Friday, September 24, 2010

Sperone Westwater Gallery

Sperone Westwater Gallery by Foster + Partners

Photos by Nigel Young for Foster + Partners


Arriving at the Sperrone Westwater Gallery on Tuesday I was thrilled to walk through the gorgeous front black metal and glass doors, peeking through them beforehand can give you a slight sense of the space and a glimpse of the painting at the far end of the building. 
The edifice is slipped in between two other brownstones, like a unique missing puzzle bit that suddenly makes the whole block light up. I call it "The Lipstick" since it reminds me of my Chanel red. With the red lift slowly coming up in the black compact beholder. The fact that we can see this lift/moving room/ gallery from the outside and as well as walk underneath it, makes this building even more unique. As a fact, one has never been able to walk underneath an elevator before. But, there it is, the moving Red Art Space that glows behind the prominent glass and steel frame.

Sperone Westwater Gallery by Foster + Partners
Sperone Westwater Gallery by Foster + Partners
Elevator, underneath and inside, photo by Nigel Young (Foster +Partners), Artwork by Kuitca

Inside, you are awed by how large the space suddenly feels. Like a hidden cathedral, with double height ceilings on the first floor, shouldered by a glass framed mezzanine.

This space creates a unique challenge for the artist. This is not the regular large square high ceilinged box that we normally get to experience Contemporary art in. This is a place for deep contemplation, a place for a one on one dialogue with the Art piece in front of you.
In this case it was Guillermo Kuitca who got the honor of opening the Show. It must have been quite nerve wrecking knowing that most of the other artists that the Gallery represents would also be there.

I met Bruce Nauman wandering around with a slightly nervous glare in his eyes, probably thinking of what he will be doing with the space when his opening comes up after Kuitca. He followed me and Michael Wurzel, Project Architect (Foster + Partners) around the building, refilling our glasses in the offices and at the end viewing the top floor, which contains the library. what a wonderful and warm man, I came to think.

We met Evan Penny a fun character that makes the most incredibly real but distorted sculptures.
His work made me think of an alternative version of Lucien Freud by the way he makes the skin on his objects so pale and see trough and at the same time, incredibly realistic.
"Michael" 2010
Evan Penny and his "Muse" Michael
Charles LeDray we met in the library, he only introduced himself with the name Charles so at first I had no idea who he was, but he kept telling me how much he liked my mini-top hat and after having studied more of his artwork I realized it is not strange. A lot of his artwork is related to strangely proportioned pieces of clothing.

I did get to have a conversation with Mr. Kuitca as well, we talked about his untitled painting on the mezzanine. A sort of battlefield layered by this light pink veil, which I sort of sensed was blood thinning out in the aftermath.
Sperone Westwater Gallery by Foster + Partners
Photo by Nigel Young, Foster + Partners
Artwork "Untitled" 2008 by Guillermo Kuitca

Later in the evening we celebrated with a fabulous italian dinner at the Pulino restaurant on the corner of Bowery and Houston.
It was an absolutely packed event where we had the honor of sitting at the table with among others Kim Dingle and Tom Sachs. At the end I also had a chance to meet the legendary Malcolm Morley.
Malcolm Morley

Me at the Gallery with James Lindon from Pace Gallery

With Love


  1. What a gorgeous gallery!

    In college, I wrote a term paper about museum architecture :)


  2. What a great gallery!!I love to read your column Kristin. So nice to follow you in the rich world of art <3

  3. Oh, the building is as gorgeous as the art, which is how it should be, I think. Lovely! XX!

  4. Thank you all for such wonderful comments:)

  5. That hat looked SO amazing on you! I knew it would. Where are those wedding photos lady?

  6. what a great space!!! thanks for the b-day wishes and hope you had a great weekend!

  7. the gallery looks amazing! and you look fantastic...and your hat is superb!

  8. i still need to check this place out. thanks for the peek....

  9. love that space in there. there's so many textures it seems to fit everything. it's an art piece within itself.

    thanks for sharing :)