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SculptureCenter continues to break the mold. Founded as The Clay Club in Brooklyn in 1928, the nonprofit changed its name and moved to a carriage house on West 8th Street in Manhattan in 1944. Four years later, it relocated to another carriage house on East 69th Street. In 2001, the arts institution purchased a former Long Island City trolley repair shop, which was then renovated by Maya Lin, the landscape artist who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C.

Recently, ScuptureCenter underwent another renovation and it now boasts a new 2,000 square foot, one-story entrance lobby with bookshop, coatroom, seating area, and restrooms; 6,500 square feet of flexible interior exhibition space; an elevator and stairway to the lower level galleries; and a 1,500-square-foot, enclosed courtyard for outdoor exhibitions and events.

Now it’s time to celebrate with a special, day-long event and a four-month exhibition. More information and photos are after the jump page.

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It’s four “firsts” in one. This weekend, SculptureCenter launches simultaneous premiere presentations by Rossella Biscotti, Radamés “Juni” Figueroa, Jumana Manna and David Douard. Each artist will be showing a solo project for the first time in a U.S. institution. Biscotti’s film The Undercover Man depicts Joseph D. Pistone, an FBI agent (aka Donnie Brasco) who spent six years undercover with the Bonnano crime family, resulting in the conviction of over 100 mobsters in the 1980s. The film is part of a larger project that includes sculptures, photographs, and a publication. Juni will display a site-specific structure referencing a tree house (below) in Naguabo, Puerto Rico. The sculpture incorporates materials inspired by the tropical rain forest and urban structures found throughout the island. Manna will show a group of sculptures related to her video work, Blessed Blessed Oblivion, which examines macho culture in East Jerusalem. In his )juicy o’f the nest (above), Douard explores notions around a city’s literal and figurative underground. Mirroring systems that aren’t necessarily seen, but are essential to daily life (sewage systems, public transport, etc.), Douard creates an elaborate scheme connecting fruit, fountains, a sofa, and other elements.

Details: Spring Exhibitions, SculptureCenter, 44-19 Purves Street, Long Island City, opening reception, March 1st, 5 pm to 7 pm, exhibition runs from March 2 to May 12, hours are Thursday through Monday, 11 am to 6 pm (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays), $5 suggested donation/$3 suggested donation for students.

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Image Source: SculptureCenter

When it comes to expansions, this group breaks the mold. On April 2, the SculptureCenter announced a renovation of its LIC facility that aims to improve the quality of the exhibition spaces and the visitor flow. The undertaking will create a 2,000-sq-ft. addition to the existing Purves Street facility, and the renovated facility will comply with all current building codes, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.

SculptureCenter will remain open during construction with some modification to its exhibition schedule and public hours. With an expected completion in fall 2014, the rehab includes the following:

  • 6,500 square feet of flexible interior exhibition space that will accommodate work of diverse
    forms and scale;
  • a 2,000 sq.-ft., one-story entrance lobby with bookshop, coatroom, seating area,
    and restrooms;
  • an elevator and stairway to the lower level galleries;
  • a 1,500-sq.-ft. enclosed courtyard for outdoor exhibitions and events;
  • upgrades to electrical and mechanical systems; and
  • office and storage space improvements.

Seen at the groundbreaking ceremony are (from left) Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall, City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, SC Executive Director and Chief Curator Mary Ceruti, SC Board Chair Sascha S. Bauer and NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin.

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Image Source: SculptureCenter

Keith Boadwee has exhibited internationally since the early 1990s, working in painting, sculpture, performance and body art. He is currently a faculty member in the graduate art departments at California College of the Arts and the San Francisco Art Institute. In the other corner, Justin Lieberman is a Brandeis University faculty member who founded the Student Art Collective. What do they have in common? On March 19, they will engage in a dialogue on their experiences as artists and art professors at the SculptureCenter. Actually, they have a lot more in common. Both teachers consciously adopt a position of loose authority, share an interest in collective authorship and radical education, and take a critical stance toward the professionalization of art school. Plus, Boadwee and Lieberman push questions of accepted taste in their art, challenging existing academic standards. Boadwee will discuss Club Paint, an ongoing collaboration with two former students. Lieberman will speak about SAC (currently on view at SculptureCenter), which examines ethics and power relations in pedagogical settings.

SculptureCenter
44-19 Purves Street, LIC
Tuesday, March 19
7pm – 9pm | Free

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Image Source: SculptureCenter

Q: What happens when you mix sculpture and performance-based art? A: Double Life, which just opened at SculptureCenter. Don’t get it? Double Life examines the role of the contemporary artist and the general human condition as self-performers, as well as our identification with — and attachment to — everyday objects. Featured artists investigate themes such as identity construction, authorship and alienation amid current conditions that are multicultural, hyper-mediated and increasingly focused on self-presentation. Still don’t get it? It’s art, just enjoy. Plus, Bryan Zanisnik will do performance art with his parents, Bob and Carol Zanisnik, on Sundays, 3pm – 6pm.

Double Life
SculptureCenter
44-19 Purves Street, Long Island City
Just opened, runs until March 25
11am – 6pm, Mon – Thurs. | $5