Tribeca’s first contemporary art gallery was founded by Hal Bromm in 1975 at 10 Beach Street. Works by British film-maker Derek Jarman and New York artists John Chamberlain, Rosemarie Castoro and Donald Judd were among those featured.
Hal Bromm, pictured with works by Rosemarie Castoro
The gallery's inaugural exhibition at 114 Franklin Street followed in 1976, and included Suzanne Harris, Jene Highstein, Richard Nonas, Lucio Pozzi and Susanna Tanger. The gallery was invited to participate annually in Arte Fiera/Bologna, a prestigious international art fair held each June in Italy.
In 1977, Hal Bromm Gallery opened a new space 90 West Broadway at Chambers Street, with MOVING, a two-part invitational exhibition.
An international roster of twenty-five contemporary artists were invited to create works focused on movement and relocation, including Andre Cadere, Antonio Dias, Diego Cortez, Joel Fisher, Gerald Incandela and Krzysztof Wodiczko. As the gallery developed, annual “new talent” shows introduced young artists including Jeff Wall, John Hilliard, Roger Cutforth, Mac Adams, Robert Longo, Troy Brauntuch, David Salle, Peter Downsbrough and many others long before they became well-known.
French artist Andre Cadere had planned a gallery exhibiton for autumn 1978 but tragically died that summer. Bromm followed through, staging a memorial exhibition featuring works lent by friends of the artist who had collected his work, including Jeanne Claude and Christo, Merrill Wagner and Robert Ryman, Alain Kirili and Ariane Lopez-Huici. Nothing was for sale.
In 1979 an exchange exhibition with Banco Gallery in Brescia, Italy was organized. Gallerist Massimo Minini brought works by Alighiero Boetti, Paolo Icaro, Mario Merz, Giulio Paolini and Michele Zaza to New York. Hal Bromm presented new works at Minini’s Banco Gallery in Brescia by five women in 1980: Alice Adams, Rosemarie Castoro, Linda Francis, Jody Pinto and Lynn Umlauf.
In 1981, the gallery presented Keith Haring's first major solo exhibition, introducing the public to the gifted artist who had been reclaiming subway advertising boards with his magical chalk drawings.
“Climbing”, a major group exhibition of leading East Village artists was organized at the gallery’s Tribeca space in 1984. Twenty-five artists were invited, including Luis Frangella, David Wojnarowicz, Keiko Bonk, Russell Sharon, Kiki Smith, Martin Wong, Judy Glantzman, Steven Lack, Rick Prol, Greer Lankton, Walter Robinson, John Fekner and Mike Bidlo. The benchmark exhibition introduced the energy and depth of talent surfacing in the East Village, and Bromm soon opened a second space on Avenue A.
For the gallery’s 30th Anniversary, four important artists whose lives were cut short by AIDS, Carlos Alfonzo, Luis Frangella, Keith Haring and David Wojnarowicz were honored. The exhibition focused attention on the tragic reality that that AIDS crisis is not over.
In 2015 the gallery celebrated the life and work of Rosemarie Castoro with a memorial exhibition following her death in May of that year, marking four decades in their artistic and personal relationship. For the gallery’s 40th Anniversary an exhibition of over 100 artists featured many whose work had been shown at the gallery along with Castoro, including Alice Adams, Lynda Benglis, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Judy Glantzman, Michael Goldberg, Keith Haring, Paolo Icaro, Allan McCollum, Natalya Nesterova, Walter Robinson, Kiki Smith, Keith Sonnier, David Wojnarowicz and Martin Wong.
In over four decades, the gallery has developed strong alliances with prominent private and public collections worldwide. The gallery’s rich history collaborating with artists, galleries, museums and institutions on the development and curation of historic exhibitions is internationally respected. A focus on working with collectors in forming and refining their collections and assisting art advisers and curators in finding exceptional works continues.