Creative Drive Studios 55 Water Street – 3rd floor Manhattan, NY May 3-5, 2019 12:00pm – 6:00pm Opening Event: 5:00pm, Saturday, May 4th, 2019 Creative Drive Studios is pleased to present No One Listening, a solo exhibition of new works by Pedro Mesa, organized by María Alejandra Sáenz and John Michael Elammar. Historically, Latin American artists reframed the aesthetics and methodology of Minimalism and Conceptualism while incorporating political undertones as a way to confront power dynamics. By producing his work in New York, Mesa collides these two worlds and modes of thought, while maintaining historical precedence, as well as confronting contemporary discourse to implant himself within the broader context of art-making and cultural production. The exhibition will feature recent works that encapsulate the duality of disruption while embracing tradition. Pedro Mesa (b. 1989, Bogotá, Colombia) is an interdisciplinary artist and writer currently living and working in New York. Mesa received his MFA in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts, NYC (2018) and BFA in Fine Arts and BA in Literature from the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá (2014). He recently joined as a faculty member of the BFA Fine Arts department at the School of Visual Arts. Mesa has exhibited his work at the Museum of Modern Art of Bogotá, the China Academy of Art CAA Museum in Hang Zhou, China, The Center for History, Memory, and Peace in Bogotá, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Bogotá, at DUNE Studios in Brooklyn, the SVA Chelsea Gallery in NYC, and most recently at Pulse Contemporary Art Fair, Miami Beach. María Alejandra Sáenz and John Michael Elammar are curators and writers based in New York City.
Posts tagged with "contemporary art":
Architect Peter Marino is opening his contemporary art collection to the public and has revealed plans for an eponymous art foundation and accompanying museum in Southampton, New York. The architect, who was recently stripped of awards by the AIA because of harassment charges, is no stranger to designing gallery spaces, but Marino is also well known as a collector, having amassed several thousand pieces of art from across the late 20th and 21st centuries. Marino announced the creation of the Peter Marino Art Foundation during the opening ceremony of Counterpoint: Selections from The Peter Marino Collection at the Southampton Arts Center. The show, which runs from July 28 through September 23, pulls from Marino’s personal collection and includes work from artists that range from Robert Mapplethorpe to Damien Hirst. The show also includes sculptures and photographs from Marino’s completed architectural projects and gardens. The Peter Marino Art Foundation will be housed in the building next to the Southampton Arts Center, in what was originally the Rogers Memorial Library. The two-story, 8,000-square-foot red brick building at 11 Jobs Lane was designed by R.H. Robertson and completed in 1896. The building has been used to house pop-up retail and an interior design firm after the Parrish Art Museum, which had been using the library as an annex, departed for the neighboring town of Water Mill in 2012. Marino has purchased the building and plans to begin renovating the former library in September 2019, with an estimated opening date sometime in 2020. The foundation will focus on exhibiting work from local visual artists in addition to showcasing Marino’s own collection and will host rotating shows from guest artists as well as workshops and educational programming. When asked for comment, Marino mentioned the tight-knit nature of communities in the Hamptons. “When the Parish museum left for Watermill it unfortunately left a hole in Southampton, in terms of dedication to the visual arts within the village,” said Marino. “We intend to restore 11 Jobs Lane to its original purpose. Counterpoint: Selections from The Peter Marino Collection is a taste of the art that will be at the Peter Marino Art Foundation. Hopefully it will be a premier spot for art, for anywhere in the world. “My wife and I have been here since the early 90s and we came here because we love the village of Southampton. We love the village, we love the trees, we love Lake Agawam, the inlet, the ducks and the swans. I’ve been working on architectural projects in the Hamptons for over 30 years. For my own home, I’ve been working on its gardens (in Southampton) for over 20 years.” No cost estimates for either the purchase of the building or construction have been given. Marino has stated that he hopes the foundation will be able to work in tandem with the adjacent Southampton Arts Center to further both institutions.
