Art gallery “McMansions”?: That’s what’s happening in NYC and other cities, where gallery owners are building warehouse-sized spaces to showcase GREAT BIG modern art pieces. Perhaps this is a good use for obsolete industrial spaces.
Here is the problem: what artist would want to be connected to McMansions? While art that critiques McMansions may be okay (and there have been a number of examples in recent years – just search this blog), trying to positively link artists to McMansions is not likely to be welcomed.
Plus, these large art spaces are far bigger than McMansions:
White Cube caused a stir nearly two years ago when it opened a 58,000 square-foot gallery in south London. That’s bigger than a football field. In January, Swiss gallery Hauser & Wirth converted a former roller rink and nightclub in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood into a 24,700 square-foot gallery—complete with an artist-designed bar serving free coffee on weekends. “We don’t need to sell coffee,” said director Marc Payot.
Austrian dealer Thaddaeus Ropac opened the world’s second-largest gallery last October when he transformed a group of eight factory buildings on Paris’s outskirts into a 50,000 square-foot art complex. The $10 million space has allowed him to carve up areas for performance art and outfit several apartments for visiting artists like Anselm Kiefer. But recently, Mr. Ropac realized that his artists didn’t want to use the complex’s studio for fear of attracting onlookers, so he’s rented even more space a few blocks away. “I don’t want my artists to feel like they’re in a zoo,” he said
These spaces are not exactly mass-produced or garish in the same way as McMansions.