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01.10.2010
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Storefront looks for new director as Grima departs for Europe
The Storefront for Art and Architecture is seeking a new director as its current head prepares to leave.
Courtesy Storefront

After four successful years running the Storefront for Art and Architecture in Downtown Manhattan, Joseph Grima will be returning to his native Europe for a new project still in the works. The Storefront is expected to make an official announcement on Grima's departure tomorrow.


Grima
 

"It's been an exhilarating four years working side-by-side with Joseph and his team," Peter Guggenheimer, president of the Storefront board, said in a statement. "His experimental and ambitious programming has given Storefront renewed international visibility and influence in the fields of art, architecture and the built environment."

Since its founding in 1982, the Storefront has aspired to greatness far exceeding its sliver of a gallery on Kenmare Street. And yet Grima, who became director in 2006 has pushed things even further, onto the Internet and around the world.

Grima has established roving exhibitions throughout the city's streets—aping the tendancy of Storefront openings to spill out onto the sidewalk. There was the Ring Dome, the Spacebuster, and, still on view, Pike Loop, a robotically constructed wall in Chinatown. Storefront also launched the first major—and hugely popular—bike share program in the city.

Grima also expanded Storefront well beyond New York, setting up temporary satellites in Los Angeles, London, and Tianjin, China. He also transformed the Storefront's website, giving it a far more robust online presence.

But Grima never lost site of the gallery itself, where he held regular, well-attended, well-regarded shows in a newly restored space, as he oversaw last year's restoration of the iconic Vito Acconci- and Steven Holl-designed gallery, down to the green interior walls and puzzle-piece doors.

This video of Storefront's latest installation not only demonstrates Grima's penchant for showy projects outside the confines of the Storefront space but also his consummate web savvy.

The Storefront will now begin a search for a director, led by a committee of Guggenheimer and Storefront board members Carlos Brillembourg, Beatriz Colomina, Michael Manfredi and Karen Wong. Applications are being accepted through search@storefrontnews.org through February 7.

Already it has been a busy year for the city's design institutions, as new heads to the Cooper-Hewitt and Van Alen Institute have been announced in recent weeks. Who might be next?

Matt Chaban