When the David Zwirner gallery decided to expand their Chelsea presence, they turned to a familiar face. Architect Annabelle Selldorf had completed the renovation of both their 19th street location and London outpost and last month the five-story, 30,000 square foot gallery of her design opened. The inaugural show features Dan Flavin and Donald Judd, deceased artists on Zwirner’s roster, whose minimal art allows the new building to showcase itself to the public.
Comprised of iconic installations by each artist, the works interact with both the space and the viewer. At the right angle, the signature fluorescent lamps of Flavin’s ‘European Couples’ reflect in Judd’s aluminum sculptures and emanate a blue glow. The lights also provide a dramatic highlight to the corners of the gallery, emphasizing its architecture.
The artists’ large-scale works are representative of a future line of installation exhibitions to take place in the first floor gallery. The 20th street location will also host historical and thematic surveys dedicated to the work of modern and contemporary masters. The second level gallery’s white oak floors will offer a more intimate feel for smaller works.
The first floor boasts a column free gallery and sawtooth skylights that echo the gallery’s original 19th street space. The skylights eschew additional square footage on the upper floors in favor of natural daylight to highlight artwork in the first floor gallery space. The third through fifth floors will hold offices, art-handling areas, and event space.
Poured concrete is king at the space, as floors, staircase and exterior make use of the material. The exposed concrete façade (in line with the former industrial grit of the neighborhood) is accented with teak window frames and refined by teak paneling at the ground level. Piet Oudolf, the landscape architect of the nearby High Line, designed the building’s outdoor spaces. Selldorf Architects worked with consulting firm Atelier Ten for LEED certification, the first commercial art gallery to receive the accreditation.
Next up for the space is an overview of Richard Serra’s early work scheduled for April – June 2013 and Palermo’s works on paper April 25, 2013 to June 29, 2013.