Posts tagged with "art gallery":

New Boston artspace ICA Watershed designed by Anmahian Winton to open next week

The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston will soon occupy both banks of the Boston Harbor (Seaport and East Boston) as its exhibition space, ICA Watershed, opens to the public on July 4. The new extension was designed by Cambridge-based studio Anmahian Winton Architects. The 15,000-square-foot Watershed will showcase contemporary art and was built from the ruins of an abandoned copper pipe and sheet metal facility known as the East Boston Shipyard. It is accessible by water taxi, car, and public transportation, and will open every summer from late May to early October. Anmahian Winton tore down most of the Watershed’s derelict predecessor but preserved some of its iconic elements, such as the crane, monorail hoists, and railroad tracks. They also incorporated new industrial materials such as the translucent polycarbonate walls for the facade. The architects wanted to challenge the customary “white room/black box” gallery setting and introduced an unpolished industrial space for exhibiting Boston-specific artwork. According to a statement from Anmahian Winton , “a 250-foot-long slot skylight shines through new steel trusses, allowing light to wash down the richly textured concrete-and-cinderblock surface of an existing wall that had once supported the loading and unloading of rail cars running through the building.” Each of the two end walls are particularly emphasized and hold monumental hangar doors that can be raised to open up the gallery to the shipyard and harbor. The Watershed’s inaugural exhibition was created by Los Angeles-based video artist Diana Thater. Her site-specific installations transform architectural space through projected videos. Thater’s piece at the Watershed will explore themes of nature and perception through moving images, light, and color.

Signs and Symbols gallery opens in LES with an architectural mission

Occupying the cozy interior of a former record store on Forsyth Street, Signs and Symbols is the latest art space to crop up on New York’s Lower East Side. Describing itself as a “curator’s studio and non-gallery gallery,” Signs and Symbols takes its name from a short story by Vladimir Nabokov first published in The New Yorker in 1948 (as “Symbols and Signs,” the inversion coming in a later edition), and acts as a laboratory for curatorial projects. Founded by Mitra Khorasheh and Elise Herget, Signs and Symbols’ vision is centered around three major figures of twentieth century art—Ulay, VALIE EXPORT, and Vito Acconci. As such, the space will largely focus on photography, performance, architecture, and the intersection thereof, opening with an exhibition of British artist Rachel Garrard entitled Primal Forms. Signs and Symbols had been hosting performances nomadically around the city since 2012; however, this is the first permanent physical iteration of the project. Perhaps most relevant to architecture is the focus on Vito Acconci. Acconci (1940–2017), the poet turned artist turned designer, opened Acconci Studio in the late 1980s to focus on sculptural and architectural projects. Signs and Symbols’ planned exhibitions have a number of artists whose work intersects with architecture, as well as some architects making art. Sarah Entwistle, a British architect, will be presenting her project in which she communes with her late grandfather, whom she never met, the architect Clive Entwistle. Wermke/Leinkauf, the Berlin-based artistic duo infamous for illegally climbing the Brooklyn Bridge and flying white-out U.S. flags, will be presenting photographic work engaging architecture, the built world, and the body. Brooklyn-based Drew Conrad, whose sculpture deals with buildings and their ruins, will also have a solo show. Signs and Symbols differentiates itself from galleries in another critical way—it works on a royalty model and doesn’t require exclusive representation. A platform rather than a gallery, Signs and Symbols will also be presenting performance collaborations, lectures, workshops, one-off projects, and other programming to complement the exhibitions. Finally, landing a physical location doesn’t mean Signs and Symbols plans to become rigid or stagnant—it will continue to be “a platform for re-thinking and re-adjusting,” that, like contemporary art, is “in a constant state of becoming and transforming.”

David Zwirner taps Renzo Piano to design new $50 million Chelsea gallery

Art dealer David Zwirner has announced plans for a new, five-story, $50 million gallery to be designed by Renzo Piano. The gallery will rise on a corner lot at 540 West 21st Street that is currently under demolition. The developer is Casco Development, and the gallery will be linked to a 20-story residential tower but stand as a separate structure. The gallery building will be constructed close to Zwirner's current galleries in Chelsea, which includes one on West 19th Street and one on West 20th Street. Zwirner also owns a gallery on the Upper East Side, and is set to expand in Asia, with a gallery opening in Hong Kong on January 25th. Including the West 21st Street gallery, this would bring the total number of his galleries to seven worldwide. Zwirner indicated that after the opening of his new gallery, he would probably close the gallery space on 19th Street, which he rents. As Zwirner told The New York Times, Piano is "one of my great heroes." Zwirner, who previously worked with Annabel Selldorf on his current galleries, also said that Piano was the developer's choice. While Piano is well known for his museum projects, this will be the architect's first commercial gallery. Zwirner is one of the art world's most successful dealers. This five-story building, with three floors dedicated to gallery space, would serve as a kind of calling card and headquarters for his art empire. While the design process is in the early stages, Piano told the Times that his design would emphasize “a visual psychological connection between the building and the street,” as in his design at the Whitney Museum of Art. The news comes as Zwirner prepares for a 25-year anniversary exhibition, opening this weekend on January 13th. The new gallery is scheduled to open in the fall of 2020, with groundbreaking expected sometime this spring.

