PICT0132.jpg (44120 bytes) New York Architecture Images-Chelsea

Mary Boone Gallery




541 West 24th Street






Brick and wood


Gallery, former Garage






This building, a former mechanic's workshop, is quite typical of the type of utilitarian structure (mostly garages) that pepper Chelsea's river-front industrial area. These spaces have proved to be ideal for art gallery conversion and have been the motor for the rejuvenation of this part of the West Side which had been neglected sine the docks closed and disappeared. Such structures use very simple cheap materials (most were built around the depression or war years) and subsequently employ ingenious means to span the necessarily large spaces (as in the beautifully curved truss of this space). They also utilise natural lighting a great deal, ideal both for mechanics and artists.  

The work featured in these pictures is by the Briton Marc Quinn.

Richard Gluckman Architects

Completed in 2000, this 3,700 square foot venue in the Chelsea gallery district compliments the client's uptown gallery which was designed by the firm in 1995. Modern finishes and materials are juxtaposed against the historic detailing of the original wood trusses and wood planks that remain exposed in the ceiling of the exhibition space.

Ancillary Reception and Office/Showroom spaces with 13 foot high plaster ceilings accentuate the dramatic volume of the gallery. The structural bays of the bow trusses drive the layout of the spaces, each of the three main rooms receives natural light in a different way. The Gallery has a 12 foot wide translucent plastic skylight over the entire length of the 24 foot high display wall providing ideal lighting conditions for viewing art.

A small central skylight provides natural light for the back room while the floor to ceiling translucent glass storefront enlivens the Reception area. The limited pallet of materials includes a steel troweled concrete floor, artisan plaster walls and ceilings, aluminum plate shelves, translucent glass and plastic, and the exposed wood of the original structure.

Mary Boone Gallery
Size: 3800 square feet
Schedule: Completed 2000

Mary Boone Gallery was founded in New York in 1977. The first Gallery was a small ground floor space at the renowned Soho address 420 West Broadway. From the outset, the Gallery was committed to showing the work of innovative young artists.

By the early 1980s, two artists who started with the Gallery—David Salle and Julian Schnabel—had attained international recognition. Both were given dual exhibitions with the Gallery's upstairs neighbor, Leo Castelli Gallery. Matching the heroic output and ambition of these artists, Mary Boone Gallery expanded by completing a dramatic renovation of a truck garage directly across the street. Other prominent New York-based artists under Gallery representation during this period include Richard Artschwager, Jean Michel Basquiat, Ross Bleckner, Eric Fischl, Barbara Kruger, and Brice Marden. Many of the most significant international artists also had solo exhibitions at the Gallery during the 1980s: Georg Baselitz, Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi, Anselm Kiefer, Jannis Kounellis, Sigmar Polke.

The Gallery intermittently mounted historical shows such as works by Francis Picabia, an installation by Marcel Broodthaers, 1960s works by Agnes Martin, the rarely seen paintings of Clyfford Still, and the "Mirror Paintings" of the 1970s by Roy Lichtenstein. These exhibitions proved to be influential to the upcoming generation of artists.

By the 1990s Soho had evolved into a lively commercial district no longer chiefly inhabited by, and nurturing to, artists. In May 1996 the Gallery moved uptown to Fifth Avenue and 57 Street, long established crossroads of the art world. With the move came the opportunity to show the work of young artists associated with "downtown" in a new context. Recent exhibitions have introduced to a greater public the work of Will Cotton, Greg Bogin, Karin Davie, Leonardo Drew, Damian Loeb, Peter Wegner and Kevin Zucker.

In November 2000, Mary Boone Gallery opened an additional space in Manhattan's developing Chelsea art district-again in a former garage. This Gallery provides facilities for large-scale works and dramatic installations. The expanded exhibition schedule allows the Gallery to further present intriguing new artists while continuing to promote the artists it has helped to establish.