The Bowery is undergoing a renaissance and facelift with new restaurants and hotels sprouting along the once seedy avenue - Peels, Boulud's DBGB, the Bowery Hotel, the New Museum, and now today, Sperone Westwater gallery has switched allegiance over to the Lower East Side, and moved into their new Norman Foster designed building at 257 Bowery.
After circumventing troupes of PR people at the door I entered a beautifully lit narrow space filled with collectors turned out in handsome attire. The polite, rarefied atmosphere within was in contrast to the hustlers outside generally kept at bay by the price of admission at the New Museum next door.
The building, designed by Foster and Partners, features a 12 by 20 foot moving gallery that connects four floors and allows visitors to move between the many levels. This specially designed moving room also allows the exhibition space to be extended in the vertically inclined building of 8 stories.
Norman Foster says:
Like a kinetic addition to the street, it is a lively symbol of the area's reinvention and a daring response to the Sperone Westwater's major program. I hope that artists will be inspired by the gallery's new spatial and structural possibilities.
I imagine their daring will also be measured by the gallery's ability to assimilate and embrace the energy of the LES, which such galleries as Lehmann Maupin, Eleven, and Salon94 have successfully done.
The inaugural exhibition in the moving room is of Guillermo Kuitca's, Le Sacre (1992), comprising of maps painted onto 54 mattresses, and for the first time, these beds are being vertically displayed as originally envisioned by the artist. The beds cover the wall's surface, while the room, much like a palatial elevator, moves slowly between the 2nd and 3rd floors.
Guillermo Kuitca: Paintings 2008-2010, Le Sacre 1992
22 September 2010 through 6 November 2010 at Sperone Westwater Gallery 257 Bowery, NYC