el dorado rehabilitates an 100-year-old prairie mercantile into a bright art space and apartment

As of 2014, the town of Volland, Kansas, had a population of two. The near ghost town is also home to a two-story brick building that a Kansas City couple thought would make an excellent place for a gallery and artist retreat. The job of designing an unexpected space in an unsuspecting town fell to Kansas City–based el dorado inc. The collapsed roof and floors, paired with solid brick walls and limestone foundations, meant that el dorado had an empty shell to fill as it pleased.

Built in 1913 by the Kratzer brothers as a mercantile, a post office, and space for the town’s two telephones, the building was the cultural hub of the surrounding community—which was much larger then. The Dust Bowl, the Depression, and World War II all took their toll on the area and its population, and the Kratzer Brothers Mercantile closed in 1971 when co-owner (and one of the brothers) Otto Kratzer passed away.

Forty-five years later, the building has been given new life. Once again a place of gathering and community, the Volland General Store is a flexible gallery and event space with a small artist’s retreat and living quarters. A credit to the clients’ programmatic foresight and el dorado’s simple yet rich space, the Volland General Store has already been used for a photography gallery, rural electrical cooperative board meetings, corporate retreats, and a handful of ice cream socials.

_MG_2853_

From the exterior, very little has changed from what the building may have looked like 100 years ago. A simple storefront looks out over a small pad of paving and some scruffy grass. A muted gray, used throughout the project, adds to the unassuming quality, and no signage is legible from the outside.

However, the interior is a different story. By not rebuilding the second story, el dorado was able to take full advantage of two stories of windows to produce a tall, bright space for events and shows. Plaster was stripped from the walls, exposing the brick shell, while a new, carefully detailed steel structure was added to reinforce the entire building. Because el dorado has its own metal-fabricating shop in its office, it was able to have a great deal of control over this aspect of the project. Understanding that the framework would be one of the main features of the space, the firm fabricated the connections to be as clean as possible. The steel work, painted the same gray as the storefront, is also the framework for the gallery lighting. This clean, restrained touch of the front of the interior space is set in contrast to the back of the space, which is dominated by a large white mass.

This two-story block, offset on all sides from the existing building, holds the structure´s utility programs and living space. The lower level mass includes a service space for staging, catering, and show prep, as well as the public restrooms. The upper level is a studio-size apartment complete with kitchenette and bath. The simple unit takes advantage of the large original window openings and borrows additional light from the gallery space. When occupied, the apartment also increases the town’s population by nearly 50 percent, a statistic few housing projects can claim.

Lisson Gallery to open under the High Line

The much anticipated Lisson Gallery is set to open in New York next month on 504 West 24th Street underneath the High Line. The new exhibition space will be the gallery's fourth and first outside of Europe, with currently two in London and one in Milan. Designed by New York practices studioMDA and Studio Christian Wassmann, both whom have an established pedigree in gallery design, the space is formed around the foundations of the pre-High Line. In keeping with the minimalist aesthetic of the gallery's London counterparts, polished concrete is used throughout the building. An exposed all-white concrete facade will look out onto West 24th Street. A more private area for office and art handling will be housed on the building's south side. The new gallery will cover 8,500 square feet, comprising 4,500 square feet as gallery space, meanwhile 4,000 square feet will be used for the aforementioned offices, viewing spaces and storage. For the inaugural exhibition, the gallery will showcase the recent paintings of Cuban-born artist Carmen Herrera. This will last from May 3 - 18 June, 2016 and be followed by the first solo exhibition in the United States by filmmaker and artist John Akomfrah (1 July –12 August); a new installation by Ryan Gander (16 September –15 October); and an exhibition of new work by Ai Weiwei (5 November –16 December 2016). Under the supervision of Nicholas Logsdail, Lisson Gallery and curatorial support of Greg Hilty in London, the Lisson Gallery New York will seek to develop the international profile of its hosted artists, exhibiting those who have not shown in New York recently or at all.  

