Installations Activations and Interactions | David Zwirner

25 Years

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The Maturing Program Looking Forward Installations, Activations, and Interactions

Installations, Activations, and Interactions

Over the last decade, David Zwirner has undergone an unprecedented transformation and stood as a major driving force in redefining what a gallery presents and how audiences interact with the art and exhibitions. A new breed of expansive and transporting shows offers unique, museum-caliber experiences to a wider, culturally engaged public while also supporting and honoring the artists' ambitious visions.

On the occasion of his 2017 exhibition Richard Serra: Sculpture and Drawings, the artist explained to Meeka Walsh, editor of Border Crossings magazine, that he had come "to a place in his work where he didn't want people to be simply looking at a single object; he wanted them to experience the work by going through it."

From live, participatory readings of On Kawara's epic One Million Years in 2009, to the 2007 recreation of Rirkrit Tiravanija’s functional kitchen installation Untitled 1992 (Free), which was paired with Gordon Matta-Clark's 1972 dumpster work Open House, to Jason Rhoades’s sprawling 3,000-square-foot Black Pussy installation, also in 2007, David Zwirner has embraced exhibitions that challenge expectations of a traditional gallery show.

As Artnet recently reported, the average daily attendance of Yayoi Kusama's 2017 show—which welcomed over 75,000 visitors—exceeded that of most museum blockbusters. "Say what you will about the rise of the intercontinental mega-gallery," wrote Ken Johnson in a review of Serra's 2013 gallery exhibition for The New York Times, "it’s hard not to feel grateful for what it has given the art-loving public."

Installation view of the exhibition Yutaka Sone: Amusement Romana at 525 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2004.

Installation view, Yutaka Sone: Amusement Romana, 525 West 19th Street, New York, 2004

Installation view of the exhibition, Jason Rhoades: Black Pussy at 519 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2007.

Installation view, Jason Rhoades: Black Pussy, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2007

Directors Justine Durrett and Veronique Ansorge, Director with the artist Katy Schimert at Jason Rhoades: Black Pussy at 519 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2007.

Directors Justine Durrett and Veronique Ansorge, Director with the artist Katy Schimert at Jason Rhoades: Black Pussy, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2007​

Front of showcard for the exhibition On Kawara: One Million Years at 519 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2009.

Front of showcard for On Kawara: One Million Years, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2009

Installation view of the exhibition, Diana Thater: Chernobyl at 519 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2012.

Installation view, Diana Thater: Chernobyl, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2012. This exhibition marked the re-opening of the gallery in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Editions of Chernobyl are in the collections of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Pinault Collection – Pazzo Grassi, Venice; and Kunsthaus Zurich.

Francis Alÿs standing in the flood waters of Hurricane Sandy outside of David Zwirner's West 19th Street spaces in New York, dated 2012.

Francis Alÿs standing in the flood waters of Hurricane Sandy outside of David Zwirner's West 19th Street spaces, New York, 2012

Yayoi Kusama with gallery staff at the opening of the exhibition Yayoi Kusama: I Who Have Arrived in Heaven at 519, 525, and 533 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2013.

Yayoi Kusama with gallery staff at the opening of Yayoi Kusama: I Who Have Arrived in Heaven, 519, 525, and 533 West 19th Street, New York, 2013. Pictured here are Ota Fine Arts's Yoriko Tsuruta (far left), Glenn Scott Wright from Victoria Miro (fourth from left), David Zwirner art handlers Joel Fennell (second from left), Young Sun Han (third from left), Kyle Combs (center, back), and Justin Davis Anderson (second from right), and Senior Partner Hanna Schouwink (right). 

Child adding stickers to Yayoi Kusama’s installation, The obliteration room (2002–present), on view in the exhibition Yayoi Kusama: Give Me Love at 519 and 525 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2015.

Child adding stickers to Yayoi Kusama’s The obliteration room (2002–present), on view in Yayoi Kusama: Give Me Love, 519 and 525 West 19th Street, New York, 2015

Visitors share their impressions of Yayoi Kusama: Festival of Life, 525 and 533 West 19th Street, New York, 2017

Visitor taking a photo at the opening of the exhibition Raymond Pettibon: To Wit at 519 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2013.

Photo: Andreas Laszlo Konrath

Visitor taking a photo at the opening of Raymond Pettibon: To Wit, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2013

Raymond Pettibon, Chris Ofili, Marcel Dzama, and Oscar Murillo during the installation of the exhibition Marcel Dzama and Raymond Pettibon: Let us compare mythologies​ at 24 Grafton Street in London, dated 2016.

