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On View> T.J. Wilcox’s “Up in the Air” at the Whitney Through February 9
Up in the Air Whitney Museum of American Art Through February 9, 2014 Circles and squares; past and present; inside and outside. These are some of the elements that combine architecture and the moving image in T.J. Wilcox’s Up in the Air, a contemporary cyclorama of his Union Square penthouse studio view installed in Marcel Breuer’s Whitney Museum building. The circle is the ringed screen—7 feet tall and 35 feet in circumference—that you must bend under to enter the inner circle. Suspended only 6 feet below the museum's distinctive coffered ceilings that are the squares, as is the room’s shape, it is intentionally hung close to respond to the masonry “frames.” The moving-image narrative on the circular screen is a single sunny summer day and clear night shot from his downtown aerie where we can see the Empire State Building, Zeckendorf Towers, Con Edison Building, and One World Trade Center amongst water towers, cranes, and satellite dishes in the correct orientation (north is north, south is south) representing the present. Wilcox says we bend these current vistas to our own associations, prompting memories of the past. He has provided us with five narrative reflections that spool out one by one: the Hindenburg crash and planned zeppelin mooring docks atop the Empire State Building; the court battle for custody of little Gloria Vanderbilt by her aunt Gertrude, founder of the Whitney Museum; fashion illustrator and AIDS victim Antonio Lopez, who occupied a studio directly across the square from Wilcox’s and whose work inspired him to move to New York; Warhol inflating silver balloons to commemorate Pope Paul IV’s New York visit in 1965; and the building’s super who observed the World Trade Center attacks from this rooftop which morphs into Manhattan-henge, the day when sunset aligns along the NYC street grid facing west. These chapters embody Wilcox’s exercise in looking across time simultaneously. Simultaneity is also how the mechanics work, with ten projectors working together linked by a single computer processor that compensates for the curvature of the screen. Five cameras shot 60,000 individually processed still images at a rate of one per second for better resolution than conventional video. Because the viewpoint is above street level without cars and pedestrians, the effect is a timeless cityscape. You can experience Up in the Air from outside the perimeter of the circle, where it’s like a giant lantern, or from the inside where you are enveloped in an immersive pool of light and images. The way we view these buildings and the stories they tell are from both sides, too. Wilcox says that history is always under construction.
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On View> Robert Irwin’s “Scrim veil—Black rectangle—Natural light” at the Whitney Museum
Robert Irwin’s “Scrim veil—Black rectangle—Natural light” The Whitney Museum of American Art 945 Madison Avenue New York, NY Through September 1 It has been 36 years since Robert Irwin, now 84 years old, debuted his Scrim veil—Black rectangle—Natural light installation at the Whitney Museum of American Art. This summer, the legendary installation, designed specifically for the fourth floor of the Breuer building, returns to the museum. As the title suggests, Irwin’s minimalist installation is composed of three simple elements: a black line that runs along the length of the gallery walls, natural light that enters through the museum’s iconic trapezoidal window, and a white translucent polyester scrim hung from the ceiling that slices through the space. These elements divide the space into various geometric forms and create a disorienting experience. As visitors circle the gallery and daylight moves across the room, the perception of space is shown to be less definite than one might previously have imagined.
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On View at the Whitney: Scrim veil-Black rectangle-Natural light
This summer, the Whitney Museum of American Art will reinstall a work for the first time since its original conception in 1977. Robert Irwin (b. 1928) formed the large-scale Scrim veil-Black rectangle-Natural light, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, especially for the Emily Fisher Landau Gallery almost four decades ago. The exhibition was central to Irwin’s career, as it determined the path for his ensuing practice, and will now be on display for the second time from June 27 to September 1, 2013. The work accentuates the Whitney’s renowned Breuer building and the natural light that reaches the interior from the single Madison Avenue window. Irwin’s installation involves a partially transparent white scrim weighted down by a black metal bar. The system is suspended from the ceiling and hangs five and a half feet above the floor, spanning 117 feet across the room. A thin black line mirrors the bar and borders the gallery walls. The elements accentuate the setting and sway visitors’ observations of the Museum’s fourth floor. In concurrence with the exhibition, the Whitney will digitize the 1977 exhibition catalogue and make it accessible online. It will contain images, plans, and information assembled by the 1977 exhibition’s curator, Richard Marshall. The updated report will include a new introduction by Whitney Chief Curator Donna De Salvo. Photographs and drawings associated with the display will be located in another fourth-floor gallery. Robert Irwin is a native of Long Beach, California and studied at the Otis Art Institute and the Chouinard Art Institute, where he trained in Abstract Expressionist painting. He was invited to join the Ferus Gallery in 1958, but soon after he began to create new minimalist works. As he fused his creative methods with his interests in science, philosophy, and religion, Irwin conceived that art must be conditional to its environment and must enhance viewers’ perceptions. He deserted the idea of the frame to create art in express response to certain settings. An artist at the forefront of the Light and Space movement, he continues to build site-specific works.

