Tucked away in the corporate international style Citigroup Center in midtown Manhattan lies a spiritual sanctuary designed by one of the 20th century's great artists. The Chapel of the Good Shepherd, also known as the Nevelson Chapel, is the work of Louise Nevelson, a flamboyant New York City sculptor who rose to prominence for her postwar abstract assemblages that turned street detritus into enigmatic works of art. An interdisciplinary team is restoring the space, both conserving the painted relief sculptures that line the walls and installing modern mechanical systems to better condition the room. The Nevelson Chapel is a privately owned public space (POPS) in the Citigroup Center, which opened in 1977 and features a distinctive raised base and a slanted roof. The building was landmarked in 2017. POPS began in 1961 when New York City started offering developers FAR bonuses on developments if they would build public spaces as part of the projects. Dozens of these areas are now scattered through the city. As a POPS, the chapel is open to visitors. Saint Peter’s Church originally commissioned the chapel and currently operates the space as part of their worship areas in the complex. The restoration is part of a $5.7 million initiative made possible by donations from nonprofits and individuals, many of whom are connected to Saint Peter's. Objects Conservation Studio and Pratt Institute students are treating painted wood surfaces to reveal Nevelson's original paint using a technique developed in Florence, Italy. Jane Greenwood of Kostow Greenwood Architects, Michael Ambrosino of ADS Engineers, Michael Henry of Watson & Henry Associates, Ryoko Nakamura of Loop Lighting, and Sarah Sutton of Sustainable Museums are installing new lighting and mechanical services. According to the Saint Peter's website, the Nevelson Chapel is accessible every day at almost any hour. The chapel will be open while the artwork is being restored through October 15, after which time more intense construction will take place, and the chapel will close. The space is scheduled to reopen in spring 2019.
Posts tagged with "Louise Nevelson":
The March 2016 opening of Hauser Wirth & Schimmel’s Arts District complex is getting closer and the gallery just announced its inaugural Los Angeles exhibition: Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947–2016. The all-female show will fill the galleries and outdoor spaces of the former Globe Mills complex retrofitted by Annabelle Selldorf of New York City's Selldorf Architects with Creative Space, Los Angeles. The campus will include a bookstore, a publications lab, a bar and restaurant, a garden and courtyards, and commissioned permanent artworks that engage the architecture. Co-curated by Paul Schimmel, former chief curator at MOCA, and art historian and critic Jenni Sorkin, Revolution in the Making highlights 100 works that illustrate a changing approach to practice, abstraction, installation, craft, and tactility. The press release makes a case for contemporary lessons from many of these now-historical works: “The exhibition examines how elements that are central to art today—including engagement with found, experimental, and recycled materials, as well as an embrace of contingency, imperfection, and unstructured play—were propelled by the work of women who, in seeking new means to express their own voices, dramatically expanded the definition of sculpture.” Featured artists include postwar practitioners Ruth Asawa, Lee Bontecou, Louise Bourgeois, Claire Falkenstein and Louise Nevelson, as well as radical influencers from the 1960s and '70s: Eva Hesse, Sheila Hicks, and Yayoi Kusama. The curators also included groupings of work by “postmodern” and contemporary artists working in environmental, installation, and performance modes, including Isa Genzken, Liz Larner, and Jessica Stockholder. Jackie Winsor’s sculpture 30 to 1 Bound Trees will be exhibited in center of Hauser Wirth & Schimmel’s outdoor courtyard. A 20 foot-high mast of white birch saplings and hemp rope, the piece is being recreated for the first time since 1971.