Posted at 9:00 a.m.
The Patel Brown Gallery was established in Toronto two years ago, in the midst of a pandemic, by Devan Patel, a Toronto entrepreneur with a passion for art, and Gareth Brown-Jowett, artist and art historian. Both had their own gallery before creating a common space near Lansdowne tube station in the Queen City in 2020.
Patel Brown works mainly with Canadian artists, some well known in Quebec, such as Kim Dorland (often presented at Blouin Division or Bradley Ertaskiran), or even Rajni Perera – whom the Maison des arts de Laval exhibited in 2018 –, an artist in vogue which has just received the Prize from the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Toronto.
In their thirties, the two gallery owners have a lot of ambition. In two years, Patel Brown has acquired an enviable reputation, participating in around twenty fairs. Last spring, the Artsy brokerage site estimated that its booth at Expo Chicago, with sculptures by Alexa Hatanaka and paintings by Marigold Santos, and that, a few days later, at the Nada New York fair (with works by ‘Anique Jordan, Daniesha Nugent-Palache, Oluseye, Shary Boyle and Rajni Perera) were among the most attractive.
Some works by artists collaborating with Patel Brown
Their choice to open a gallery in Montreal rather than in London, Paris, New York or Los Angeles is linked to the cost of the operation as well as to their strategy, which is to flourish in Canada first.
We love Montreal, which is an important cultural city. We have collectors in Montreal and a very good response for our artists.
The gallery will be located at the Belgo, on the fourth floor, in the former Galerie Pangée space (part on Avenue des Pins), between the Laroche Joncas gallery and the McBride Contemporain gallery.
The two gallery owners have good contacts in Montreal. They participated in Papier 2021. They know the gallery owner Hugues Charbonneau well, with whom they share the support of several artists. And Gareth Brown-Jowett was for almost six years the director of the Division gallery in Toronto. To ensure a good local presence, Patel Brown will be led in Montreal by Roxanne Arsenault, who left the Center Clark on Monday morning, which she co-directed for eight years, after having been for eight years at the Centrale Powerhouse Gallery, Montreal’s center for feminist artists.
“After 20 years spent in non-profit organizations, I agreed to work in a commercial gallery even though I had artist-run centers under my skin, because that’s them,” says Roxanne Arsenault. With Patel Brown, I have a lot of hooks in terms of artistic vision and values. I have been following their work for years, especially through my boyfriend [le collectionneur Pascal Desjardins], explains the future director. They did good career development. I think I can support their artists and take it elsewhere in Montreal. »
Roxanne Arsenault will define and organize eight or nine exhibitions per year, with the assistance of another employee. The first exhibition will begin on September 17.
The director intends to take advantage of her contacts and meetings in artists’ studios to produce exhibitions with local flavours. That said, Devan Patel is keen to incorporate other international artists into his stable. The Montreal annex will therefore have to deploy the same quality as the Toronto gallery, by mixing novelties and sure values, both local and international.
“Devan and Gareth are counting on me to develop their ties with the artistic community here,” adds Roxanne. It’s something I like to do. I told them I was people first. This is also their vision. With my energy, we’re going to party at the Belgo! »
Arsenal collector and co-founder Pierre Trahan welcomes the arrival of Patel Brown in Montreal. “It’s good for the city and the visibility of contemporary artists,” he says. Gallery owner Hugues Charbonneau agrees. ” It’s good news. It will make one more gallery in the Belgo, and if Patel Brown can give a chance to Quebec artists who are not represented by a gallery, it will be extremely positive. »