For the most part, good artists and good galleries have good relationships, but it is no surprise to most gallerists that there are a few disparaging rumors floating around about almost (there are notable exceptions) each and every one of them. When the slighted, misunderstood and underappreciated starving artists mix it up with the money-grubbing capitalist wannabes dancing with socialites on the backs of these creative geniuses, this situation is to be expected. Thom Andriola, owner of Houston’s New Gallery is no exception to these rumors, but the rumors have been kicked up a notch recently.
After residing alongside some big leaguers at “Gallery Row” on Houston’s Colquitt Street since 1986, New Gallery moved into a new “temporary” space in Midtown two years ago and then recently shut its doors, quietly and unexpectedly. Glasstire received some anonymous email news tips as well as a few public posts (here and here) in its comment sections, only vaguely related to the topic at hand (although that’s not entirely new to Glasstire comments). [Please note: commenter “Barbara Davis” is most definitely NOT Houston gallery owner Barbara Davis.]
Apparently, there are a number of lawsuits against Andriola, although most details are not yet available. The district attorney’s office, associated lawyers and, of course, Andriola are not talking at present, but Culturemap’s Tyler Rudick has done a pretty good job at connecting the few verified facts with some stories from a few seriously disgruntled artists with some serious financial claims. For disturbing details, check out Rudick’s story and then keep a look out for updates!