With the plethora of contemporary art on view in New York during Armory Arts week, it has been instructive to note the contribution by architects to the design of these temporary exhibition spaces, and the use of interesting architectural spaces. The fairs are often held in structures originally used for other purposes — piers, parking facilities, drill halls — so the task has been to not only carve out space for display, but to move viewers (and buyers) with flexibility and ease and to provide an enticing environment. Fair organizers have turned to young architects for these interior layouts, or have chosen compelling venues. Piers 92 and 94, the site of the Armory Show, was designed by Bade Stageberg Cox (BSC), as they have since 2012. The theme this year is “Thresholds,” and the intention is to slow down the sprint through the seemingly endless rows of displays. The large ticket desk is a transitional space to cushion entry. On the floor is dark grey carpeting punctuated by light grey rectangles to demarcate lounges and areas of respite. Cut-throughs permit easier navigation, rather than having to hit the end of a long corridor before round the corner to the next row. Thankfully, a staircase has been reintroduced between the two piers (last year one was forced into the cold outside) which has been cloaked in translucent fabric. BSC also designed seating used throughout the lounge areas. The Independent, held in the old Dia Building on West 22nd Street, engaged architects Andrew Feuerstein and Bret Quagliara, who created a layout inspired by the tangram, a Chinese “dissection” puzzle that uses many triangles and is said to help develop spatial reasoning skills. Diagonal walls demarcate the 40 galleries on three floors, but there are no “booths” so the artwork bleeds together in flowing sight lines. The result is that the components feel part of a wider whole. The architects worked with gallerists to tailor the spaces based on the work they planned to exhibit. Each floor has large windows on the north and south sides which bathe the space with natural light. The site of Scope art is the Skylight at Moynihan Station. This would seem to indicate an upper aerie, but it is actually the working back-end of the McKim, Mead and White James A. Farley Post Office entered on West 33rd Street. The skylit postal dock and mail sorting rooms are now an open industrial shed subdivided into gallery booths and lounges. Natural light from above is perfect for showing art. The Moving Image Art Fair is at the Tunnel, 220 Twelfth Avenue, a former warehouse turned nightclub, where Grimshaw’s offices are located. And the Art Dealers Association’s The Art Show is held at the majestic Park Avenue Armory, which was just renovated by Herzog & de Meuron. Not a temporary art fair, but another contemporary art extravaganza opened this week—the Whitney Biennial (closes may May 25). It will be the last one to be held in the Marcel Breuer building on Madison Avenue. One of the three curators, Anthony Elms, kept returning to a question he found in the notes that Breuer made when designing the building: “What should a museum look like, a museum in Manhattan?” For Elms, “just as Breuer’s Whitney with its heavy walls and retreating facade — unapologetically sets its own material and temporal identity against the city’s quotidian business rhythms,” his installation features works central to this thinking, in particular Zoe Leonard’s camera obscura called 945 Madison Avenue, 2014, that uses the large, trapezoidal window on the 4th floor to bring the inverted image of the city inside. The museum itself become a frame for creative investigation. Artist Sergei Tcherepnin, chosen by another curator, Stuart Comer, attached transducers (devices that convert signals into vibrations) onto eight Breuer light fixtures in the lobby, which make the overhead lighting into synthesizer “speaker-instruments” channeling sounds from the building itself in Ambient Marcel (Waiting, Working, Erupting), 2014. Biennial artworks with architectural references of note include John Mason’s Vertical Torque, White, 1997; Joel Otterson’s 187 Bottoms Up, 2013, Sheila Hick’s Pillar of Inquiry/Supple Column, 2013-14; Ken Lum’s Midway Shopping Plaza, 2014; Martin Wong’s Closed, 1984-85; Lisa Anne Auerbach’s American Magazine #2, 2014; and Etel Adnan’s New York From the Triborough Bridge to South of Manhattan New York, May 21, 1990. At the fairs, architectural works included Yutaka Sone’s Little Manhattan, 2007-2009 (Armory, David Zwirner); Kim Jones’s Doll House, 1974-2013 (Armory, Pierogi), Ahmed Mater’s Metropolis, 2013 and Ground Zero I (Armory, Athr Gallery), Do Ho Suh’s Specimen Series: Berlin Apartment, 2011 (Armory, Lehmann Maupin); Paul Ramirez Jonas’s Admit one: Tishman Auditorium, 2012 (Armory, Nara Roesler); Chen Sai Hua Kuan’s Space Drawing No. 7, 2010 (Moving Image, Osage); Nicole Cohen’s Champagne Room, 2013 (Moving Image, Morgan Lehman); Charles LeDray’s Picnic, 2005-2013 (ADAA, Sperone Westwater); Gavin Turk’s Small Door (Yellow & Green), 2013 (ADAA, David Nolan); Roxy Paine’s Emulsion, 2012 (ADAA, Marianne Boesky); James Castle’s booth (ADAA, Peter Freeman); Vera Lutter’s Fulton Ferry Landing, Brooklyn, May 21, 1996 (ADAA, Weinstein); Kelly Reemtsen’s Eames Rust Side Chair Right View, 2007 (Scope, De Buck); and David Kramer’s Night Moves, 2014 (Scope, Long-Sharp) features the headline “I Should Have Bought Real Estate” over a nighttime skyline.
