The Big Apple's High Line, an exemplary display of adaptive use and mega popular tourist draw, is now home to an art gallery. Well, its belly is anyway.
London-based gallery Lisson opened its first U.S. outpost in New York underneath the High Line Park earlier this month. According to Lisson, the airy space "was constructed around the foundational elements of the High Line and the existing park structure." Indeed, metal beams that support the park above, formerly a railroad line, figure prominently in the gallery and lend an industrial feel to the exhibition space. Two large skylights and 16-foot ceilings brighten the gallery, which also features polished concrete floors.
Designed in collaboration by studioMDA and Studio Christian Wassmann, the new building—totaling 8,500 square feet, 4,500 square feet of which will be gallery space and the other 4,000 devoted to offices, viewing spaces, and storage—nestles under a segment of the elevated park and stretches from 23rd to 24th Streets, making it a unique "block-through building" in the heart of the Chelsea neighborhood.
The main entrance on 24th Street employs cast-in-place white concrete that appears plywood-like on its spare facade and incorporates a 14-foot-tall glass storefront door system.
To inaugurate the opening, Lisson Gallery, which is headed by Alex Logsdail and has two galleries in London and one in Milan, has chosen the work of Cuban-American abstractionist and centenarian Carmen Herrera, whose bold, geometric, intensely-colorful-but-minimalist paintings make an impressive statement in the similarly minimal space. Herrera painted the 13 works on display in the past two years—and many of them in her 100th year. The Whitney Museum of American Art will exhibit a survey of Herrera's work in September.