Dan Colen, drunk "Scooby-Doo" sculpture, on display in exhibition held by the Brant Foundation at Walter De Maria's former studio. Photo: Shawn Chittle, via EV Grieve.
Peter Brant still isn't sharing his long-term plans for the former home and studio of Minimalist maestro Walter De Maria, but a small exhibition of work by Gagosian gallery artist Dan Colen held at the space this week lends credence to speculation that Brant will turn the place into an art center.
Located on East Sixth Street, the four-floor building, a former Con Ed substation, dates to 1920. De Maria purchased the property in 1980 and converted it into a live-work space. It hit the market following De Maria's death in 2013, age 77, and the Brant family snatched it up through BFAB, LLC., for a cool $27 million in August, confirming months of rumors (see "Who Bought Walter De Maria's East Village Studio?" and "Peter Brant Paid $27 Million for Walter De Maria's Old Studio").
The Dan Colen show features empty hand-blown glass beer bottles and hand-painted cigarette butts strewn about the 16,400-square-foot space; the artist's stud paintings hung on the walls. According to New York Magazine, Colen tripped on the bottles, which appeared to have been consumed by a drunken sculpture of Scooby-Doo, on more than one occasion during the opening.
Among the attendees were gallerist Tony Shafrazi and art collector and former Andy Warhol superstar "Baby" Jane Holzer.
The Brant Foundation Art Study Center, a former stone barn in Greenwich, Connecticut, that has been revamped by architect Richard Gluckman as a gallery space, holds two exhibitions of contemporary art each year, drawn from Brant's collection. Art world glitterati and celebrity guests flock to the verdant property twice a year for openings. A New York City art space for the Brant family would provide an interesting contrast to Greenwich's sprawling polo fields, and could be far more accessible throughout the year.
PR representatives assure artnet News that this week's mini show is not officially affiliated with the Brant Foundation. Colen did team up with the organization earlier this year: in August, the New York Observer reported that the artist gave 100 children from New York's department of homeless services a tour of his retrospective "Help!" at the Brant Foundation in Greenwich for Free Arts Day.
© Ruth Zoe Andreas, all rights reserved