Posts tagged with "Art Galleries":

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An expansive bronze-colored rainscreen covers Peterson Rich Office’s latest Lower East Side project

Ten years ago, around 60 art galleries populated the Lower East Side. Today, that number has increased five-fold. Two architects, Nathan Rich and Miriam Peterson, have witnessed the area’s cultural shift and are now working on two significant projects in the area under their firm, Peterson Rich Office (PRO), which they cofounded in 2011.

“Most of the current galleries only come to between 13 and 18 feet wide,” explained Rich, discussing the gallery and residential block due to be built on Grand Street between Forsyth and Eldridge Streets. “What’s interesting about this new building is that there is going to be a gallery space that’s about 45 feet wide. Spatially it is more akin to what you see in Chelsea.”

Rich and Peterson agreed that this gallery-residential building at 282 Grand Street—and their work on the forthcoming location of Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin—are a response to rising costs in Chelsea, where many galleries are being forced to relocate.

PRO secured work in the Lower East Side after bumping into project partners Vito Errico and gallerist Marc Straus—the latter having a long family history of building ownership in the area. Not able to afford Straus’s artwork, the pair offered its services instead.

“Because of Straus’s history in the neighborhood, it was very important to us to do something that is conceptually contiguous to that history,” said Rich. PRO conceptualized the building as a new tenement, retaining the proportional vernacular of 19th and 20th century tenement buildings common in the vicinity.

Covering approximately 20,000 square feet, the building will house 20 condos within seven stories, climbing to 80 feet. Aside from two penthouse apartments on the roof, the dwellings will all be one-bedrooms with around 550 square feet of space.

“The spaces are highly efficient, much like the original tenement buildings were,” said Rich. “Efficiency was the driving concept. They’re efficient, both spatially and environmentally.” The tenement typology is further referenced through a perforated aluminum rain-screen facade system, which doubles-up as a shading device and louvered panel for air exchange. According to the architects, the facade will be coated with a bronze colored Kynar paint, emulating the surrounding yellow and red street signage.

Rich continued: “The screen became a way to achieve this environmental efficiency. There’s also a language of sheet metal and cast iron used for awnings and fire escapes on traditional buildings that we wanted to reference with something that was much more contemporary.”

“By using windows as opposed to a curtain wall and trying to relate the scale of those windows and openings to the adjacent building, we’re trying to create something that’s part of the existing fabric but that is also new.”

Peterson, meanwhile, discussed why PRO proposed a full build-out of the site, which is currently occupied by a low-rise 19th century building housing a Chinese grocery store. “We basically found that the existing building was not suitable for renovation,” she said. “After looking into the project we found tenants had been removing masonry walls without properly replacing them structurally. We said to ourselves, ‘This is no longer made to last.’”

PRO also wants to set an example for future development in the Lower East Side—a movement that has already began. “Developers are not, as a blanket, known for always doing sensitive design or building things that have consideration beyond the status-quo,” Peterson said. “We are hopeful that working with architects such as ourselves to design a building that everybody is proud of will also inspire the next wave of development to abide by those principles.”

The building, due to break ground this spring, is slated to be complete in fall 2018. PRO’s new relocation of Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin on 130 Orchard Street is set to open fall this year.

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wHY to design new Beverly Hills outpost for Christie’s auction house

Los Angeles- and New York City-based wHY has been tapped to design a new 5,400-square-foot flagship location for British auction house Christie’s. Renderings released by Christie’s indicate that the architects will adaptively reuse a single-story commercial structure in Beverly Hills for the project. The building—repurposed and added on to by the architects—is wrapped in an undulating curtain made out of “pearlescent white aluminum” that is interrupted along a large, recessed expanse of clear glass along the street. Plans for the new storefront include the addition of a second story terrace and a “grand yet flexible” ground floor interior layout. Interior configurations will include spaces for exhibitions, private events, and live-streamed auctions along the ground floor. Private meeting areas and offices will be located upstairs along with the outdoor, vegetated terrace. The second-floor expansion will add approximately 1,400 square feet of floor area to the structure. Although the project is being touted as a new flagship for the auction house, Christie’s has maintained West Coast offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco since 1978 and 1982, respectively. The flagship expansion mirrors Christie’s recent expansions in China, which—along with the West Coast of the United States—accounts for much of the recent growth in new buyers, according to a press release touting the new location. To commemorate the new expansion, Christie’s is hosting a pop-up gallery show through February 11th at the Collection of Earl and Camilla McGrath at the De Re Gallery, 8373 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles. wHY—already a prolific firm in its own right—has recently become the go-to architect for internationally-renowned art galleries looking to open up West Coast outposts. The firm recently completed work on a new outpost for the Gagosian Gallery in San Francisco across the street from the new Snøhetta-designed San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The firm is also working on designs for the Maurice and Paul Marciano Art Foundation's new facilities in L.A. That project, due to open this Spring, will transform that city's Scottish Rite Masonic Temple into what the firm conceptually describes on their website as an “art city.”
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Jai & Jai Gallery becomes an essential hub for L.A.’s young artist-designers

