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Thread: New Museum of Contemporary Art - 235 Bowery - by SANAA

  1. #106
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc View Post
    This zoning category is a keeper (and evidently a sleeper). Now if they'd plug in a provision to limit footprints (no more than two lots assemblable, for example), they'd have zoning perfection --insofar as that's achievable.
    Not so fast. You left out the need to amend the part where it says "they do not require that buildings be built to the street line."

  2. #107

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    ^Yeah, the one Scarano building going up is a nice design, but it has a driveway. That is not good urban planning.

  3. #108
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Bowery Gentrification Watch:
    New Museum Spreading



    CURBED
    by Joey
    September 9, 2008

    For all the glitz, glamour, starchitecture and HELL YESITUDE the New Museum
    has brought to the Bowery 2.0, its direct neighbors are still evocative of the Bowery
    of old. On the north side of the building, practically touching the museum's metallic mesh,
    is the notorious flophouse the Sunshine Hotel. To the south, one of those slightly run-down
    multi-story affairs that has been a restaurant supply company for who knows how long.
    But no stone on the Bowery will be left unturned by those with a dash of class,
    and so while the Sunshine is locked up in litigation until it can be leveled, the
    New Museum has swooped in on its other buddy. The Times reports the museum
    purchased 231 Bowery for $16.6 million, the culmination of six months of negotiations
    and a move perhaps necessary to protect the view from its rockin' Sky Room
    event space. The museum will install a new ground-floor tenant and use the
    other floors for offices and storage in the short term. Eventually, the building
    could be run as a separate institution, or used for expanded museum programming.
    Or maybe razed for a luxury hotel? The Bowery could use more of those.

    · New Museum Buys Adjacent Building [NYT]
    · Curbed's New Museum coverage [Curbed]

    ***

    The newly-acquired building sits on a large lot: ~ 50' x 175'

    New Museum Buys Adjacent Building

    NY TIMES
    By ROBIN POGREBIN
    September 9, 2008

    Not even a year after it opened a new $50 million home on the Bowery, the New Museum of Contemporary Art has acquired an adjacent building for $16.6 million, museum executives said Monday. Just south of the museum at 231 Bowery, the building is a 47,000-square-foot, five-story structure now used by a restaurant-supply company.

    Lisa Phillips, the museum’s director, said the institution would run the building “as is” for the time being, with a new ground-floor tenant. The museum, at 235 Bowery, will also use some of the vacant space for additional offices and storage “till we develop a long-range plan,” she said, adding, “There is so much possibility for institutional growth.”

    The museum’s ideas for the space include using it for expanded programming or revenue-generating activities and running it as a separate but complementary adjunct, Ms. Phillips said.

    The museum, which had been working on the deal for the last six months, paid for the new space with money raised and contributed by the board and some outside financing, she said.

    The purchase seems likely to speed the transformation of the area surrounding the New Museum. Since it moved there from SoHo, opening last December in a building designed by the Tokyo firm Sanaa, galleries and restaurants have been popping up on a strip that was long known for flophouses, bars and stores that sell light fixtures and restaurant equipment.

    Founded in 1977, the institution bills itself as Manhattan’s only museum dedicated to contemporary art. Coming shows include “A. L. Steiner + robbinschilds,” a series of site-specific performances, multichannel video installations and video projections; and “Mary Heilmann: To Be Someone,” described as the first solo exhibition and retrospective of Ms. Heilmann’s paintings, sculptures and furniture in a New York museum.

    Assessing the museum’s design by Sanaa’s founders, Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, Nicolai Ouroussoff wrote in The New York Times in January 2006: “Wrapped in a woven aluminum mesh skin, the stacked forms give the composition a mysterious quality, suggesting a culture in constant flux.”

    Ms. Phillips said she hoped the museum would continue to be a part of the neighborhood’s evolution. “It’s an opportunity,” she said. “It’s an investment in our future growth. We’re a dynamic, growing institution.”

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

  4. #109
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    word is the south building was purchased in a partnership between the new museum, everybody's favorite icelandic pixie bjork & her boyfriend artist matthew barney.

    this so barney could have a big say in picking new museum artists and also to help cement his own artworld legacy.

    you didn't think the new museum had any more spare $$$ to throw around on it's own, did you? i guess they found a patron buyer

  5. #110
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Perhaps they are the "outside financing" mentioned in the Times' article:

    The museum, which had been working on the deal for the last six months, paid for the new space with money raised and contributed by the board and some outside financing ...

  6. #111

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    Went up to the "sky room" at the museum, and it was pretty cool up there , not to mention that the museum itself was great...