The Los Angeles Museum County Museum of Art (LACMA) and Nuevo Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Guatemala have launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring Guatemala’s first and only contemporary art museum to the United States. The museum—colloquially known as NuMu—is contained within a five-square-meter egg-shaped pod that can hold up to four people at a time. Jessica Kairé and Stefan Benchoam, the artist-organizers behind the museum, plan to build a mobile replica of the structure that would go on tour through creative communities in Guatemala, Mexico, and the American Southwest. The museum would eventually end its journey at LACMA in Los Angeles in time to join celebrations for the city’s Pacific Standard Time festival of exhibitions due to take place this Fall. Pacific Standard Time is being organized to strengthen existing connections between Southern California–based artists and art institutions and their peers throughout Central and South America. The pod will be included in a group exhibition organized by LACMA called “A Universal History of Infamy;” The exhibition will focus on the work of more than 15 artists and collectives that delve into anthropology, theater, and linguistics via their work. So far, the Kickstarter has garnered over $21,000 in pledges. The ultimate goal of the initiative is to raise $75,000. See the NuMu Kickstarter page for more information.
In its upcoming event, Latin American Circle Presents: An Evening of Performance, the Guggenheim Museum in New York will host three Latin American performance artists whose work ranges from dancing architecture to musical kitchen tools. Guatemalan artist Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa’s piece, A Brief History of Architecture in Guatemala, “examine[s] the tendency of architecture to memorialize regimes of power and exploitation” through the art of dance. Each dancers’ costumes will represent some of the more iconic and historic building types of Mesoamerica, including a Mayan pyramid, colonial church, and modernist block. Rio de Janeiro–based collective OPAVIVARÁ! will turn kitchen tools into instruments to explore the parallels of celebration and protest, and Argentinian artist Amalia Pica will use two dozen participants to present some of the issues with democratic communication. The event is part of the Guggenheim’s recent initiatives to diversify its collection and programming and feature more contemporary Latin American art. The event will take place in the Guggenheim’s Frank Lloyd Wright rotunda on May 5 from 7 to 9 pm. For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, please visit the Guggenheim website here.
James Turrell rooms, a 15-ton Louise Bourgeois sculpture, and many site-specific works feature in MASS MoCA expansion
The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) is about to become the largest museum of contemporary art in America. Sitting at the heart of downtown North Adams, the sprawling museum inhabits a hodgepodge of 26 structures, all former 19th-century factory buildings, and the largest of which has just completed renovation. When it opens, Building 6 will add 150,000 square feet to the museum’s already impressive capacity, almost doubling it in size. The building boasts almost an acre per floor plate and is wedged at the convergence of the Hoosic River, making it an odd triangular shape. The point of the triangle marks the end of the museum and is highlighted with a newly-created double-height wall of west-facing windows looking out at the surrounding mountains. With such a large amount of ground to cover, the design team at Cambridge, Massachusetts–based Bruner/Cott & Associates decided to treat the space as a landscape, with artist-dedicated rooms and two-story volumes punctuating the relentlessly horizontal space, according to lead designer and Principal Jason Forney. Altogether, Building 6 brings MASS MoCA’s total gallery square footage to 250,000 square feet, of which 40,000 square feet of space is dedicated to the performing arts. (Performing arts makes up about 50 percent of the museum’s programming.) With new event spaces and an expanded back-of-house in Building 6, the museum is now more equipped to cater to their summer music festival crowds and provide artists with more workshop space to realize their art. As the latest addition comes together, teams of fabricators and curators are working to realize some of the complex site-specific works that will soon call MASS MoCA home. In the exhibit of works by James Turrell, whose pieces require large volumes of space, a team of nineteen people has been working since December. Because Turrell uses light and color fields, it was important for him to provide visitors with moments of visual quiet to help their eyes adjust between the different atmospheres, which he was able to coordinate with the design team. Where Turrell required volume and circulation, MASS MoCA's new Louise Bourgeois artwork required beefing up the already hardy structure. The museum will host several of her marble sculptures, one of which weighs 15 tons. In order accommodate these pieces, a new concrete structure and steel fillers were added, and a hole was cut into the side of the building to crane the sculptures into place. It may sound like a lot of gymnastics, but as Director Joseph C. Thompson put it, it’s what Mass MoCA was designed to do. It is also what makes MASS MoCA such a unique art-viewing experience. Where