P.S.1/MoMA Contemporary Art Center
We visit one of America's best contemporary art institutions
(Photos/words © urban75, Dec 2008)
One of the largest and oldest US institutions dedicated to contemporary art, the non-profit P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center is situated in Long Island City in the borough of Queens, New York City.
The arts centre was founded in 1971 by Alanna Heiss, who five years earlier had founded The Institute for Art and Urban Resources, which was charged with turning abandoned or under-used NY buildings into artist studios and exhibition spaces.
In 1976, Heiss opened up the current building in a deserted Romanesque Revival public school building which had closed in 1960.
For the next twenty years, the building was used as studio, performance, and exhibition spaces, reopening in 1997 after a substantial building-wide renovation, which preserved much of the original architecture and many of the classroom-sized galleries.
P.S.1 became an affiliate of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in 2000, and the Center is open from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Thursday through Monday, with admission a $5.00 suggested donation.
We thoroughly recommend giving the place a visit!
Created by the Buenos Aires artist, Leandro Erlich, the Swimming Pool is a clever installation that gives the appearance of fully clothed people moving under water.
The view from under the 'pool.'
This piece by Norwegian artist BØrre Sæthre was fantastic, with a beautiful white unicorn displayed in a glass box. As you moved closer to the box, the glass would 'frost' (i.e. turn opaque) unless you approached it at a certain angle.
(Pic: © PS1).
The gallery space extended down into the basement and the old boiler house.
Danish-Iceland artist Olafur Eliasson had installed a piece involving a large, slowly spinning circular mirror suspended from the ceiling (similar to his excellent Weather Project in the Tate Modern in London in 2003.)
Visitors looking up to the mirror.
This was my favourite piece. You enter into what looks like an ordinary room, and at first it seems that everyone is looking up an opaque panel.
It was only after a few moments that I realised that I was actually looking straight up at the open sky, so that the artist had effectively turned the sky into a piece of moving art.
Inside the lift.
A last look at the P.S.1.
P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center
22-25 Jackson Ave at the intersection of 46th Ave
Long Island City, NY 11101
12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Thursday through Monday
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