It’s only been nine months since longtime London stalwart Lisson Gallery planted its first flag on U.S. soil, opening a massive space on West 24th Street in Chelsea, cleverly built underneath the High Line. After years of planning, it opened last year with a show of work by Carmen Herrera.
But why open one gallery when you can open two? In March, Lisson will open up another, smaller space a few blocks away, at 136 Tenth Avenue, near 18th Street. It secured a multiyear lease on the 3,500-square-foot space, and will regularly organize shows theres.
The new digs came about after one of Lisson’s artists, Haroon Mirza, asked about finding a temporary space for a project he thought would be too small for the cavernous, 8,500-square-foot space that opened last year.
“He really wanted to do something very singular,” explained Alex Logsdail, the gallery’s director in New York, in a phone call with ARTnews. “So I said, we’ll find you a temporary space. I started looking into it, and I realized we don’t have a space to show single-work exhibitions or things that are a little more intimate.”
“It was something that met the needs of a lot of our artists that make smaller work that we don’t exhibit all the time,” Logsdail added. “It allows us to do something that’s a little more boutique, more niche, and it gives us some flexibility.”
He explained that Lisson’s dual-space setup in London allows for all the artists on its 50-plus-person roster to have a show there every two years. With the 136 Tenth Avenue space, Lisson’s New York-based programming can establish a similar rhythm.
“We started to realize the speed that we can give shows in New York is actually pretty slow,” Logsdail said.
For the inaugural show, Mirza is presenting his installation ããã – Fear of the Unknown remix, which consists of a video work—”a collection of found video that documents the last 15 years, beginning with September 11 and ending with the election of Donald Trump,” Logsdail said—and eight channels of LED lights, which highlight psychotropic plants placed around the space. “In all, the pulsating light, sound, and a moving image of the video result in a nearly hallucinatory experience for the visitor, similar to the transformative encounter that can occur when the plants are ingested,” a release notes. Trippy.
That show will open on March 3 and will be followed up with an exhibition of work on paper by Carmen Herrera, which opens in early May to coincide with Frieze New York and the artist’s 102nd birthday.
Logsdail said he looked all over Chelsea and Tribeca before settling on the space at 136 Tenth Avenue. The address has been home to a number of other galleries in recent years, such as Lori Bookstein Fine Art and William Stone Gallery. Alexander and Bonin, Andrew Edlin, and Cohan and Leslie have all had spots on the block of Tenth Avenue. Earlier, the address was home to the Congo Tire Company, and in its original capacity, upon being completed in 1908, the ground floor was a horse stable.