The Quality of Presence: A group exhibition takes place in a recently vacated suite at the Chelsea Hotel

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, June 25, 2024

The Quality of Presence: A group exhibition takes place in a recently vacated suite at the Chelsea Hotel
Tom Burr, Architectural Digest, (a door), 2010. Painted wood and glass door, vintage magazine pages, tape, 80 x 32 x 1 inches, 203.2 x 81.3 x 2.5 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Bortolami, New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Quality of Presence is a group exhibition that employs Walter Benjamin’s seminal text The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction as a point of departure, and extends Benjamin’s argument of a diminishing “aura” of an artwork to the architectural space that encompasses it.

The exhibition takes place in a recently vacated suite at the Chelsea Hotel, a legendary home to countless artists, writers, poets, and cultural figures with a rich and tumultuous history and an uncertain future. Often called the “last great bastion of bohemia,” The Chelsea Hotel has been vilified, exorcised, eulogized and resurrected many times over since its inauguration as New York’s tallest building in 1884. Some artists in the exhibition have lived, or passed through, the Chelsea. Others were and continue to be inspired by it. The exhibition has been curated by Dmitry Komis.

In recent years, the Hotel has undergone consecutive changes in ownership and management, leaving dozens of its long-time residents in a perpetual state of limbo. Artwork that has long graced the walls of the lobby, halls, and staircase has disappeared, baffling visitors and residents alike; all that remains is the trace of presence. In one sense it is a space that no longer exists.

The exhibition operates in this in-between space and invites artists from disparate fields and generations to respond and engage with the environment, which retains the scars of its former inhabitants. Not to be confused: this is not a nostalgic look back, but rather a circumscribed vetting of the bodies and poetics that intermingle in this contested space.

The works in the show point to a tension between the glamour and decadent squalor that the space personifies. A door, a chair, a sink, a mirror, a lamp, a candelabra, and other domestic signifiers populate the space to suggest a lingering presence. A number of artists hint at a subliminal inhabitance by camouflaging and dissecting the body or by appropriating a figurative stance. Others reject the figure and the representational in favor of a tactile relation to materials. Past and present mirror one another, while projections of figures on the verge of action inserted throughout the space eschew a fixed narrative in favor of an ambiguous and open-ended potentiality.

In The Architectural Uncanny, the architecture historian Anthony Vidler exposes the psychology of interior space, uncovering an interest in the “spatial uncanny” – building on Freud’s theory of the “individual uncanny” – as manifested in the privacy of the interior and acting as a metaphor of the “unhomely” condition. In other words, this architectural uncanny – “necessarily ambiguous, combining aspects of fictional history, its psychological analysis, and its cultural manifestations” - exposes our fundamental insecurity and estrangement from our domestic environment. The history of the Chelsea, with its majestic triumphs, harrowing overdoses, and sublime (self)-destructions, is emblematic of this condition and functions in a state of perpetual unease.

This show builds on these themes, and in keeping with the transient, “uncanny” spirit of the Chelsea Hotel, explores absence and presence, desire and domesticity and unhinged decadence within a shifting cultural landscape.

With: Alvin Baltrop, Carol Bove, Kathe Burkhart, Tom Burr, Colette, Anne-Lise Coste, Jen DeNike, Graham Durward, Ryan Foerster, Scott Hug, Veruschka von Lehndorff, Lily Ludlow, Robert Mapplethorpe, Megan Marrin, Thomas Ĝvlisen, Walter Pfeiffer, Michael Rouillard, Job Piston, Alan Ruiz, Desi Santiago, Marc Scrivo, Joshua Seidner, Diego Singh, Paul Thek, Panos Tsagaris, Johanna Unzueta, Ricardo Valentim, Miguel Villalobos, Christian Wassmann, Tennessee Williams, Robert Wilson, Francesca Woodman, Zaldy.

The exhibition will be open from 11am – 7pm Friday, April 27 through Sunday, April 29, and by appointment.

For Sales and Appointment inquiries, please contact Dmitry Komis via or 646.750.3368.

Today's News

April 24, 2012

R.E.M. as seen between 1990-2010 by Anton Corbijn on view at the Albertinum

"The Theater of the Street" explored through photographs at the National Gallery of Art

National Museum of Scotland announces major new exhibitions for 2013

Palais de Tokyo in Paris opens its third edition of the contemporary art triennial exhibition

Kunsthaus Zürich joins forces with Fondation Hubert Looser to exhibit 70 works

RR Auction in New Hampshire announces its Titanic 100th anniversary auction

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, appoints Mahrukh Tarapor Senior Advisor for International Initiatives

The Quality of Presence: A group exhibition takes place in a recently vacated suite at the Chelsea Hotel

"Exit from the House of Being" is Michael Joo's first exhibition at Blain/Southern opens

Actors, artists aim to turn around eight failing schools with pilot project that integrates arts

Ogden Museum of Southern Art announces exhibitions with a focus on the envirnoment

The art that launched a pop culture empire: First Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Iilustration offered at auction

Einstein Archives website received nearly 1 million unique visitors in its first month

Toledo Museum of Art acquires seven glass objects made during historical 1962 glass workshops

Marc Brotherton and Nina Carelli open solo shows at Causey Contemporary

Amherst College's Mead Art Museum receives $1,000,000 Endowment Challenge Grant

Tennessee court decision may finally end Fisk art case

Man questioned in art heist faces weapons charges

Bedouin animal sacrifice rituals provide clues to archaeological remains

Sri Lanka to demolish mosque after monks' protest

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful