Alternative Venues in a Changing Economy

Meier GAP1 DMcClure Alternative Venues in a Changing Economy

How do you remain uncommercialized in an increasingly commercialized space? A very difficult question when it comes to the business of art.  Some lean toward shock value, the status quo, or cleverness, while others choose to continue to expand the boundaries of intellectual and creative integrity on behalf of artists and audiences. The Gallery at 1GAP (One Grand Army Plaza), an alternative contemporary art space, mediated by curator Isolde Brielmaier, offers up a site based on the latter.

Housed in the lobby common spaces of the Richard Meier On Prospect Park condominium building in Brooklyn, New York, the space mounts a variety of exhibitions, three times per year that honor both form and content. Designed to highlight Brooklyn-based artists, Brielmaier co-conceptualized the space after two years of curatorial work for the building on behalf of the site’s developer.

Launched in February 2010, the premiere exhibition featured the work of Timothy Paul Myers, also an installation artist for Tory Burch boutique windows; followed in May 2010 by South African born conceptual artist Raphael Zollinger; and, currently hosts selections from artist Duron Jackson, which discreetly examine the United States prison industrial complex and the Black male body.

Part of 1GAP’s mission is a commitment to purchasing one piece of work from each exhibition for the building’s collection.  Thus far, artists have also sold a few additional works, if not more. Brielmaier says, “This appears to be the only residential artistic venture of its kind as far as I know.”

Over the last year 1GAP seems to have found its rhythm, a clear identity, and set a precedent for new relationship paradigms in the arts.  Put simply, in Brielmaier’s words, “The purpose of the art program at 1GAP is to provide the building’s residents with a stimulating and creative environment as well as to support a broader creative/artistic community. There is now an active art committee in the building and together with myself, the in house curator, we develop the program.”

-Diana McClure
Image by Diana McClure

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