Raymond Pettibon, Chris Ofili, Marcel Dzama, and Oscar Murillo during the installation of Marcel Dzama and Raymond Pettibon: Let us compare mythologies​, 24 Grafton Street, London, 2016

Visitors at the opening of the exhibition Jeff Koons: Gazing Ball at 525 and 533 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2013.

Visitors at the opening of Jeff Koons: Gazing Ball, 525 and 533 West 19th Street, New York, 2013

Marcel Dzama with his son, Willem, looking at a painting by Neo Rauch, titled Das Horn (2014), at the opening of the exhibition Neo Rauch: At the Well at 533 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2014.

Marcel Dzama with his son, Willem, looking at Neo Rauch's Das Horn (2014) at the opening of Neo Rauch: At the Well, 533 West 19th Street, New York, 2014

Visitors at the opening of the exhibition Oscar Murillo: A Mercantile Novel at 519 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2014.

Visitors at the opening of Oscar Murillo: A Mercantile Novel, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2014

David Zwirner and Tomma Abts at the opening of the exhibition Tomma Abts at 519 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2014.

David Zwirner and Tomma Abts at the opening of Tomma Abts, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2014. To the left is Director Veronique Ansorge.

Installation view of the exhibition, Kerry James Marshall: Look See at 24 Grafton Street in London, dated 2014.

Installation view, Kerry James Marshall: Look See, 24 Grafton Street, London, 2014

Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Kerry James Marshall at Marshall’s first gallery solo show, Kerry James Marshall: Look See at 24 Grafton Street in London, dated 2014.

Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Kerry James Marshall at Marshall’s first gallery solo show, Kerry James Marshall: Look See, 24 Grafton Street, London, 2014

Marlene Dumas and Gérard Faggionato with Sigmar Polke's painting Arcimi Boldi (1984) at Frieze Masters in London, dated 2016.

Marlene Dumas and Gérard Faggionato with Sigmar Polke's Arcimi Boldi (1984) at Frieze Masters, London, 2016

Installation view of the exhibition, Jason Rhoades: PeaRoeFoam at 537 West 20th Street in New York, dated 2014.

Installation view, Jason Rhoades: PeaRoeFoam, 537 West 20th Street, New York, 2014

Lisa Yuskavage at the press preview for her fourth gallery solo show, Lisa Yuskavage at 533 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2015.

Lisa Yuskavage at the press preview for her fourth gallery solo show, Lisa Yuskavage, 533 West 19th Street, New York, 2015

R. Crumb playing with the East River String Band for the preview of the exhibition R. Crumb: Art & Beauty at 24 Grafton Street in London, dated 2016.

R. Crumb (left) playing with the East River String Band for the preview of R. Crumb: Art & Beauty, 24 Grafton Street, London, 2016

Aline Kominsky-Crumb & R. Crumb: Drawn Together, 525 West 19th Street, New York, 2017

Sales Associate Julia Mechtler taking a photo at the exhibition Sherrie Levine at 537 West 20th Street in New York, dated 2016.

Sales Associate Julia Mechtler taking a photo at Sherrie Levine, 537 West 20th Street, New York, 2016

Hilton Als with Alice Neel's painting titled Ron Kajiwara, dated 1971 at the press preview for the exhibition he curated, Alice Neel, Uptown, at 525 and 533 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2017.

Hilton Als with Alice Neel's Ron Kajiwara (1971) at the press preview for the exhibition he curated, Alice Neel, Uptown, 525 and 533 West 19th Street, New York, 2017

Visitor taking a piece of candy from Felix Gonzalez-Torres's work "Untitled Ross dated 1991, on view in the exhibition Felix Gonzalez-Torres at 537 West 20th Street in New York, dated 2017.

Visitor taking a piece of candy from Felix Gonzalez-Torres's "Untitled" (Ross) (1991), on view in Felix Gonzalez-Torres, 537 West 20th Street, New York, 2017

Jordan Wolfson and Lisa Yuskavage at the opening of the exhibition Jordan Wolfson at 525 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2016.

Jordan Wolfson and Lisa Yuskavage at the opening of Jordan Wolfson, 525 West 19th Street, New York, 2016

Visitors holding eye contact with Jordan Wolfson's sculpture, Colored sculpture, dated 2016, on view in the exhibition Jordan Wolfson at 525 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2016.

Visitors holding eye contact with Jordan Wolfson's Colored sculpture (2016), on view in Jordan Wolfson, 525 West 19th Street, New York, 2016. The sculpture features facial recognition software that can focus the figure's eyes on a watching viewer. Editions of the work are now in the collections of Maja Hoffman / LUMA Foundation Collection and Tate, London.

