New York: A New Museum-like gallery for Sperone Westwater
Following fellow dealers Rachel Lehmann and David Maupin, art scene veterans Gian Enzo Sperone and Angela Westwater are moving to New York's Lower East Side. In doing so Sperone and Westwater are putting their business through a new and fantastic adventure, since they will leave the space in Chelsea in order to establish a new enormous space at 257 Bowery, due to open in December 2009.
The new gallery, designed by Forster + Partners, will be a nine-story space (one block north of the New Museum) with double the exhibition area of the current space on West 13th Street, and will have a moving exhibition space — a 12 x 20-foot moving hall that connects the five floors where works of art will be on view. The exhibition space on any floor can be extended by parking the moving hall as required.
This “moving exhibit” will set a new standard for galleries and pioneer a novel approach to vertical movement within a gallery building. Featuring elements of a museum-like space, the design incorporates a mezzanine floor, a double-height display area at street level, a sculpture terrace towards the park and a private viewing gallery at the top of the public floors. Works of art will be stored primarily in the basement, while an extensive library is located at the top of the building.
With this new space, the gallery, founded in 1975 by Italian art dealer Gian Enzo Sperone, Angela Westwater, and German art dealer Konrad Fischer, confirms its historical relevance (they showed Kounellis, Boetti, Merz and Beuys when they had little or no recognition in the United States), as well as the increasingly blurred line between commercial spaces and institutions.