Posts tagged with "Whitney Museum":
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.
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.
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.
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.]
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.
Lyonel Feininger: At the Edge of the World Whitney Museum of American Art 945 Madison Ave. at 75th St. New York, NY 10021 T 212-570-3600 “The ultimate aim of all artistic activity is the building! Let us desire, conceive, and create the new building of the future together. . . [and it] will one day rise towards the heavens from the hands of a million workers as the crystalline symbol of a new and coming faith,” Walter Gropius boldly declared in his 1919 “Bauhaus Manifesto,” laying the foundations for a new architecture and a modern approach to design. Seeking to reunite the artist and artisan together, the founders of the Bauhaus looked to medieval guilds as a model for a new design school that would combine the arts and design under one roof. To illustrate the manifesto, Gropius selected a woodcut by American-born German artist Lyonel Feininger, titled, “Cathedral,” an abstracted depiction of a late Gothic church. This collaboration marked Lyonel Feininger’s first involvement with the Bauhaus—he would be later hired to teach printmaking—that would continue until the school was closed under pressure from the Nazis in 1933. Until October 16th, “Cathedral” is on display at the Whitney Museum of American Art as part of the retrospective, Lyonel Feininger: At the Edge of the World. It is the first show in the U.S. to include the full range of Feininger’s work. The exhibit begins with his whimsical street scenes filled with bright, saturated colors; there are also his Chicago Tribune “Kin-der-Kids” comics, his black and white photographs of the Bauhaus, hand-carved miniature buildings, and his prism-like, Cubist inspired portrayals of towns and seascapes. At the Edge of the World captures the expansive diversity of Feininger’s German and American subjects, formal expression, and mediums. The exhibit design is simple and fluid, if conventional for a contemporary retrospective: Feininger’s work is organized chronologically rather than thematically, arranged on white walls, with ample breathing space between pieces. A 1925 Time magazine review of a “Blue Four” exhibition in Manhattan, which included Feininger’s work alongside Alexej von Jawlensky, Wassily Kandinsky, and Paul Klee, straightforwardly declared that in modern art, “Artists should put down lines, lay on colors, with the simple purpose of giving the eyes an adventure.” The Whitney succeeds in conveying the exciting experimentation between art and design, so central to Feininger’s work and the Bauhaus vision.
Capping Santa Monica. Curbed LA got some great renderings from students at USC who where charged with imagining even more highway caps for the Pacific Coast Highway, this time from Arizona to California Avenues. Beyond freeway parks, the students proposed housing, hotels, and community centers. Breaking Whitney. With the deal signed for the Met to take over the Whitney's Breuer building on Madison, directors at the ground breaking for the new branch at the High Line had all the more reason to celebrate. DNA reminds readers that the museum is actually retuning home. Ol' Gerty got the ball rolling on 8th Street way back in 1930. Dylan Sings. Happy B-day Bobby! Bob Dylan turned 70 on Tuesday and in celebration the Infrastructurist presents Dylan's Ten Best Infrastructure Songs, including "The Levee's Gonna Break" and "Marchin' to the City." Old School. Design New Haven has the Robert A.M. Stern drawings for "street calming measures" at Yale that are part of the $600 million for renovations, including two new residential colleges. The plan includes mixed use buildings intended to encourage street life at all hours and improved access to the Farmington Canal Greenway .
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)