Wolfgang Tillmans photographing Jordan Wolfson's sculpture, Colored Sculpture at 525 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2016.

Wolfgang Tillmans photographing Jordan Wolfson's Colored Sculpture, 525 West 19th Street New York, 2016

Ruth Asawa, 537 West 20th Street, New York, 2017

A textile work by Anni Albers, titled Black-White-Gold I, dated 1950.

Anni Albers, Black-White-Gold I, 1950, The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

Ben Berlow, one of the gallery’s longtime registrars, cooking curry as part of a work by Rirkrit Tiravanija, titled Untitled (1992) at 519 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2007.

A recreation of Rirkrit Tiravanija's Untitled 1992 (Free) (1992), a provisional kitchen set up to cook and serve Thai curry for visitors, on view in Gordon Matta-Clark & Rirkrit Tiravanija, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2007. Pictured here is Ben Berlow, one of the gallery’s longtime registrars, cooking the curry. Gallery staff still speak of this curry. Tiravanija's work is now in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

David Zwirner, Julia Joern, Partner, and Alexandra Whitney, Director of Research and Exhibitions, deep in conversation at Jason Rhoades: Black Pussy at 519 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2007.

David Zwirner, Julia Joern, Partner, and Alexandra Whitney, Director of Research and Exhibitions, deep in conversation at Jason Rhoades: Black Pussy, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2007

Chris Ofili and Cameron Shaw, then the gallery's Research Manager, participating in the reading of On Kawara’s One Million Years, on view in the exhibition On Kawara: One Million Years at 519 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2009.

Chris Ofili and Cameron Shaw, then the gallery's Research Manager, participating in the reading of On Kawara’s One Million Years, on view in On Kawara: One Million Years, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2009

Installation view of the exhibition, Doug Wheeler at 519 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2012.

Installation view, Doug Wheeler, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2012

Front of showcard for the exhibition Diana Thater: Chernobyl at 519 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2012.

Front of showcard for Diana Thater: Chernobyl, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2012

Visitors lining up for the exhibition Yayoi Kusama: I Who Have Arrived in Heaven at 519, 525, and 533 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2013.

Visitors lining up for Yayoi Kusama: I Who Have Arrived in Heaven, 519, 525, and 533 West 19th Street, New York, 2013

The evolution of Yayoi Kusama's The Obliteration Room (2002-present), on view in Give Me Love​, 519 and 525 West 19th Street, New York, 2015

Children creating their own artworks with stickers inspired by Yayoi Kusama's paintings on view in the exhibition Yayoi Kusama: Give Me Love at 519 and 525 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2015.

Children creating their own artworks with stickers inspired by Yayoi Kusama's paintings on view in Yayoi Kusama: Give Me Love, 519 and 525 West 19th Street, New York, 2015

Visitors at the opening of the exhibition, Raymond Pettibon: To Wit at 519 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2013.

Visitors at the opening of Raymond Pettibon: To Wit, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2013

Raymond Pettibon and Lucas Zwirner taking stock of Pettibon’s works in progress for the exhibition Raymond Pettibon: To Wit at 519 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2013.

Photo: Andreas Laszlo Konrath

Raymond Pettibon and Lucas Zwirner taking stock of Pettibon’s works in progress for Raymond Pettibon: To Wit, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2013

Art handlers Young Sun Han and Clive Murphy putting the finishing touches on Jeff Koons’s sculpture Gazing Ball (Farnese Hercules) (2013) before the opening of the artist's first gallery solo show at 525 and 533 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2013.

Art handlers Young Sun Han and Clive Murphy putting the finishing touches on Jeff Koons’s Gazing Ball (Farnese Hercules) (2013) before the opening of the artist's first gallery solo show, Jeff Koons: Gazing Ball, 525 and 533 West 19th Street, New York, 2013. An edition of the work is now in the collection of The Broad, Los Angeles.

 

David Zwirner and Neo Rauch at the press preview for the exhibition Neo Rauch: At the Well at 533 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2014.

David Zwirner and Neo Rauch at the press preview for Neo Rauch: At the Well, 533 West 19th Street, New York, 2014

Colombina candy-making employees at the press preview for Oscar Murillo's first gallery solo show, Oscar Murillo: A Mercantile Novel at 519 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2014.

Colombina candy-making employees at the press preview for Oscar Murillo's first gallery solo show, Oscar Murillo: A Mercantile Novel, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2014

Colombina staff starting a conga line at the opening of the exhibition Oscar Murillo: A Mercantile Novel at 519 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2014.

