By Show and Tell
By Bree Davies
By Bree Davies
By Cory Casciato
By Emilie Johnson
By Robin Edwards
By Bree Davis
By Josiah M. Hesse
The functional interior, designed by Beard with consultation from Burnett, includes an impressive and enormous double-height exhibition space, which can be subdivided with movable walls. Surely the most remarkable feature of the interior is the heavy-metal grand staircase set parallel to the front windows. The stairs are made of sheets of steel, with square, tubular steel used for the railings. The whole thing was executed by Morgan Briskey's Elemental Design. The staircase leads to the overhanging mezzanine, which is used for exhibiting artworks, as well, and to the rest of the second floor. (There's a very nice back staircase, too, also by Briskey.)
The first and second floors both have an assortment of offices and studios, some of which have been drafted into duty for displaying art, at least temporarily. Even in its old location, Space was a popular spot for special events, even garnering national publicity for its marijuana-themed private parties. Though the pot parties might make the papers, the mainstays of the event schedule are weddings and large parties, and the new place has many features aimed at satisfying the needs of hosts and invitees, including facilities for caterers and a raft of bathrooms.
The inaugural exhibit is simply called Space Gallery Grand Opening, and to put it together, Burnett included examples of work by every artist associated with Space, including painters and printmakers, several of whom will be familiar to those who attended shows over the years at the old Space. As might be expected, it's a sprawling, free-associational show (to say the least). But it does reveal the predominant aesthetic of the gallery: contemporary abstraction. Aside from a handful of figurative artists, just about everyone is creating abstracts, and all of them are done to a high standard, with many knockout pieces included in this first effort in these digs.
The new Space Gallery is a real game-changer on the commercial-gallery scene, and even if the building were not as gorgeous as it is, it would still be a venue to be reckoned with: Space is now one of the largest exhibition spaces this side of an art center. Including the basement — but excluding the sculpture garden — the gallery is some 10,000 square feet! This first exhibit, though well installed, was a little hurriedly put together, and the placement of the temporary walls hasn't yet been perfected. But these issues aside, this is one place that everyone needs to see as soon as possible.