- In Pictures
- Meat Market
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KRISTINE WOODWARD (co-owner):
Hurricane Sandy knocked out Woodward Gallery’s electricity and water. Since our security system runs on power, we were physically unable to get into our space from Monday, October 29 through Sunday, November 4, to even check for damage.
Thankfully, Woodward was built like a vault. Our building has a sub-basement, which would have had to fill up completely with water before it started to affect the Gallery levels. We endured the flooding without much incident. Our major fall exhibition was postponed a week and the opening reception was rescheduled [for December 1]. All Margaret Morrison’s collectors, flying in from all over the country, had to cancel their visits. We reopened to the public with the Morrison exhibition on November 10. Hope to see you!
ELISABETH SANN (associate director)
It’s really our basement that got flooded. The building installed a new elevator recently…and I guess it wasn’t sealed properly — so the water came in through the elevator shaft.
We have quite a bit of storage down there. We did [prior to Sandy] raise artwork about a foot off the ground, but we weren’t ready for three feet of water. The shipment for El Anatsui’s show [“El Anatsui: They Finally Broke the Pot of Wisdom,” originally scheduled to open November 28] arrived [post-Sandy] while we were trying to move the damaged work out of the gallery, so we were lucky with that. Its new run date is December 14 through January 19. The show that was on view before the storm hit [“Hank Willis Thomas: What Goes Without Saying”], has been extended through December 8.
We were lucky that the damage was contained to the basement. Most of the photos that were lost are by living artists so can fortunately be reprinted. Of the irreplaceable artworks, many are secondary market items bought at auction, mostly works on paper. Jack and Claude [the gallery co-owners] are big collectors.
Our exhibition space [which sustained no water damage] is on the ground level. We’re lucky to be raised three and a half feet above street level…but because the basement was flooded, we needed to use the gallery’s dry spaces to triage the works that were damaged.
Myself and a few other Manhattan-based colleagues were first to arrive, on Tuesday [October 31], and went to work trying to bail things out of the water. We were taking dry artwork to our storage space in upstate New York. The wet work is going to a conservator in the Bronx.
We’re very lucky to have had a lot of support from friends. How is it [the West Chelsea gallery area] as a whole? It’s hard to say, because I was just knee deep in our own issues. I think we’ll all make a recovery. It seems like a lot of galleries are landing on their feet.
[Chelsea Now asked Sann if they’d stay in the area and, if so, how they’d plan for future events of such magnitude.]
There aren’t many neighborhoods left in Manhattan with this kind of space. Galleries are going to have to be a little smarter about storage, though — and take a bit more heed when they hear weather warnings. We never had flooding like that…ever. I think we just need to be more careful and rethink the way we operate.
“What Goes Without Saying” is Hank Willis Thomas’ third solo exhibition with Jack Shainman Gallery includes photographs, sculpture, painting and new media — all which delve into the construction of mythologies embedded in popular culture. Known for his innovative use of advertising, a globally ubiquitous language, he builds complex narratives about history, identity and race.
This show brings together several facets of Thomas’ practice to explore objects and language, torn from their history, brought to our present and repurposed to reveal the process of their agency. By separating language from the advertising in which it appears, he effectively deconstructs the relationship between the reader and viewer.
HANK WILLIS THOMAS:
WHAT GOES WITHOUT SAYING
Through Dec. 8
At Jack Shainman Gallery
513 W. 20th St. (btw. 10th & 11th Aves,)
Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10am-6pm
Call 212-645-1701 or visit jackshainman.com