Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn opens Salon 94 flagship gallery in New York – WWD
Salon 94 is back in the city center.
The gallery, which vacated its Bowery space earlier last year, unveiled a new flagship location on East 89th Street across from the Guggenheim Museum. The impressive gallery is located in the landmark of the Beaux Arts building, which formerly housed the National Academy of Design Museum. It has several exhibition rooms, five floors and more than 17,500 square meters. The building will serve as the headquarters for Salon 94, Salon 94 Design, and a new not-for-profit initiative, S94 +.
Gallery owner Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, who opened the first Salon 94 location a few blocks north on East 94th Street two decades ago, worked closely with architect Rafael Viñoly to renovate the historic building. “It was really different for him because he usually starts over. It was a real renovation here, ”says Rohatyn. “He always tried to show the bones of the building, the best of the building.”
Their intent for the main gallery was to upgrade the white box aesthetic (create a new age) while still using the building’s original herringbone floor. Viñoly updated the concept of a traditional wooden room for her office. Rohatyn plans to add a shop and cafe designed by artist Tom Sachs to the space. “He is a master of the tea ceremony. He figured out how to speed up the tea ceremony experience, ”says Rohatyn. “So it really makes sense.”
The flagship made its debut with three top-class exhibitions: a retrospective of the late French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle (whose work is also the subject of a major retrospective at MoMA PS1), new paintings by Brooklyn-based artist Derrick Adams and ceramic sculptures by Takuro Kuwata . Kuwata, a ceramist, paid homage to Saint Phalle’s lion sculptures through mosaicked broken pots.
Rohatyn notes a synergy between the three artists and describes the practice of Saint Phalle and Adams as rooted in radicalism and radical joy. “Derrick most specifically black radical delight,” says Rohatyn. “There is a similarity in their joyful, optimistic practices, but at the same time they are both about politics and presence and being present in the present day.”
The opening exhibitions will run until April 24th, followed by exhibitions of works by Pakistani-American sculptor Huma Bhabha and Kenyan-born British ceramicist Magdalene AN Odundo. Through the gallery’s nonprofit initiative S94 +, Rohatyn hopes to find new ways to support artists’ ambitious projects beyond the walls of the gallery and provide a performance space for movement-based artists.
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