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For last Sunday’s reopening of the newly expanded and renovated SculptureCenter, the organization hosted an all day event with nail art by Vanity Projects, a photo booth by LAZY MOM, a DJ set by Lemonade, and exhibition tours. In 2001, the SculptureCenter purchased a trolley repair shop in Long Island City, Queens that was initially renovated by artist and designer Maya Lin with the idea of future expansion in mind. Undertaken by the architect Andrew Berman—known for his projects with the New York Public Library and MoMA PS1—the plan for expansion maintains the original steel and brick structure of the historic building, while including new materials such as plywood and Corten steel to give it a stronger street presence.
The opening was centered around the inaugural exhibition “Puddle, pothole, portal,” which is co-curated by Ruba Katrib and artist Camille Henrot. The day began with a ribbon cutting ceremony performed by the NYC Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl, New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy van Bramer, and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.
The exhibition includes works by Olga Balema, Joachim Bandau, Camille Blatrix, Teresa Burga, Antoine Catala, Abigail DeVille, Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys, Judith Hopf, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Allison Katz, Mark Leckey, Maria Loboda, Win McCarthy, Danny McDonald, Marlie Mul, Mick Peter, Chadwich Rantanen, Lucie Stahl, Saul Steinberg, Keiichi Tanaami, Lina Viste Gronli, and Jordan Wolfson. Tanaami’s sculptures will also be on display for the first time in the United States alongside Steinberg’s drawings for a group exhibition of contemporary art.
“Puddle, pothole, portal” draws inspiration from early 20th-century cartoons and children’s entertainment such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit to explore the coexistence of incongruent elements within shared spaces. The works blend together seemingly opposing categories such as drawing and sculpture, human and nonhuman, and the animated and static. For example, Blatrix’s creation for the exhibition is a singing mailbox that requires the owner to find a special key to read newly delivered letters, while Mul places images of bandages around the inanimate environment. The installations in the show question whether the sculptures are reflections, obstructions, or fantasies regarding our objective world.
Following the packed opening celebration and press preview last week, guests such as Carol Bove, Win McCarthy, Abigail DeVille, Jesse Greenberg, Andrea Rosen, Lola Kramer,and Brent Sikkema enjoyed a dinner at the Foundry. Bartleby and Sage catered the meal, which included kale salad with Vermont cheddar and anchovy vinaigrette followed by a bistro steak with chimichurri sauce and couscous with fava beans and mushrooms.