  7. #112
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Default Soup <> Art

    Trustee’s Art on His Museum’s Walls Raises Flag

    NY TIMES
    By DEBORAH SONTAG and ROBIN POGREBIN
    November 11, 2009

    One day in the mid-1980s, Dakis Joannou, a Greek Cypriot industrialist, was exploring the art galleries of the East Village in Manhattan when he came upon a basketball suspended in a tank of liquid. Captivated, he invested $2,700 in “One Ball Total Equilibrium Tank” by a little-known artist named Jeff Koons. It was, he said, as if a whole new world had opened up to him.

    Twenty-five years — and 40 Koonses — later, Mr. Joannou is considered one of the most important contemporary art collectors in the world. And the New Museum of Contemporary Art in Manhattan is preparing to showcase his vast collection in a three-story exhibition, with Mr. Koons, now an art superstar, as the guest curator.

    The show, slated to open in March, is generating anticipatory chatter in the art world. But it is also leading to buzz of a different kind, about the propriety of turning over a public museum to a private collector who also happens to be a museum trustee and a chief patron of the curator.

    Private collection shows appeal to many art museums because they can display great works that are otherwise inaccessible. Over the last decade, though, as prices rose in the art market, the museum industry came to believe that such shows required extra vigilance about potential conflicts of interest. In this case, critics say the New Museum, which in its 32-year history has evolved from a scrappy alternative space into a mainstream institution, is jeopardizing its integrity by giving too much power to a board member with a vested interest in the artists he collects.

    “Maybe it is a fantastic collection, but the museum is a public trust: nonprofit, tax exempt and government supported,” said Noah Kupferman, a former specialist at Sotheby’s who teaches a course called Fine Art as a Financial Asset at New York University. “It is supposed to be an independent arbiter of taste and art-historical value. It is not supposed to surrender itself to a trustee and donor whose collection stands to be enhanced in value by a major museum show.”

    As the New Museum sees it, exhibiting Mr. Joannou’s collection, which has never been shown in the United States, is a gift to the public, providing a creative model for public-private partnerships in difficult economic times.

    “We think the public will be the beneficiaries of Dakis’s very generous agreement to allow works from his foundation to cross the ocean,” said Lisa Phillips, the New Museum’s director, referring to Mr. Joannou’s Deste Foundation Center for Contemporary Art in Athens.

    “I understand why some people might consider it a perceived conflict,” she continued. “But we’re confident that the initiative is artistically and intellectually important and ethically legitimate, consistent with our mission and our vision.”

    Mr. Joannou dismissed concerns. Speaking by phone from his home in Athens, he said: “Sure, I am a trustee. Would it be different if I weren’t? Some people may think some things. For me, it’s a nonissue. I know who I am and what I am doing.”

    Museums have always depended on collectors for loans and donations, and some have a long history of exhibiting private collections. But a decade ago, “Sensation: Young British Artists From the Saatchi Collection” at the Brooklyn Museum prompted an ethical debate.

    “Sensation” is best remembered as a battle from the culture wars, in which Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani denounced as “sick stuff” artwork like Chris Ofili’s “Holy Virgin Mary” with its appended elephant dung. But because the collection’s owner, the advertising mogul Charles Saatchi, was an active trader in the contemporary art market, “Sensation” also heightened concerns about museums renting out their reputations, being manipulated by collectors or “acting more like commercial galleries,” said Erik Ledbetter, director of international programs and ethics at the American Association of Museums.

    This prompted the association, which accredits but does not regulate museums, to issue guidelines for exhibiting borrowed objects, stressing “transparency, intellectual integrity and institutional control,” Mr. Ledbetter said. While the New Museum is not accredited by the association, all museums are considered to be bound by its standards.

    The guidelines stress the potential for conflicts if board members become lenders, Mr. Ledbetter said. He offered these “cautionary flags”: a show devoted to one collector; a show in which the collector is a board member, donor or underwriter; a show in which the museum gives away or pools curatorial judgment with the collector.

    “Any one of those things can be managed,” he said, “but when you layer them on top of each other, it’s more complicated.”

    The New Museum show raises all the association’s cautionary flags except one: Mr. Joannou is not underwriting the exhibition.

    In a phone interview that she limited to 20 minutes, Ms. Phillips expressed exasperation that the museum was being challenged. Several art world blogs, especially Tyler Green’s well-read Modern Art Notes, have been critical.

    “We’re not the first to do an exhibition of a private collection, and we won’t be the last,” she said.

    There are abundant recent examples of private collection shows at American museums, but none that involve both a trustee and a guest curator close to the trustee.

    This year alone, the Brooklyn Museum, which was showing private collections decades before “Sensation,” gave over a gallery — and curatorial control — to works by Hernan Bas, a young Miami artist, from the Rubell Family Collection. (The Rubells are not affiliated with the museum). The Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibited Old Master drawings from the collection of its trustee Jean Bonna, although it organized the show itself.

