha Schwendener, April 2009.
Kirk Hayes is a find. A self-taught painter who works as a groundskeeper at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Tex. Mr. Hayes, 50, creates witty and amazingly effective trompe l’oeil paintings. -The New York Times: "Art in Review," Ken Johnson, November 2008.
SUNDAY, established in October 2006 by Sean Horton in a modest storefront space on Eldridge near Houston Street, the district's approximate northern boundary. Horton is one of numerous dealers who have adopted the term "inter-generational" to describe their programs. SUNDAY's recent show of small-scaled, materially and narratively layered work by Peter Gallo defied a quick scan. -Art in America: "Mapping New Territory," Stephen Maine, March 2008.
On the subject of holiness and accessibility, Texas-born independent curator Clayton Sean Horton also had a splendid notion: starting a New York gallery that would be open on Sundays, called SUNDAY. Located in a residential building, SUNDAY defines itself as humble and domestic, providing an "intimate, casual environment for viewing art." -Flash Art: "New York's L.E.S.," Erica Papernik, March 2008.
Just when it seemed like Manhattan real-estate prices had made it impossible for art galleries to cluster in another neighborhood, the Lower East Side has emerged as a real and non-annoying place for looking at art. There are only around 30 galleries, spread out, meaning you have to take a breather as you walk between shows. The neighborhood is mixed-up and interesting; the spaces are small and intimate and call to mind the DIY early East Village. Galleries aren't better because they're here or worse because they're in Chelsea - and in a few years, the Lower East Side may be saturated. For now, however, it's lovely. -New York Magazine: "The Year in Art - Best New Scene - L.E.S.," Jerry Saltz, December 2007.
I also saw gallerists and artists taking exactly the right kind of risks. First time NADA exhibitor SUNDAY immediately comes to mind, his booth filled with the layered material sculptures of Michael Jones McKean. It’s a ballsy move; objects don’t sell as easily as paintings, they are pricey to transport, and there’s no back up if the work doesn’t sell...McKean’s montage sculptures achieve a level of accomplishment in space activation and exhibition design I have yet to see matched at any art fair, including Basel. What’s more, the work itself is amongst the best I’ve seen, the negative and positive space creating complexity and surface to the work. The arrangements themselves would seem almost too perfectly placed, were it not for the use rich textiles, which demand deliberation of that sort. -Art Fag City: "Risk Taking at NADA," Paddy Johnson, December 2007.
Peter Gallo, who lives in rural Vermont and has an excellent show at SUNDAY. A collagist and draftsman of considerable invention, Mr. Gallo is also an art critic and historian, a psychiatric social worker and a wide-ranging reader and music lover, all of which comes through in intensely referential work that embraces Freud, Roland Barthes, Dusty Springfield, gay pornography and ornithology. Mr. Gallo’s art has an insider-outsider look that can, in other hands, turn precious and generic, but he makes it work. I lingered over each piece, and if I had to choose a favorite artist from my tour, he would certainly be on the shortlist. -The New York Times: "An Upbeat Moment for a Downtrodden Area," Holland Cotter, December 2007.
SUNDAY...exudes a spunky determination, using every square inch of its barely-bigger-than-a-bread-box space to showcase emerging figures; and in an LES context where art venues seem embedded in the comings and goings of ordinary life. -Artforum: "On the Ground," Debra Singer, December 2007.
SUNDAY was among the first of the recent wave of galleries to open on the Lower East Side...enthusiastically promoting a fledgling scene before there really was a scene to speak of. As one of the original pioneers, SUNDAY has already established a reputation for installations, video and other works that can be difficult to sell. - Chambers, Chris. “Galleries Migrate to the Lower East Side.” Contemporary. November 2007.
The current crop of shows bolsters the optimism and idealism that goes with a pioneer spirit. The gallery SUNDAY, for instance, has a show by the Vermont painter Peter Gallo that fuses word-play and facture in a rare meeting of the tactile and the cerebral. -The New York Sun: "Catching the Crest of the L.E.S. Wave," David Cohen, November 2007.
For his New York solo debut, the Virginia-based Michael Jones McKean has created several allegorical installations that investigate themes of conquest and power. Objects associated with power and order, ranging from a throne to a large boom box to a conquistador helmet, are juxtaposed with symbols of failure and chaos, such as relics from Russian space disasters and uncontrollable natural forces, like a meteorite and unformed clay. -Blouin ArtInfo: "Open Season in New York," William Hanley, September 2007.
SUNDAY owner and former Texan, C. Sean Horton, turned his Lower East Side storefront gallery over to Schwarz, a Dallas native, who fully co-opted the space. The artist set up a reception area in the front of the gallery with a pair of modish armchairs, a low table and a presentation binder. The vibe is pure salesmanship, a cue (whether literal or ironic) to the dealer Horton to “get busy.” - Ewing, John. "Ludwig Schwarz: The Four Seasons (Season Premier)" Artlies. August 2007.
"Vision Sleep A Bad Bad Xmas for Cursed Earth!" is a sculptural installation pairing the works of Brooklyn artist Hilary Baldwin, and the late Louisiana artist Royal Robertson. Robertson was trained as a commercial sign painter, and studied studio art in a course advertised on the back of a matchbook. He created an installation of signs outside of his home, all of which were destroyed by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. -New York Sun, Christopher Chambers, August 2007.
Jacques Louis Vidal's appearance at SUNDAY is more than a show; it's a way of art, a two-way street for both the artist and the viewer. At the opening reception of "Wood Folks is Good Folks" the artist enlisted himself and some half dozen volunteers in a performance, which literally wound through (and into) the entire gallery installation. -JamesWagner.com: "Jacques Louis Vidal and the Wooden Folks at SUNDAY," James Wagner, July 2007.
C. Sean Horton is an avuncular, bearded art junkie who loves vintage country western music and Dr. Pepper. Horton literally built the interior of SUNDAY with his own hands. An artist himself, his keen eye has been honed from inside the studio, and it shows. In its first several months, the gallery has mounted a string of impressive exhibitions including Ed Blackburn's biblically inspired paintings and Gayleen Aiken's diaristic crayon and pen reflections on her native Vermont community. -The Villager: "The Wild West of NYC's Galleries," Shane McAdams. April 2007.
Could downtown, and particularly the Lower East Side, become the next Chelsea? The area already sports a crop of galleries. Maccarone and Canada popped up in 2001, followed by galleries like Reena Spaulings Fine Art, housed in two small rooms of a former brothel. The past year has seen the opening of at least four more, including SUNDAY, run by C. Sean Horton. - Douglas, Sarah. “What’s Next>>Eastward, Ho!” Art + Auction. January 2007.
How fitting to usher in SUNDAY, a new gallery in New York’s Lower East Side, with straight-up biblical paintings by Texas-native, Ed Blackburn. Blackburn, who has devoted his practice to biblical subject matter since the late 1980’s, visualizes canonical stories from the Good Book in a quasi-classical way. Part die Brücke wood-cut, part 1960’s paint-by-numbers and part Saturday morning super-hero cartoons, Blackburn’s paintings and drawings depict Sunday school-style narratives through wonderfully dynamic compositions and graphically bold terms. -FluentCollab.org: "Ed Blackburn at Sunday," Elizabeth Zechella, November 2006.