Jai & Jai Gallery, a 350-square-foot exhibition space sandwiched between a barbecue smokehouse and a former vintage music store in Los Angeles’ Chinatown neighborhood, is a beacon in the city’s bustling young architecture scene. Whereas older generations strove for the empty warehouses of Culver City and Santa Monica, a new generation of designers is looking toward the inner city as a place to make and exhibit art and design, positioning galleries and art spaces like Jai & Jai as loci of experimentation for the city’s foremost millennial makers. This scene at Jai & Jai is typical of an opening night: As a heavy mix of creative young professionals gossip about their latest projects, Jomjai and Jaitip Srisomburananont, the sisters behind the gallery, hold court with potential buyers, guide new visitors toward wine, and play host to what often has more in common with a low-key San Fernando Valley house party than any staid Westside art gallery opening. Jaitip explains to The Architect’s Newspaper (AN) that though the gallery’s social importance is somewhat unintentional, it reflects a deeply personal part of who they are as individuals, saying the transformation from art space to social hub “mostly happened organically; [our events] always have that ‘Jai & Jai vibe.’ It’s just like how we treat our family: You come to our house, have a drink, see some art. Thankfully, it’s echoed through our business as well.” The Jais, as they are known by the ever-expanding social scene surrounding the gallery, keep a frenetic pace at these openings, and if you manage to grab their attention, it’s usually only for a few minutes. Mid-conversation, if you’re, say, discussing writing an article about the show at hand, Jomjai will pull out her iPhone to tap out an email (to you). She’ll then pivot to someone who looks like a prospective buyer and deliver him or her to the featured artist before moving on to someone else, maybe an intern snapping photographs or someone potentially cooking up the gallery’s next show. The Jais do this for hours, until the gallery shuts down and the party moves to one of the nearby dive bars. By the time you get home that night, you’ll likely have another email waiting for you and maybe even a press kit. It might seem cliché to focus on this aspect of the gallery first, but it reflects a larger and equally obvious truth of the Los Angeles art and architecture economy of today: It takes a lot of hard work to make things happen. This tendency is something of a common denominator for the Jais, the resident social patrons who frequent their gallery, and the exhibited artists themselves. Of those two latter groups, many are early-on in their careers and necessarily run art and design practices parallel to their 9-5 jobs. They also use their exhibited artworks to fund or support client-based commissions for their own independent practices. Many other are fresh out of school, having recently launched their own practices, or are teaching at an area architecture schools. Jomjai describes the gallery as, “More of an open forum” than an incubator, where the sibling gallerists “allow an opening for new ideas.” According to the sisters, the gallery provides young practitioners “a chance to express themselves, their ideas and theories, whether they’re artistic, academic, or architectural.” Jaitip adds, “We like to engage everyone and for us, the gallery acts as platform that lets us do that at equal levels.” Since it opened in 2012, a who’s who of L.A.’s rising stars have exhibited work on the gallery’s walls, creating a self-reinforcing narrative for the storefront as a kick-back space for the city’s young, energetic, and experimental designers. The gallery, which recently expanded into the neighboring thrift store, intentionally takes on challenging exhibitions and works with its artists to chart new terrain. In 2015, Jimenez Lai of Bureau Spectacular wrapped the interior of the exhibition space in panels of his trademark architectural cartoons, transforming the tiny space into a cave-like work of art. The work, Beachside Lonelyhearts, is carved up into a series of truncated and geometrically-shaped canvases; fragments of it can still be found in Jai & Jai’s growing archive. The year prior, Laurel Consuelo Broughton of Welcome Projects and Andrew Kovacs came together for a three-part show. Their Gallery Attachment and As-Built exhibitions took place in a parking lot across the street and inside the gallery, respectively. The parking lot show exhibited monochromatic, full-scale elements of architectural oddities while the show inside the gallery displayed a collection of measured as-built drawings made from the team’s collection of detritus outside. The duo also produced a zine to accompany and compliment their other trans-dimensional, multimedia works. Broughton told AN, “Before Jai & Jai the only spaces in Los Angeles for architectural exhibitions were institutionally sponsored. Being small and without institutional ties allows the gallery to exhibit work outside the traditional comfort zone for architecture and design,” to which Kovacs added, "Jai & Jai is an absolute asset for architecture in Los Angeles. I feel the gallery has a very open and flexible outlook that makes it possible to take risks with shows and explore new ideas." Mike Nesbit, independent artist and project designer at L.A.–based architecture firm Morphosis, has exhibited works of his “abstract-technical” art at Jai & Jai several times. His glitch-pointillist drawings and thickly-silkscreened, supersized concrete panel canvases filled the space last autumn for his Swipe show. The artist carted in massive slabs of cement coated in toothsome swipes of colored paint, lending a bit of L.A.’s abstract art bona fides to the space. And more recently, Clark Thenhaus of Endemic Architecture deployed office-based research as an exhibition titled Mind Your Mannerisms that catalogs, interprets, and manipulates San Francisco’s architectural turrets in paintings and models. Thenhaus’s show is the eighth show at Jai & Jai in the last year, with probably an equal number of gallery talks and panel discussions to support the exhibitions and promote other creative endeavors happening in the space over this period, as well. Thenhaus described the value of a space like Jai & Jai to AN  via email, saying, “The gallery enables a kind of exploratory freedom to more deeply consider and speculate on building and practice-related ideas in ways that cannot be achieved to the same level through more conventional outlets or client projects as a young office,” adding, “The value of this is, for a young practice, a way to stake an intellectual claim while also working directly on, and through, ideas related to disciplinary interests or to buildings that are yet to be fully designed or built.” If it seems like the work seems is all over the place, that’s because it is, and by design. The Jais intentionally take on challenging exhibitions and work with their artists to chart new terrain. Jaitip explains, “The main component through and through and from the beginning, has always been to engage the audience, whether they agree with the work or not.” This engagement plays out in the constantly changing gallery displays, which transform the space over and over again as the year goes on. Jaitip explained that for her, group shows like the 2014 show Chess, which showcased showpiece chess sets by a slew of designers, are the most rewarding, remarking, “To us, as gallerists, group shows are really inspiring to work on because [we coordinate] a group of people who believe in one concept and help bring them come together to tell a story. Chess and Bust were defining moments for Jai & Jai Gallery, as was Goods Used.” The gallery also timed the debut of their new online print shop with another group show earlier this year, Resolution – The Digital Print Group Exhibition, that used numbered prints of the work on display as a way of lowering the cost barrier for potential buyers. Jaitip explains, “We developed limited edition prints of these exhibited pieces to sell to a younger crowd and open up another branch for the gallery as a business and an organization that supports this type of success.” Chess sets and cartoon-caves as cutting edge architecture? In L.A., yes. That’s because the L.A. art and architecture scene is in a primal flux, not because art and architecture haven’t gone hand-in-hand here since the days of the deconstructionists and blobitects, but because in certain segments of the professional and academic architecture scene, they have become one and the same. Whether it’s the proximity to entertainment culture, the easier access to larger studio spaces, or the more readily available infrastructure for large-scale art production, L.A.-based architects are dabbling in a simultaneity of production and exhibition. Jai & Jai plays a central role in that conversation. As the Jais told me at the end of our conversation, they aim to keep working. “The goal is always to grow. Just grow, and to do that organically.”
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Zaha Hadid pays homage to Kurt Schwitters’s Merzbau for exhibition at Zurich’s Galerie Gmurzynska

