City limits: Bortolami Gallery’s ’Artist/City’ upends the traditional exhibition model

Bortolami Gallery’s ’Artist/City’ exhibition platform is giving artists the chance to stage exhibitions over the course of a year in specific cities.
Bortolami Gallery’s ’Artist/City’ exhibition platform is giving artists the chance to stage exhibitions over the course of a year in specific cities. Pictured: a series of porticos by Daniel Buren in Miami.
(Image credit: Gesi Schilling)

New York’s Bortolami Gallery is well on its way to disrupting the traditional five-week exhibition model. Since the end of last year, the gallery has been pairing different artists with a city to stage work over the course of a year. The experimental platform, called ‘Artist/City’, presents work in two phases and thus charts a creative evolution of each artist, while also giving visitors reason to return during the time.

Bortolami unveiled its first pairing with a bang – Daniel Buren in Miami, opening during Art Basel last year. Comprising a series of new works in which Buren uses striped linen fabric to mimic his painted linear pieces, the exhibition is installed at The M Building, a former 1950s manufacturing warehouse restored by architect Chad Oppenheim, in the heart of Miami’s Wynwood district.

The exhibition’s second phase saw Buren install five colourful porticos throughout the gallery space, a site-specific piece entitled Passage aller-retour. The installation toys with the viewer’s idea of space, while also considering the stripe as a different visual tool that Buren uses to explore the notion of art.

In May, the gallery unveiled its second union: the Los Angeles-based artist Eric Wesley in St Louis. Wesley has pitched up within an empty Taco Bell restaurant and filled it with five new tondo paintings that greatly resemble an open burrito. Employing a variety of painting techniques, Wesley depicts different ingredients on each of the wood panels in abstract fashion.

Wesley’s year-long intervention includes several projects, such as casting a bronze bell for the Spanish Colonial structure, planting a vegetable patch for the grounds and creating a series of abstract sculptures that respond to the local Pizza Hut, located across the road.

With future collaborations including Barbara Kasten in Chicago and Nicolás Guagnini in San Francisco, 'Artist/City' presents a new chance to get to know these artists a whole lot better.

Pictured: a view of Buren’s site-specific piece, entitled Passage aller-retour

The gallery’s first pairing, ’Daniel Buren/Miami’ is currently installed at The M Building, a former 1950s manufacturing warehouse restored by architect Chad Oppenheim, in the heart of Miami’s Wynwood district. Pictured: a view of Buren’s site-specific piece, entitled Passage aller-retour

(Image credit: press)

Buren earlier unveiled a series of new works made using striped linen fabric to mimic his painted linear pieces

Buren earlier unveiled a series of new works made using striped linen fabric to mimic his painted linear pieces

(Image credit: press)

The exhibition toys with the viewer’s idea of space, while also considering the stripe as a visual tool that Buren uses to explore the notion of art

Open until the end of November, the exhibition toys with the viewer’s idea of space, while also considering the stripe as a visual tool that Buren uses to explore the notion of art

(Image credit: press)

The second ’Artist/City’ pairing sees the Los Angeles-based artist Eric Wesley take over an old Taco Bell restaurant in St Louis

The second ’Artist/City’ pairing sees the Los Angeles-based artist Eric Wesley take over an old Taco Bell restaurant in St Louis

(Image credit: press)

Wesley’s year-long intervention includes several projects, such as casting a bronze bell for the Spanish Colonial structure

Wesley’s year-long intervention includes several projects, such as casting a bronze bell for the Spanish Colonial structure, planting a vegetable patch for the grounds and creating a series of abstract sculptures (pictured) that respond to the local Pizza Hut across the road

(Image credit: press)

The space also contains five new tondo paintings that greatly resemble an open burrito

The space also contains five new tondo paintings that greatly resemble an open burrito

(Image credit: press)

Wesley depicts different ingredients on each of the wood panels in abstract fashion

Employing a variety of painting techniques, Wesley depicts different ingredients on each of the wood panels in abstract fashion

(Image credit: press)

INFORMATION

’Daniel Buren/Miami’ is on view until 30 November. ’Eric Wesley/St Louis’ is on view until April 2017. For more information, please visit the Bortolami Gallery’s website

Pei-Ru Keh is the US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru has held various titles at Wallpaper* since she joined in 2007. She currently reports on design, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru has taken a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars and actively seeks out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.