most museums are washed in white, painstakingly designed to maximize lighting and minimize distractions, Building 6 is well-worn, dominated by relentless columns and flooded with natural light from its hundreds of windows. It is unmistakably an old mill and yet, somehow, it works. “The buildings, as you can see, are almost painfully beautiful, but they’re tough. They’re rugged, vernacular, raw, American industrial buildings,” said Thompson. “So the work we show here can either stand up to that or it looks beautiful in juxtaposition to that.” The building’s ‘rugged’ and ‘raw’ aesthetic is preserved, but not without a few alterations. Columns were removed where necessary and replaced with “ghosts,” or wooden caps in the floor. New steel columns were placed to bear the burden of their ‘ghosted’ brethren and were painted with white fire-protectant paint, standing in stark contrast to their weathered wooden neighbors. Rather than disguise the alterations to preserve the building’s character, each intrusion was highlighted as a visual index of the building’s new life. “I think you can be too tentative and have too much respect for the old when it doesn’t deserve it,” said Forney. “This building was altered and changed to accommodate whatever operation it had going so we started to see this as just a continuation of all the changes that had happened over time. It was about preserving this living museum instead of preserving each wall or each window.” The new space promises to be an intriguing precedent for future museums and, if nothing else, will be a great place to get your steps in walking the almost four miles of galleries. MASS MoCA will open Building 6 on May 28 and will house works from James Turrell, Louise Bourgeois, Jenny Holzer, Laurie Anderson, Gunnar Schonbeck, and many others. For more information about the museum and to visit the new space, visit MASS MoCA’s website here.
A crowdfunding campaign for a magazine that explores identity through art, architecture, and social science
Can a penis be relieved of its supposed maleness—mere flesh in a psychic void? Façadomy is a new publication that explores themes in contemporary identity through the lenses of art, architecture, and social science. It's inaugural issue, Gender Talents, is currently in the midst of a crowdsourcing campaign on Kickstarter. Gender Talents explores the landscape of self-determined gender. It builds off the work of progressive sexologist Esben Esther P. Benestad, who has observed seven distinct genders in their practice as a therapist in Norway. Three prominent voices in contemporary art and architecture reflect on these seven themes, intersecting gender with notions of performativity, race, sexuality, and the built environment. Andreas Angelidakis, an architect and curator based in Athens, imagines each gender through avatars which take the unlikely form of buildings and esoteric furniture. These examples from the built environment weave human-scale metaphors that draw parallels between contemporary ruins and the sinking regimes of traditional masculine/feminine dynamics. Supporting this campaign funds the mass production of Gender Talents and helps to proliferate a deeper understanding of gender in the 21st century. Knowledge is the only weapon we have against the adversity and violence that people outside of the gender majorities face on a daily basis. This reality only worsens when it's compounded by sexuality, class and race Slogans and buzzwords are an important part of activism, but can only serve as the gateway to rich political ideas that warrant further consideration from curious minds.
(Those interested can read Female-ness, Corb, and Contraband, a previous Façadomy post featuring text by Andreas Angelidakis and others.)
A white elephant in Indiana's capital city may see new life after decades of decay—with a little help from modern art. When it opened in 1909, Indianapolis' old city hall building inspired the mayor, Charles A. Bookwalter, to remark: “I believe that in all the years to come no citizen, man, woman, or child, will pass this corner and read that motto without feeling responsibility for good citizenship in this city of ours.” By 1962 city and county government had outgrown the neoclassical building, designed by architects Rubush & Hunter, and it has served as temporary exhibition space ever since. Now the Louisville-based developers 21c Museum Hotels plans to redevelop Old City Hall along with an adjacent lot, pumping $55 million into a mixed-use development centered on a new museum of contemporary art. According to the project announcement, the property will feature “a boutique hotel with approximately 150 rooms, guest suites with private terraces on the rooftop, art-filled meeting and event spaces and a unique chef-driven food and beverage concept showcasing local and regional farmers and producers.” City Hall itself appears destined for an art museum that will feature rotating exhibitions and remain open to the public, free of charge. “Arts-related tenants” will occupy the second, third and fourth floors of Old City Hall. 21c has signed on frequent collaborator, New York City–based Deborah Berke Partners to design the project. Berke is also signed on to design a new building for Cummins in Indianapolis, proposing a glassy, bending form and extensively landscaped public spaces for the fuel systems manufacturer. A bit less than half of the project financing will be loans from the federal government and local officials, as well as historic tax credits, if the developers get their way. If that happens, city officials will be fulfilling a promise to redevelop the municipal building, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and factors into Indianapolis' City 2020 masterplan. “When I became the director I felt a certain pull to do something,” said Adam Thies, Indy's director of metropolitan development. “Letting it sit vacant was akin to letting it slip away from the memory of civic consciousness,” Thies made the remarks in a video about the project for The Bicentennial Plan for Indianapolis. https://vimeo.com/98892394
