Matthew Marks Gallery
Located in West Hollywood, the Matthew Marks Gallery is a freestanding building of naturally lit exhibition galleries.The building’s facade features a monumental sculpture by Ellsworth Kelly.
The sculpture, which measure 8 x 40 feet, is installed almost 30 feet off the ground and ten inches out from the facade of the building. It is among his largest works in any medium and the first to incorporate a building’s architecture into his own work.
The building was conceived as a monolithic, windowless, 70 feet long, 40 feet wide, 32 feet high, white stucco box. Its unyielding massing is intended to provide a distinct transition from the highly trafficked commercial strip along Santa Monica Boulevard to the residential district to its south, an area characterized by a series of mid-century two to five story stucco apartment buildings.
The building’s natural, sprayed-on “medium-dash” stucco skin refers to both Los Angeles’ anonymous commercial construction as well as to local, notably reductive pieces of architecture such as Irving Gill’s residential work.
The street facade is interrupted by a single 12 foot high by 4 foot wide door. The proportions of the door correspond to several internal dimensions. The alley elevation carries a large steel sliding barn door, a smaller fire rated steel emergency exit door, and an aluminum metal roof access ladder. No other significant elements have been added to the exterior of the building.
The interior space, nearly as basic in its design as the facade, is naturally lit by eight light-wells that spill sunlight onto a lightly washed industrial grade, unpolished and exposed grey concrete slab. Approximately fifty light fixtures overhead provide artificial illumination as needed.
Ellsworth Kelly’s sculpture relates to two important early works: Study for Black and White Panels, 1954, a collage created during the artist’s time in Paris, and Black Over White, a 1966 painting made in New York City, both of which were on view in the gallery as part of the opening exhibition.
|CITY||Los Angeles, California|