Video> Renzo Piano’s Whitney Museum Time-Lapse Construction Along the High Line
Renzo Piano's new Whitney Museum and adjacent maintenance building have been quickly rising between the High Line and the Hudson River in Manhattan, topping out on December 17, 2012. Now, the Whitney has condensed the entire construction sequence from its groundbreaking in October 2011 up through January 14 into one easy-to-watch time-lapse video. And if you just can't get enough of the Whitney under construction, you can watch live on this webcam or take a virtual fly-through of the new museum here. [Via Curbed.]

Video> Take a Fly-By Tour of Renzo Piano’s New Whitney Museum
Ever since Renzo Piano's design for the new Whitney Museum was unveiled back in 2008, we've been obsessed with just about anything we could find about the new boat of a museum perched along the High Line on Manhattan's west side. AN alum Matt Chaban at the Observer spotted this snazzy fly-by video tracing the museum's progress from its founding in 1931 to its move into its iconic Breuer outpost and finally to its future Meatpacking District home. If you need even more of a Renzo fix, be sure to check out his recently completed addition to the Gardner Museum in Boston and his planned Opera-House-slash-Library in Greece.
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New Whitney Museum Takes Flight Along the High Line
The Whitney Museum, set on an outpost far from Manhattan's posh Upper East Side and in the midst of the hip yet historic Meatpacking District, is forging ahead with its grand plans to make a bold architectural statement with a new building by Renzo Piano, which will sit adjacent to Gansevoort Market Historic District and the post-industrial High Line park. First they must get their approvals, including the non-governmental, but not unimportant, local community board, which is "charged with representing community interest on crucial issues of development and planning, land use, zoning and City service delivery." Yesterday officials from the Whitney presented the large, probably not shiny new museum design to the Arts & Institutions Committee of Community Board 2 with a zippy video that flies viewers through the iceberg-like structure. The big change from earlier manifestations seems to be the addition Breuer-like fenestration facing the High Line. (video courtesy of Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation)
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Alternative Whitney Proposal Designed to Attract Attention
Think Renzo Piano's still preliminary design for a new Whitney Museum of American Art is too timid? How about this alternative scheme floated by the self proclaimed "architectural provocateurs" at Axis Mundi? According to a statement, the proposal is meant to be "as bold in spirit as the original Breuer building." It's bold all right. The design calls for a structural exoskeleton, shaped by the sight lines and street grid of the city, imbedded with the circulation and mechanical systems. Column-free galleries would be suspended from the skeleton with distinctive projecting windows, reminiscent of Breuer's at the Madison Avenue Whitney. The Axis Mundi proposal mentions nothing of costs, which is one of the biggest hurdles facing the Whitney, given the museum's relatively modest endowment. Axis Mundi has chased the news before. They previously promoted an alternative to Jean Nouvel's proposed Tower Verre for MoMA, called the Vertical Neighborhood. Check out more images of their Whitney proposal after the jump.
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Whitney Unveils New Satellite at the High Line
COURTESY WHITNEY MUSEUM

The April 30 debut of Renzo Piano’s shimmery design for a Whitney Museum branch at the High Line featured none of the hallmarks that usually greet international architects in moneyed Manhattan. Nobody protested the plan, called it “out of scale” or demanded the architect plead his case. Such are the advantages of building on a vacant city-owned site that abuts a meatpackers’ processing facility. 

But, Whitney director Adam Weinberg told a public forum as he unveiled the plans, Piano’s design uses the friendly context to deliver a crowd-pleaser. “The simplicity and character of the neighborhood are things Renzo really wants to pick up in his design,” Weinberg told a placid crowd in the half-full auditorium. “And this is the most outdoor neighborhood in the city of New York.” 

The project made its debut at this forum, which Manhattan Community Board 2 hosted, because it needs a variance from manufacturing zoning and approval of city conveyance of air rights to go forward. (The Parks Department will use part of the ground floor for High Line maintenance and operations.) That approval seems likely. 