    And the National Gallery of Art, using its own curator, is now showing modern art from the Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection; in this case, all the works have been donated or promised to the museum.

    That is what many institutions, like the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of Art, require to deal with potential conflict: a gift. “The minute you enter into a relationship with a private collection, you have to make sure that it’s in ink that the stuff is coming to you,” said Maxwell Anderson, director of the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

    The New Museum does not maintain a permanent collection, and is therefore not positioned to receive gifts.

    Some museums ask the lender to sign an agreement promising a moratorium on sales so that art is not whisked straight from museum walls to an auction block. Ms. Phillips said Mr. Joannou “is aware that the museum has a policy of not exhibiting work from a trustee if they are intending to sell.” Further, she said, Mr. Joannou buys much more than he sells.

    The selection of Mr. Koons as curator, Ms. Phillips said, was “the resounding choice” of the museum’s curators, partly because he has been “engaged in conversation and debate with Dakis” for the last 25 years.

    Mr. Joannou’s rise as a collector paralleled Mr. Koons’s as an artist. Mr. Joannou became not only Mr. Koons’s patron, acquiring such trophy works as a giant balloon dog and a stainless steel train filled with bourbon, but also his close friend. Mr. Joannou, 69, served as best man at Mr. Koons’s first wedding and is godfather to his son. Mr. Koons, 54, designed Mr. Joannou’s yacht, “Guilty,” and made a giant wedding cake out of plastic foam for his daughter.

    “I am extremely, extremely curious to see how Jeff will deal with the work of his peers — and of his own,” Mr. Joannou said of the coming exhibition.

    Dan Cameron, a former New Museum curator who is now artistic director of the Prospect New Orleans art biennial, said the choice of Mr. Koons made him uncomfortable. “I am a big fan of Jeff’s,” he said, “but he is not a fair or impartial or even interesting interpreter of what Dakis does.”

    An assistant to Mr. Koons said he was too busy to talk to a reporter.

    Mr. Joannou, the chairman of an international construction firm, has more than 1,000 pieces in his collection with concentrations of works by Mr. Ofili, Maurizio Cattelan, Urs Fischer, Robert Gober, Kiki Smith and others. His collection, periodically exhibited at his Athens foundation, has been shown in Paris and Vienna.

    In discussing the New Museum show, several museum leaders cautioned against what Thomas Campbell, director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, described as “overly puritanical” judgments about “the delicate dance” between museums and collectors.

    “The Met wouldn’t be the Met — the Met wouldn’t have the collections it has — if it hadn’t been for private collectors,” he said.

    And several figures in the art world defended, and applauded, the New Museum for its Joannou show. Amy Cappellazzo, the international co-head for postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s, called Mr. Joannou a “collector of record and a tastemaker” with a “fantastic collection that will bring back to New York a lot of things that haven’t been seen here in decades.”

    Richard Armstrong, the director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, agreed. “I think it’s useful for the entire food chain of the contemporary art world that private collections go on view — and if they become more valuable in the process, that doesn’t hurt anyone.” Art business experts expressed no doubt that a museum show enhances the art’s value —regardless of whether it is taken right to market. “Showing at a museum gives credence to the works a collector has assembled and does add value to the asset,” said John Arena, senior vice president in custom credit at U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management.

    Contemporary art, in particular, can benefit from a museum’s stamp of approval. “When contemporary art comes into a collection, it is still wet,” said Mr. Kupferman of N.Y.U., who also works in the financial sector. “It has not withstood the test of time. In financial terms, an Old Master is kind of like a utility stock. Contemporary art is like a dot-com. It can lose its value — poof.”

    Marcia Tucker, a former curator at the Whitney, founded the New Museum in 1977 as a laboratory for emerging and under-recognized artists. Ms. Phillips took the reins in 1999, and over the last decade, the museum, whose succinct mission is “new art, new ideas,” has grown considerably in ambition, profile and attendance.

    Two years ago, Ms. Phillips oversaw the museum’s move into its new $48 million home on the Bowery at Prince Street, where each nook and cranny has a sponsor (the Ruth E. Horowitz stairs, the Jerome L. and Ellen Stern restrooms), as does Ms. Phillips herself (the Toby Devan Lewis director).

    Mr. Cameron said he believed the new building signaled a “dramatically different direction,” more mainstream and aligned with the art market. Its exhibition schedule increasingly features artists who are already established on the contemporary art scene, and the museum’s critics consider it to be overly enmeshed in what can seem like a dizzyingly insular circle of art world insiders.

    Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

  8. #113
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Hell? Yes.

