vrijdag, april 22, 2016

Ugo Rondinone #2


Mt. Moriah Church, Harlem, New York, 2011.

"A notable Swiss-born modern artist has been revealed as the new owner of the Mt. Moriah Church at 2050 Fifth Avenue based on an article in today's Observer. After several religious and commercial entities looked at the space, the 48-year-old artist ended up buying the former church on 126th Street for a cash offer of $2.775 million. Mr. Rondinone now intends to restore the 15,550-square-foot of interior space into a community cultural center and apparently neighbors are quite happy at this recent turn of events." (bron: Harlem + Bespoke)


2050 5th Avenue.


Inside 2050 5th Avenue.


Ugo Rondinone's home and studio, 2014.

"There’s something particularly fitting about the conversion of Harlem’s Mt. Moriah Church by artist Ugo Rondinone. Long interested in conflations of the human and the spiritual through physical sculpture and architecture (particularly the artist’s ongoing Human Nature series of human rock sculptures installed last year at both Rockefeller Center and Gladstone Gallery), the space fuses its towering facade with both studio and exhibition space inside. Last week, Rondinone opened his studio and gallery, still under construction, for a private tour, showcasing the artist’s impressive architectural project, and his new exhibition in the space, a series of monochrome paintings by artist Wesley Martin Berg.

The former church, purchased by the artist in 2011 for $2.775 million, is in the middle of a nearly three-year renovation project, converting it into a dynamic live-work studio space that will, in its finished form, contain a private gallery space, which Rondinone himself will serve as curator for, on top of the artist’s personal living quarters and studio. The space follows in a running series of artist-curated spaces that have opened in the past year, including Julian Schnabel’s Casa del Popolo space, which opened last summer in the basement of the artist’s West Village home.
...." (bron: Art Observed)


The exterior of the church, 2014.


An Italian ceramic zebra holds court in the living room among Rondinone’s tree sculpture Bright Shiny Morning, 1997, Sarah Lucas’s phallic Oboddaddy 2, 2010, Valentin Carron’s cannon, Le Souffleteur, 2005, and, on the wall, from left, Peter Halley’s Stacked Rocks (Cinema Cavern), 1990, and Cady Noland’s metal newsprint works, Untitled, 1989, and her Untitled (The Lincoln Years), 1990. The covered chairs are by West.


Valentin Carron’s I Miss the 20th Century, 2006, hangs above Rondinone’s bed; 
Martin Boyce’s chair sculpture, Anatomy (for Saul Bass), 2003, sits below Verne Dawson’s Coronation, 2004.


A stained glass piece by Urs Fischer in the bathroom.


A West side table supports Fischer’s Sigh, Sigh, Sherlock!, 2004, and on the wall is Latifa Echakhch’s Frame, 2012.


In the dining area, Franz West chairs flank a table by Rondinone—on which rest maquettes for his upcoming “Seven Magic Mountains” installation—and on the wall are etchings by Paul Thek, 1975–1992, and Bruno Gironcoli’s sculpture, Head, 1964.


Rondinone’s living and dining area, with its soaring stained glass windows.


Ugo Rondinone, in 
his Harlem studio, with works in progress.

"Three years ago, while driving through Harlem, Ugo Rondinone spotted a for-sale sign on an abandoned Romanesque church with a stone facade, immense stained glass windows, and arched wooden double doors at the entrance. At the time, the 50-year-old Swiss artist was not in the market for real estate. He already owned a loft in the East Village and a storefront studio space in NoHo. He also had country homes with his companion of almost two decades, the poet John Giorno, in upstate New York and in Switzerland, and had just acquired a two-bedroom cottage on the North Fork of Long Island. Nonetheless, three weeks after first seeing the church, he plunked down $2.2 million to buy it.

Built in 1887 and designed by the architect Henry Franklin Kilburn, the 20,000-square-foot building was badly in need of repair. But, Rondinone says, “I just like an open space.” Two years later, he sold his loft, leased his studio to Karma (Brendan Dugan’s bookstore and gallery), and embarked on a $2 million gut renovation. “Somehow I thought it was a bargain,” he says, as he shows me around one day in late June. “I was naive. That $2 million turned into $4 million.” Still, he doesn’t regret it one bit. “I love the church. I can stay here for weeks without going out.”

Working with Alicia Balocco, the architect who had renovated his loft and studio, Rondinone divided the church into work and living spaces, including two guest apartments, and five studios (with a common kitchen) for visiting artists. He replaced the splintered street doors with translucent glass panels, sandblasted the facade, and fixed the broken front steps. Off the entry hall, in a high-ceilinged room with Moorish arches suggestive of a chapel, he installed an office and dedicated a large room opposite as a studio for Giorno. (The two have always maintained separate residences.)

Rondinone also restored what he calls the “fake Spanish tile” floor and abundant wood paneling along the several staircases and the hall outside the church’s former sanctuary. That space is now a studio so palatial that Rondinone can produce two or three exhibitions at a time there, or design his frequent museum shows using full-scale models instead of tabletop maquettes—even when they involve 20-foot-tall bluestone figures like those he showed last year at Rockefeller Center with the Public Art Fund.

A balcony that extended halfway over the sanctuary is gone now, as is a dropped ceiling that once covered a stained glass skylight three stories above. (Rondinone discovered it when he was looking at the site on Google Earth.) Clear glass panes bring daylight to the roughly 4,300-square-foot room, which has new white walls and a pristine wood floor. Smaller stained glass windows in the corners remain, as do painted moldings that trace the seams of the vaulted ceiling as piping does on a suit.
...." (bron: Wmagazine, tekst: Linda Yablonsky, foto's: Jason Schmidt)

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