DETROIT — As the saying goes: be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. For years, participants in Detroit’s close-knit art scene have pointed to the underlying struggle: there is space, there are makers, and there are scenesters, but buyers are few to be found. The dearth of art-buying capital within city limits seems all the more unjust in light of the ostentatious wealth concentrated in pockets of the Metro Detroit suburbs, like the cities of Rochester Hills, Birmingham, and Grosse Pointe. But this fall, the blue bloods have at last come to town, celebrating the respective openings of two very different gallery spaces, both with roots in the downtown arts district in Birmingham.
David Klein Gallery has been a Birmingham mainstay for more than two decades, with a stable of proven mid-career artists and a strong following of devoted buyers — assets that have prompted gallerist David Klein to finally pull the trigger on a long-speculated auxiliary space, in the prime real estate territory between the rapidly developing Midtown and Downtown districts. Wasserman Projects is newer to the game, and metals magnate–cum–gallerist Gary Wasserman has assumed greater risk in this project, entirely pulling up stakes in Birmingham and investing in a floor-to-ceiling gut renovation of a massive space in the Eastern Market district — hoping to capitalize, perhaps, on the destination equity of the Saturday farmer’s market, already a common draw for visitors to the city.