Brooklyn Academy of Music opens its first gallery for visual art

Glenn Kaino, Spill (2019)

The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) opens its first-ever space dedicated exclusively to visual art tomorrow. The 1,100-square-foot Rudin Family Gallery, which is named after the trustee and art collector Beth Rudin DeWoody, will be part of the institutions $38m BAM Strong complex on Fulton Street, a recently completed construction designed by Mitchell Giurgola Architects that connects three existing theatre spaces in the Fort Greene neighbourhood of Brooklyn. The Rudin Family Gallery will be inaugurated with a solo show of work by Glenn Kaino titled When a Pot Finds its Purpose (6 November-15 December).

“Its a privilege to open the space but also a great challenge and responsibility,” Kaino says. His exhibition, part of BAMs annual Next Wave Festival that spotlights ambitious new work by young artists, consists of two large-scale works. Inside the gallery is Blue, a wall installation of simulated waves in miniature tanks. And Spill (2019) is a sculptural installation made with plaster reproductions of the historic Liberty Bell overflowing with regenerative soil, which will be visible from the street. In this work “a metaphor about growth and progress—repotting—is applied to an abstracted diorama that includes historical references and newly rethought biological processes,” Kaino says. “Presented in a space without a history, it is an argument for an imaginary proposition about a regenerative future.”

The show was organised by Larry Ossei-Mensah, a native New Yorker who was tapped last year to become the senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. As the Rudin Family Gallery first guest curator, Ossei-Mensah said he had to ask himself “what the vision and personality of this space are going to be” rather than “treating it as just a building in which to show art”.

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