Respecting the SITE

When outgoing executive editor Aaron Seward handed me the reins to the Southwest edition of The Architect’s Newspaper, it was an exciting moment. I have always had an affinity for the southwest: Its specificity of place has a different kind of attraction than the over-run, predictable architecture of larger cities. Some of this is the freedom and experimentation that open space offers, but there is also a local and environmental sensitivity that runs deep. The architecture of the southwest has its own agenda, often very linked to the natural environment. Fort Worth’s Kimbell Art Museum by Louis Kahn with its new pavilion by Renzo Piano derives much of its form through a response to the searing (and art-illuminating) Texas sun. New Age constructions of places like Crestone, Colorado, and Taos, New Mexico, embody the mystique of the desert in their Zen centers and Buddhist temples, while the passive solar technologies and houses made of tires take on their environments with a radical respect for nature. These aspirations are not particular to the southwest, but the southwest does them very well. Which is why two recent projects piqued my interest. The first is the recently opened Inde/Jacobs gallery by Swedish architects Claesson Koivisto Rune (CKR) in Marfa, Texas. The building takes cues from its context, which is the legacy of minimalist art. The solution is a smart and elegantly detailed series of galleries and outdoor spaces that produce effects inspired by the likes of Donald Judd. Gallery walls float above a concrete floor, while on the exterior, windows and door shrink, making the building appear smaller. To some, CKR’s approach might seem slightly fetishized and lacking the profundity of Judd et al., but the nuance of such a strategy at least partially captures the unique spirit of the place and delivers a narrative through effects, just like the minimal works that are displayed in its gallery. Across the West Texas border, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a different story is unfolding. Another world-class institution, SITE Santa Fe, recently unveiled a new building that includes additional galleries, a 250-seat auditorium and event space, educational facilities, and a “SITElab.” The design architects are New York’s prolific SHoP Architects. It is a peculiar choice, given that ShoP’s best building is the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn and its specialty is developer-driven condominium towers. Of course there are two philosophies to hiring architects: Some prefer locals, while others bring in fresh blood. In places that don’t have tons of high-profile architecture, either choice can produce interesting architecture. The SHoP design, however, does not do its incredible context justice. The building is essentially the fourth and fifth floors of a Midtown Manhattan super-tall luxury building, cropped on the corner to look like L.A.’s Broad Museum, and cloaked in a perforated metal skin that would be more at home in Manhattan than even the most industrial parts of Santa Fe. While it is hard to refute the designers’ preconstruction claim about how the skin will filter light, it is not hard to see the vapid metaphor that they have tried to incorporate in the facade. According to a press release, it is derived from “Navajo weaving patterns,” which translates to triangles. Of course, this is what we could have expected from SHoP, which hasn’t really completed a high-profile cultural project at this level since the early 2000s. Perhaps it is a product of scaling up and scaling back down, or maybe it is an attempt to bring New York to Santa Fe. But with a place that has a natural and cultural environment so rich for architectural intervention, the new SITE Santa Fe leaves a lot to be desired. It has none of the desert weirdness or phenomenological respect for nature that other great southwest architecture has. Richard Gluckman’s original SITE building renovation kept a tastefully low profile, deferring to the remote locale. Greg Lynn’s bubble entrance was part alien, part trailer—a bizarre desert object. As for the new SITE, perhaps it is just SHoP being SHoP, and bringing a little slice of glitzy, New York-caliber, totalizing gentrification to the sublime desert landscape. Paradoxically, that might be super interesting, but I doubt it.

Kengo Kuma reveals shimmering new Wuxi Vanke Art Gallery in China

Using aluminum casts that have been drilled to allow light to filter through, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has created a tranquil space that is the Vanke Art Gallery. Located in the Wuxi province, just West of Shanghai, the gallery's amoeba-like footprint is derived from the shape of the local Taihu Lake stone that was once at the epicenter of Taihu culture in China. Kuma's project also involved the renovation of a former cotton mill that is also part of the gallery complex. The curvaceous aluminum-panelled facade wraps around the main structure, clad with glass, giving it a wide berth. These panels allow light to permeate through myriad gaps and gently illuminate the interior gallery. Because the facade was placed in front of the actual glass elevation, the effects of shadowing are exaggerated. Meanwhile, light is also allowed to reflect off water that bridges the gap between these two facades. In some places, this shallow pool of water's footprint extends beyond that of the aluminum facade. As a result, three distinct footprints interplay, with the water acting as the initial threshold, of a series of three, between the public and private space. The water, as the primary threshold, also establishes a calm and tranquil environment, something Kuma was eager to construct with the area's history of being home to a bustling brick-built cotton mill. This is then reinforced via light filtering through and the choice of materiality. Kuma, while disrupting the function within the immediate vicinity also instills a sense of tradition, drawing on the history of Lake Taihu, where the form of the Taihu stone comes from. Wuxi Vanke Art which occupies a combined 112,375 square feet also offers spaces for commercial functions and offices within the two structures.