The projects Zaha Hadid worked on before her death earlier this year are, one by one, being revealed to the public. First, plans were revealed for a new residential building in Manhattan. Now, Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has revealed a Hadid-designed exhibition space for Kurt Schwitters: Merz, a retrospective of Schwitters's work at Galerie Gmurzynska in Zurich. The space is a homage to the German artist's Merzbau, the gradual, surreal transformation of a suite of rooms in his family's Hannover home. The Merzbau was constructed between 1923 and 1933, but destroyed in a 1943 Allied bombing raid. The Sprengel Museum Hannover has reconstructed one of the rooms as part of its permanent exhibition. “This design process is capable of delivering an intricate order, open ended and unpredictable, but at any time highly articulate. It is full of contingencies, but forges a unique, path-dependent identity,” explained Patrik Schumacher, director of ZHA, in a press release. For a previous collaboration with Galerie Gmurzynska, Hadid honored painter Kasimir Malevich by selecting Suprematist work by Russian avant-garde artists to pair with her architecture for the gallery. This show features 70 Schwitters works across all media arrayed in a curving, warped white space that distorts the viewer's sense of scale. The gallery is in the same building complex that once hosted Galerie Dada, the alternative space run by artists Tristan Tzara and Hugo Ball. Adrian Notz, director of Cabaret Voltaire, where Dada was born in 1916, will curate archival documents that show Schwitters’s forays into stage design, theater, sound, and poetry, pursuits that complement his visual work. A book to accompany Kurt Schwitters: Merz will feature writing by Museum Ludwig director Siegfried Gohr, Schumacher, Notz, and others. The show runs through September 30. Additional information on exhibition hours and special events can be found here.
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Bjarke Ingels wraps the Warehouse421 cultural center with Cor-ten steel in Abu Dhabi

