18 Wooster Street
Suburban House Kit was a full-scale suburban environment created by Adam Kalkin with Jim Isermann, Martin Kersels, Aernout Mik, Tobias Rehberger, and Haim Steinbach. It included a pre-fabricated steel house, an origami garden, a backyard, a driveway, a car and all the other amenities associated with suburban living. Suburban House Kit examined the American utopian vision from the point of view of an international group of architects and artists who were freely ambivalent about the financial and social structures that shaped the American dream. It treated art, architecture, and commerce as an uninterrupted cultural continuum carefully evolved through Darwinian processes which promoted the survival of a species at the expense of its individual members. Since the members were expected to express themselves through their consumer choices, they were able to buy all or part of the Suburban House Kit assisted by an on-site sales and finance specialist who carefully crafted a personalized vision from a menu of modularized desires.
Adam Kalkin, architect and artist, used his work as a purgative to clear his mind of unwanted psychological detritus. His houses embodied the paradoxes and ambivalence that were more often the domain of the art object than of the domestic environment. By appropriating the lexicon of the found object, Kalkin introduced an emotional ambiguity into an area of architecture that long conformed to a limited set of effects. Neither conventional notions of comfort nor specific usage was encoded in his materials or spaces. His buildings
possessed a layered interiority: found and reused structures created inner sanctums that recalled childhood fortifications. The palatial volumes enclosed by his houses, together with the complex visual and visceral experiences they offer, made one feel that the spaces in which we live can themselves be transformative.
Carpet for the house was created by Jim Isermann, whose work was at the forefront of contemporary art’s cross-fertilization with design. Over the past 25 years, his diverse bodies of work have chronicled the conflation of postwar industrial design and fine art through popular culture. Most recently, Isermann concentrated on site-specific projects, such as a five pendant, thirty-five foot high chandelier with carpet tile and furniture installed in April 2003 at the University of California, San Francisco.
A lone ball blowing in the wind in the backyard was a kinetic sculpture by Martin Kersels. Kersels is known for his conceptual combo of performance and sculpture. His sculpture of a house in the form of a giant shoe was on view at Mass MoCA.
Aernout Mik’s acclaimed video-sculpture Pulverous was projected from the house’s second floor window. Mik combined elements of video, sculpture, and performance in what he called “setting in motion the motorics of a specific situation, involving the spectators’ reactions as physically and emotionally as possible”. Aernout Mik lives and works in the Netherlands.
A unique origami garden was created by Tobias Rehberger for the front yard. Rehberger is known for his works that redefine garden sculpture. Rehberger lives and works in Germany.
The pantry of the house contained an exhibit of bathroom fixtures arranged by Haim Steinbach. Steinbach, an influential exponent of art with already existing objects, stated, "the object is ephemeral. Its position shifts from place to place. It is contingent on its context for its meaning, whether public or private." Other works by Steinbach were on view in February at Sonnabend, GBE (Modern) and Gorney, Bravin and Lee.
Adam Kalkin won the P/A Young Architects Award in 1990. Since then, he has continued his interdisciplinary work in art, architecture, music, technology, and commerce and he has published and exhibited his work throughout the world.
March 8 - 11, 2018
We will present a special solo project by the artist JR.
Image: JR, Migrants, Walking New York City, 2015
April - May 2018
18 Wooster Street
76 Grand Street
New York, NY 10013
Monday – Friday
10 AM – 6 PM
Tuesday – Saturday
Noon – 6 PM
The gallery reopens with People in April 2018.
+1 (212) 343-7300
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