Colombina staff starting a conga line at the opening of Oscar Murillo: A Mercantile Novel, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2014. Sales Associate Julia Mechtler (right) looks on with delight.

Partner Bellatrix Hubert in the exhibition Tomma Abts at 519 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2014.

Partner Bellatrix Hubert in Tomma Abts, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2014

A painting by Kerry James Marshall, titled Untitled (Studio), dated 2014.

Kerry James Marshall, Untitled (Studio), 2014. Now in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Jason Rhoades & PeaRoeFoam (2014), video by Lucas Zwirner and Dylan Kenny, who traveled throughout the United States and Europe interviewing those who knew the artist

Visitors at the opening of the exhibition Isa Genzken at 519 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2015.

Visitors at the opening of Isa Genzken, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2015

David Zwirner, Isa Genzken, and Wolfgang Tillmans on West 19th Street. Longtime collaborators and friends, Genzken and Tillmans had joint exhibitions at David Zwirner in New York, dated 2015.

David Zwirner, Isa Genzken, and Wolfgang Tillmans on West 19th Street. Longtime collaborators and friends, Genzken and Tillmans had joint exhibitions at David Zwirner, New York, in 2015.

Animated gif of R. Crumb and Aline Kominsky-Crumb holding hands in front of their works on view in the exhibition Aline Kominsky-Crumb & R. Crumb: Drawn Together at 525 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2017.

Photo: Jason Schmidt

R. Crumb and Aline Kominsky-Crumb holding hands in front of their works on view in Aline Kominsky-Crumb & R. Crumb: Drawn Together, 525 West 19th Street, New York, 2017

Christopher Williams at the press preview for the exhibition Christopher Williams, Open Letter: The Family Drama Refunctioned? (From the Point of View of Production) at 24 Grafton Street in London, dated 2017.

Christopher Williams at the press preview for Christopher Williams, Open Letter: The Family Drama Refunctioned? (From the Point of View of Production), 24 Grafton Street, London, 2017

Lucas Zwirner, Editorial Director of David Zwirner Books, giving a tour to Success Academy students of the exhibition Alice Neel, Uptown at 525 and 533 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2017.

Lucas Zwirner, Editorial Director of David Zwirner Books, giving a tour to Success Academy students of Alice Neel, Uptown, 525 and 533 West 19th Street, New York, 2017

Visitors watching a go-go dancer in Felix Gonzalez-Torres's installation "Untitled" (Go-Go Dancing Platform) (1991) at the opening of the exhibition Felix Gonzalez-Torres at 537 West 20th Street in New York, dated 2017.

Visitors watching a go-go dancer in Felix Gonzalez-Torres's "Untitled" (Go-Go Dancing Platform) (1991) at the opening of Felix Gonzalez-Torres, 537 West 20th Street, New York, 2017

Visitors lining up for the exhibition, Jordan Wolfson, at 525 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2016.

Visitors lining up for Jordan Wolfson, 525 West 19th Street, New York, 2016

Installation view of the exhibition, Jordan Wolfson at 533 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2014​.

Installation view, Jordan Wolfson, 533 West 19th Street, New York, 2014​

Director Branwen Jones, Marcel Dzama, and Partner Julia Joern at the opening of the exhibition Marcel Dzama: Une Danse des Bouffons (A Jester's Dance) at 525 and 533 West 19th Street in New York, dated 2014.

Director Branwen Jones, Marcel Dzama, and Partner Julia Joern at the opening of Marcel Dzama: Une Danse des Bouffons (A Jester's Dance), 525 and 533 West 19th Street New York, 2014

Visitors looking at sculptures by Ruth Asawa in her exhibition at 537 West 20th Street in New York, dated 2017.

"David Zwirner’s West 20th Street space in Chelsea looks like a basketry forest, or a subaqueous garden, or a cloud of microbial life. The sight is one of the enchantments of the New York fall season," Holland Cotter wrote in The New York Times after seeing Ruth Asawa, 537 West 20th Street, New York, 2017.

Press preview with Nicholas Fox Weber, Executive Director, The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, of Josef and Anni and Ruth and Ray, exhibition walkthrough with, 34 East 69th Street, New York, 2017

Raymond Pettibon at the panel talk titled "Ad Reinhardt: Artists Among Artists" at 537 West 20th Street, in New York, in October 2017.

Raymond Pettibon at the "Ad Reinhardt: Artists Among Artists" panel talk at 537 West 20th Street, featuring Peter Halley, Josephine Halvorson, Nathlie Provosty, Cheyney Thompson, and moderated by Seth Cameron, in October 2017.

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Looking Forward