The Bjarke Ingels Group has finished another one—this time in the Middle East. The Copenhagen- and New York–based architecture firm’s recently completed project in Abu Dhabi, a new cultural exhibition space called Warehouse421, just opened, prompting a celebratory three-day festival featuring live musical performances, a myriad of exhibits, and interactive workshops led by art and design professionals. The project, which was commissioned by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, an organization providing support for education, arts, and cultural initiatives, is part of the revitalization of the Abu Dhabi warehouse district in the port area of Mina Zayed. The new art hub, formerly a pair of tin shed warehouses, was upgraded to encompass dynamic art gallery spaces separated by a series of five verdant courtyards, representing an important vernacular element in Middle Eastern architecture and culture. Concrete floors and white-painted steel establish a neutral interior ambiance for the viewing of artworks. A perforated mesh skin of Cor-ten steel employs Arabian geometric patterns while also echoing the rusty industrial sheds that characterize the surrounding district. The Cor-ten steel protects an insulating layer of lightweight and efficient sandwich panels. Also featured is outdoor exhibition space, where local vegetation and urban furniture create an “artificial desert landscape.” Responding to public demand for a new primary exhibition venue in the capital city, Warehouse421 is set to become a new cultural destination. It will showcase a roster of gallery shows and public programs, setting the stage for creativity throughout Abu Dhabi.
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As starchitect-designed condos pop-up along the High Line, Chelsea’s art galleries look for a new home

As rents go up in a city succumbing to gentrification, the few remaining art galleries in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood have either left or are looking set to leave. This however, is nothing new for the art galleries of New York, according to Stuart Siegel, senior vice president at real-estate broker CBRE Group who specializes in Chelsea. The galleries have been been victims of their own success before. "The galleries put Chelsea on the map. Then the world followed them," Siegel told Crain's. Now, high-end development along the High Line is responsible for chasing many galleries away. Crain's went on to note that only "high-end emporiums" such as Gagosian Gallery, Gladstone Gallery, and David Zwirner—all of which own their own buildings—remain. They have learned the lessons of the past when art galleries previously "revitalized" Soho, only to be forced out due to increasing rent prices. The hike has even affected Jeff Koons, the world’s most expensive living artist at auction according to Crain's. Koons plans to move out within the next two years. Developments from Zaha Hadid, Foster+PartnersFrank Gehry, and others have popped up all along the High Line, and will only further the gentrification of the area as rent prices continue to increase. Troy McMullen at the Financial Times commented that "at present there are more than 20 new developments – with more than 2,700 new units – planned either near, alongside or under the High Line, according to New York City’s Department of Buildings, making this narrow, 2.3km-long strip of land one of the highest concentrations of new architecture and property development in the US."
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On View> Psychadelic Farnsworth House installation gets a second life at a Chicago art gallery

Last year artists Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero led a collaborative effort to take over Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House with kaleidoscopic light and video loops. That project, INsite, followed similar work at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater and Robie House, and imbued Mies' modernist touchstone with a vivacity often lacking in the contemporary experience of midcentury interiors. (Read AN's review of Luftwerk's INsite installation here.) Now that work will live on as a show, INsite ONview, which runs September 11 – November 15 at the Matthew Rachman Gallery in Chicago. Photographer Kate Joyce's images of the original installation will be on display, along with “dynamic, kinetic ephemera based on the installation.” Luftwerk also recently announced they would mount an installation at Chicago's Garfield Park Conservatory. That project, dubbed solarise, opens September 23.
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SO-IL’s design for this ambitious art gallery in Brooklyn responds to the neighborhood’s industrial past

Brooklyn-based architecture firm SO-IL is adding to its portfolio of art galleries. Slated to open in 2017, Artes Amant will house 14,250 square feet of exhibition, storage, and studio spaces behind its confident concrete facade. Lit by windows strategically placed along the edges of the building, the interior spaces promise to play with the perception of light and shadow, plane and line. The gallery will be located in Brooklyn and its form is "visually and spatially marked by its industrial past," according to SO-IL's website. SO-IL continues:
The self-supporting geometry of these shells exists in tension with programming, light, and circulation. The constant calibration of these constraints inform the contours of the building. Apertures in the shells capture and carry natural light into a nearly edgeless interior, challenging the perception of a defined space. Across the building's exterior, edges and seams slip in and out of appearance. Throughout the building's suppleness and muted palette play with ambiguity and legibility; neither monumental nor prosaic, instead it entices.
  Judging from the section drawings, there will be some interesting volumes to explore on the top floor of the four-story building. The fluid form of the building bears some resemblance to the firm's earlier Kukje Art Center in Seoul, South Korea. [Via Clad.]