    Fred Bernstein


    The New Museum and the offending art work. (photo: dominiqueb/flickr)

    I’ve never loved the New Museum Building, in part because I know what SANAA is capable of achieving. The Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art, which was completed in 2006 (preceding the New Museum by about a year), is a truly original building, technologically inventive and formally stirring. A one-story structure, it soars–far higher than the New Museum’s teetering tower ever will. And yet I appreciate the New Museum for what it is: an ethereal, sculptural presence, a kind of apparition. It never looks better than it does at night, glowing, hovering, seemingly unconnected to the city grittiness around it. Its facade is gauzy, gossamer, “less like a wall than a scrim,” as Paul Goldberger wrote in the New Yorker. Which is why the decision to place a heavy, kitschy artwork on the façade is so infuriating. When the museum opened in 2007, the artwork–a rainbow hued sign that declares Hell, Yes!–was described as a temporary adornment.

    Now, according to the museum’s communications director, Gabriel Einsohn, it is a “semi permanent” installation; the museum has no plans to remove it.

    The piece is by Ugo Rondinone, whose, work, according to the New Museum website, “explores notions of emotional and psychic profundity found in the most banal elements of everyday life.” Perhaps. But the quality of the artwork, which resembles a Hello, Kitty logo, is beyond my ken. I do know something about architecture. And the Rondinone piece directly undermines SANAA’s objective: The architects chose to make the thickness, the weight, even the precise location of the building envelope ambiguous.

    Hanging a heavy object from that envelope changes everything, for the worse; imagine wearing a campaign button on a wedding veil.

    Museums are too often willing to demean their architectural treasures.

    (How many times has the Whitney proposed working its Marcel Breuer building–to which the New Museum , incidentally, owes a great debt–into some larger composition?)

    Frank Gehry’s IAC building is in the same boat as the New Museum. After the West Chelsea structure was complete–and after the architectural photographers had shot it as Gehry designed it–the company added two neon signs, on the north and south facades, that say IAC. As at the New Museum, they take semi-transparent, ambiguous surfaces and render them static and heavy, like turning the lights up when a magician is trying to perform a trick. But at least you can understand why IAC, which is a commercial enterprise, would want its building to say IAC. There, the signs represent a rational, if regrettable, decision.

    The New Museum has no excuse. It should have said, “Hell, No!,” instead of ‘Hello, kitschy.”

    http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/archives/6722

  9. #114
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    I definitely agree. I've always thought the building would be better without it.

  10. #115

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    The sign is hokey, while the building isn't. I do think, however, that the time will come when someone goes through that glass railing, or collapses from vertigo.

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  12. #117

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/29/ar...itzker.html?hp

    March 29, 2010
    Japanese Team Wins Pritzker Architecture Prize

    By ROBIN POGREBIN

    Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, partners in the Japanese architectural firm Sanaa, have won the 2010 Pritzker Architecture Prize, the profession’s highest honor.

    “They explore like few others the phenomenal properties of continuous space, lightness, transparency and materiality to create a subtle synthesis,” the jury citation said. “Sejima and Nishizawa’s architecture stands in direct contrast with the bombastic and rhetorical. Instead, they seek the essential qualities of architecture that result in a much appreciated straightforwardness, economy of means and restraint in their work.”

    The pair’s buildings include the acclaimed New Museum in New York, a sculptural stack of rectilinear boxes on the Bowery, which was completed in 2007. The first Sanaa project in the United States was a glass pavilion for the Toledo Museum of Art, completed in 2006. It holds the museum’s collection of glass artworks, reflecting that city’s history as a major center of glass production.

    In The New York Times, the critic Nicolai Ouroussoff said that the pavilion — which featured an elegant maze of curved glass walls — “can reawaken” the “belief in the power of glass to enchant.”

    The jury citation highlighted those projects as well as two in Japan: the O-Museum in Nagano and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa. The pair formed their firm in 1995.

    “I have been exploring how I can make architecture that feels open,” Ms. Sejima said in a prepared statement after winning the prize, “which I feel is important for a new generation of architecture.”

    Mr. Nishizawa said: “Every time I finish a building I revel in possibilities and at the same time reflect on what has happened. Each project becomes my motivation for the next new project. In the same way this wonderful prize has given me a dynamic energy that I have never felt before.”

    Although their work has been concentrated in Japan, Mr. Nishizawa and Ms. Sejima have designed projects in Germany, Britain, Spain, France, the Netherlands and the United States. Among their most recent projects is the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology’s Rolex Learning Center in Lausanne.

    The firm’s first British project was the Serpentine Pavilion in Kensington Gardens, London, the ninth such commission in the Serpentine’s pavilions series. In Lens, in northern France, the firm is designing a 300,000-square-foot branch of the Louvre.

    This is the third time in the prize’s history that two architects have been awarded the Pritzker. The first was in 1988 with Oscar Niemeyer of Brazil and Gordon Bunshaft; the second in 2001, with the Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron.
    The award ceremony will be on May 17 on Ellis Island in New York.

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