Piano’s plan pushes the museum outdoors. The generous 43,000-square-foot site, Weinberg said, would allow an outdoor restaurant, an outdoor performance space, and a lobby big enough for concerts. And in order to free 25,000 square feet for displays from the permanent collection, Piano proposes 15,000 square feet of showcase on the roof. 

At the same time, the plan intensifies the quiet of its indoor zones. At ground level, Weinberg promised a series of free programs for visitors who enter from the High Line or the nearby boutique-y blocks. Glass walls, like a glass elevator and oversize window at the second floor landing, mean that visitors will look over the river and into the West Village while passersby see works from the street. “Before an installation, you’ll see art going up and down the elevator,” enthused Weinberg. 

Then a red-tinted escalator, echoing the High Line’s anticipated “slow stair,” delivers visitors to the western edge of the site and a 250-foot-long special exhibition space. The permanent collection, Weinberg said, will live on the top three floors in setback galleries. But outdoor spaces extend to the lot’s edge on each upper floor, mirroring the setbacks. “You could go from staircase to staircase and just do the museum via the exterior in good weather,” promised Weinberg. “Artists could do projects that could be seen from the High Line itself.”

Not that Piano’s logic matches the Miami-manqué of nearby hotels. It’s local. The upper floors would be clad in a stone layer that, judging from early sketches, suggests a more curvaceous quote of Marcel Breuer’s flagship Whitney uptown. The white facade on the upper stories is a visual link to the meatpackers’ site and nearby High Line, while the glass lobby and elevator emphasize views across the city and the river. “The Whitney forms an outdoor bridge between the High Line and Hudson River Park,” said Weinberg.

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Whitney Unveils New Satellite at the High Line
Courtesy Whitney Museum

The April 30 debut of Renzo Piano’s shimmery design for a Whitney Museum branch at the High Line featured none of the hallmarks that usually greet international architects in moneyed Manhattan. Nobody protested the plan, called it “out of scale” or demanded the architect plead his case. Such are the advantages of building on a vacant city-owned site that abuts a meatpackers’ processing facility. 

But, Whitney director Adam Weinberg told a public forum as he unveiled the plans, Piano’s design uses the friendly context to deliver a crowd-pleaser. “The simplicity and character of the neighborhood are things Renzo really wants to pick up in his design,” Weinberg told a placid crowd in the half-full auditorium. “And this is the most outdoor neighborhood in the city of New York.” 

The project made its debut at this forum, which Manhattan Community Board 2 hosted, because it needs a variance from manufacturing zoning and approval of city conveyance of air rights to go forward. (The Parks Department will use part of the ground floor for High Line maintenance and operations.) That approval seems likely. 

Piano’s plan pushes the museum outdoors. The generous 43,000-square-foot site, Weinberg said, would allow an outdoor restaurant, an outdoor performance space, and a lobby big enough for concerts. And in order to free 25,000 square feet for displays from the permanent collection, Piano proposes 15,000 square feet of showcase on the roof. 

At the same time, the plan intensifies the quiet of its indoor zones. At ground level, Weinberg promised a series of free programs for visitors who enter from the High Line or the nearby boutique-y blocks. Glass walls, like a glass elevator and oversize window at the second floor landing, mean that visitors will look over the river and into the West Village while passersby see works from the street. “Before an installation, you’ll see art going up and down the elevator,” enthused Weinberg. 

Then a red-tinted escalator, echoing the High Line’s anticipated “slow stair,” delivers visitors to the western edge of the site and a 250-foot-long special exhibition space. The permanent collection, Weinberg said, will live on the top three floors in setback galleries. But outdoor spaces extend to the lot’s edge on each upper floor, mirroring the setbacks. “You could go from staircase to staircase and just do the museum via the exterior in good weather,” promised Weinberg. “Artists could do projects that could be seen from the High Line itself.”

Not that Piano’s logic matches the Miami-manqué of nearby hotels. It’s local. The upper floors would be clad in a stone layer that, judging from early sketches, suggests a more curvaceous quote of Marcel Breuer’s flagship Whitney uptown. The white façade on the upper stories is a visual link to the meatpackers’ site and nearby High Line, while the glass lobby and elevator emphasize views across the city and the river. “The Whitney forms an outdoor bridge between the High Line and Hudson River Park,” said Weinberg.

Whitney Unveils Addition

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Whitney’s Who’s Who

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Whitney Revives Breuer’s Intention

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