Change is underway at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art. At a press conference Friday MCA officials revealed that the institution is working on a new image, new programming and even a new master plan for the museum's space led by Los Angeles–based design firm Johnston Marklee. The announcement was timed to coincide with the last push of a major fundraising campaign. The museum has quietly raised $60 million in recent years, nearing a “vision campaign” goal of $64 million. Today they revealed their latest donation: $10 million from Kenneth Griffin, an MCA trustee who is also the richest man in Illinois. MCA's fourth floor galleries will now bear his name. “We've been thinking about what a 21st Century museum looks like,” said Madeleine Grynsztejn, MCA's director. Citing figures from the National Endowment for the Arts, Grynsztejn said the museum needs to become more “responsive” to the community—“a civic institution of local necessity and international distinction.” Part of that mission includes converting the cafe space into an “engagement zone” for public events, performances and education. Museum goers looking for a snack will have to find it on the first floor, where a new restaurant will front onto Pearson Street. Those and other changes to the 1996, Josef Paul Kleihues–designed building's programming are part of a new masterplan currently in development at the offices of architects Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee. Dutch designers Armand Mevis and Linda Van Deursen of the firm Mevis & Van Deursen also designed a new logo for the museum—part of a larger campaign to rebrand the museum and reengage with a public tempted to seek out art online or otherwise outside the Streeterville museum's walls. MCA has had some success reinvigorating popular conversation about contemporary art with its David Bowie Is exhibition, which recently wrapped up its run at the museum after drawing nearly 200,000 visitors—an MCA record, according to Grynsztejn. “The Bowie show challenged the MCA to raise our game,” she said. That could include expanding hours or more drastically reconsidering the museum's model, Grynsztejn wondered aloud Friday. But it will definitely include more shows for young artists on the cusp of a breakout, said curator Michael Darling, as well as more interactive exhibitions. Darling pointed to an upcoming residency by the Grammy-winning chamber group Eighth Blackbird, which he said would include unannounced and improvised performances throughout the museum, with the intent to connect the public with contemporary music and the process of creating it.
In August the London creative club Soho House set up shop in Chicago, carving out a chic space for itself amid the city's hotel, dining and cocktail scenes by retrofitting an industrial building in the Fulton Market District. Designers touted the balance of “grit and glamor” in the new Soho House at the time, beckoning self-identifying creative types to the former belting factory at 113-125 North Green Street. With the launch of its first annual “art week” in January, Soho House announced itself as somewhat of a gallery, as well, unveiling a site-specific installation by Damien Hirst. Hirst, the wildly successful London artist and development dabbler, created for Soho House Chicago a “painting” made of butterflies, mounted behind frosted glass that outlines the word “CHICAGO”. It hangs 15 feet or so above the heads of guests sipping cocktails or checking into Soho House's hotel. Hirst's previous work with butterflies—famously letting them live their lives inside an art gallery—has garnered international attention, as well as a fair share of criticism from animal rights advocates. Museum of Contemporary Art Associate Curator Julie Rodriguez Widholm welcomed the piece, noting that Soho House and MCA shared an appetite for modern and contemporary art, having both previously shown work by artists like Rashid Johnson and Angel Otero.
With strong architectural ties in Maine and an interest in cultural building design throughout her career, New York City–based architect Toshiko Mori has been chosen to redesign the Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA). Currently in the same historic Rockport firehouse since 1967, the Mori-designed CMCA will move the arts center to a larger site in the city of Rockland and update it with a building contemporaneous to the art it houses. Work on the project is set to begin as soon as environmental and engineering tests are completed at the museum’s current site. The new center in Rockland plans an opening in time for the 2015 museum season. Of the commission, Mori stated: “I have been associated with mid-coast Maine in the last thirty years, and I am especially excited to make a contribution to promote contemporary arts in Maine."