Numark Gallery, founded by Cheryl Numark in 1995, was a catalyst in the revitalization of the long-dormant neighbourhood of Penn Quarter in Washington D.C. Growing to become a prominent voice in D.C.’s burgeoning contemporary art scene, Numark Gallery moved in 2003 to a street level space at 625-27 E Street, within walking distance of institutions such as the Hirshhorn Museum and the National Gallery of Art. The forty-foot wide space, designed by Robert Cox of HO+K, was the recipient of two prestigious design awards – the IIDA and the NAIOP – and was regarded as DC’s premier commercial gallery space.
Numark ran an exhibition program that focused on bringing internationally recognized artists to D.C. and initiating challenging, thought-provoking exhibitions. Simultaneously, Numark was committed to representing and promoting regional artists, and her pioneering efforts to expose the vitality of the D.C. art scene resulted in international recognition for many of the gallery’s artists. Several artists the gallery exhibited are among the most innovative practitioners working today – Chan Chao, Terri Friedman, Joanne Greenbaum, Peter Halley, Nikki Lee, Sharon Louden and Dan Steinhilber. Numark Gallery artists have appeared in institutions and biennales such as the Whitney Biennial, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Gwangju Biennial, the Contemporary Art Museum Houston and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, among others.
The gallery programming focused on a wide range of issues in contemporary culture. In addition to solo exhibitions, Numark was known for her thoughtful, thematic exhibitions such as ‘Architecture Untethered’ accompanied by an exhibition essay by Anne Ellegood, (now Senior Curator at the Hammer Museum) and ‘Skin Deep’ accompanied by an essay by Franklin Sirmans (currently Director of the Perez Art Museum). The aforementioned exhibitions were examples of Numark’s ability to expose the D.C. public to significant contemporary artists they might not have otherwise seen.
It is this ability to quickly recognize an artist’s talent that Numark’s advisory clients acknowledge and respect. This proficiency, coupled with her in depth understanding of the art world, allows clients to be guided by Numark’s lived experience and gain the knowledge and exposure necessary to build their art collection. When Numark decided to close her gallery in 2006 and open Cheryl Numark Art Advisory she did so to build closer relationships with her clients and dedicate more time to leading them through the exciting process of building a collection.
To view past Numark Gallery exhibitions please visit CURATORIAL.