March 14 | New York’s art scene looks set to expand and diverge
Brooklyn’s Batclave harks back to its industrial roots with the help of Tate Modern Power Station duo, Herzog & de Meuron. Meanwhile, the West Chelsea art gallery scene will expand dramatically with an additional 15 spaces added to its crowd, along with the new concept ‘High Line Nine’ galleria. In other news, archives acquired for photographers Annie Leibovitz and Allan Sekula to go on public display.
Brooklyn’s Batclave: graffiti haven to remain a factory of the arts
Located on Third Street Bridge over the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, the derelict warehouse — otherwise known as the Batclave — is poised for a rebirth. The nonprofit Powerhouse Environmental Arts Foundation has initiated plans to secure the space as cultural hub for artists and manufacturers alike. The forgotten Central Power Station of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company, commercially barren for the past 50 years, stands as a lone reminder of the district’s industrial past. From the early 2000s onwards, the space gathered the homeless youth of the area, and soon transformed into a mecca for squatters and young artists.
The Powerhouse Workshop will incorporate metalwork, woodwork, printmaking, ceramics and fiber art-making spaces, as well as an exhibition space, in its metamorphosis. Designed by the lucrative, Pritzker Prize-winning Swiss firm, Herzog & de Meuron, the project will attempt to construct something of a reversal of its break-out project, the Tate Modern. Where the old Bankside Power Station in London was transformed into one of the most popular museums in the world, the Powerhouse team will return the Batclave to its industrial past. More info available via The New York Times.
© Will Ellis, "The Batcave"
Developers bet wildly on New York’s expanding art scene
Sparked by developer Related Cos, New York’s thriving West Chelsea art gallery scene looks set to expand substantially. The company has set out plans to add 15 new gallery spaces in and around its luxury condominium project on 520 W. 28th Street.
The new concept gallery ‘High Line Nine’ is also set to make its mark. A galleria with a cafe, wine bar and other amenities will house nine art galleries, situated just beneath the adjacent, elevated High Line park. The price of the project is unknown.
A 5,000 square-foot space will house the Paul Kasmin Gallery, serving to expand the already-established Mr. Kasmin’s collection of spaces in the area from three to four. Details via The Wall Street Journal.
The High Line Nine, courtesy of Related Companies
54-Volume Encyclopedia on African Culture
Ghanaian writer and art historian, Nana Oforiatta-Ayim, to create a comprehensive archive of African art and culture.
It was in 2009, at the University of London, where Oforiatta-Ayim began her Ph.D. research into African languages and cultures at the School of Oriental and African Studies. She quickly realized “the narrative that is told about Africa is still the backward narrative: no innovation, it’s ahistorical and stuck.” The Cultural Encyclopaedia project will manifest as “a re/ordering of knowledge, narratives and representations from and about the African continent.”
Hoping to create a comprehensive chronicle of art, collected via each African country, the Encyclopaedia will be comprised of 54 separate volumes–one per country.
Nana Oforiatta-Ayim, The Cultural Encyclopaedia Project
LUMA Foundation acquires Annie Leibovitz Archive
The Zurich-based nonprofit LUMA Foundation, earlier today, announced they will be housing the archives of esteemed American photographer, Annie Leibovitz.
Parc des Ateliers, the foundation’s outpost in Arles, France, will host the first of a series of major projects dedicated to the portrait photographer, titled “Annie Leibovitz Archive Project #1: The Early Years.” Premiering May 27, the show will run through September 24. No further details are yet known, although, in a statement made today, LUMA revealed that the exhibition “traces her development as a young artist, and follows her successes in the 1970s as she documented the culture that defined this pivotal era.” More on ARTnews.
Photographer Annie Leibovitz © Liz O. Baylen/Los Angeles Times
Photographer Allan Sekula’s papers to be archived by Getty
The Getty Research Institute recently acquired some 400 boxes of Allan Sekula’s papers. They include correspondence, records, photographs, research materials, and archival notes that once belonged to the American documentary photographer, who passed away in 2013. Though the archive is not yet accessible, it is in the process of being catalogued and will be made available soon for research purposes.
This archive documents his practice as an artist and writer, and cements his name as one of the most prolific critics of recent contemporary art and photography. Sekula (1951–2013) “pioneered a form of socially committed documentary work that, in the wake of conceptual art, rethought photographic practice and its significance.” For more info see Getty.
Allan Sekula, "Feminine Life in the Suburbs" (1973)