Back in January ArtNet reported that David Zwirner was opening a new gallery, a massive five story building in the illustrious gallery district, closing down their 19th street location in the process. DZ chose Renzo Piano, designer of the now iconic new Whitney, for the $50 million project. And despite my deep love for the Whitney building (it’s awesome: the mutable floor plan, the windows, and even the entry way are great and a fantastic space to display and view works of art/I am a Whitney Museum fan girl who closely followed their move from the UES to the Meatpacking District), there are all of these cool ladies I would have rather seen get the commission. Here are five of them:
Yolande Daniels aka Academic Architect with an Artistic Twist
Co-founder of studioSUMO (with Sunil Bald), Yolande Daniels has accolades for days (all the way back to 1996). She’s developed a dynamic portfolio of interiors with studioSUMO, along with gallery and museum exteriors – like their work for the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD in Brooklyn) and design projects with MoMA PS1 and the Mizuta Museum Of Art. She also teaches at Parsons: The New School and has lectured at MIT. Considering the fact that she is one of the 400 black female architects in the US (which translates to 3% of the architects in the United States) it would have been an excellent choice to highlight the work of an exceptionally qualified woman of color.
Sharon Davis aka a fucking long shot but it would be nice
Davis, whose office is in the heart of the West Village, just a few neighborhoods away, is a community conscious architect. She’s worked on a Women’s Center in Kosovo as well as a hospital in Rwanda. I’m sure she would love $50 million to create a space of empowerment for viewers of such a baller collection (DZ’s collection is PROLIFIC). Who knows, maybe Davis would be like “thx DZ, but no thx, I’m here making a difference with my gorgeous and ecologically conscious buildings.” A little community wouldn’t hurt the gallery district, though. Also, girl can do cold modernist, this shot of her office space gives me butterflies with that wall to wall cube shelving and that boss conference table.
Odile Decq aka the Banshee of Buildings
I call her the Banshee of Buildings because her style is reminiscent of Siouxsie Sioux (of Siouxsie and the Banshees) and, I live for it. Last year she received the Jane Drew Prize for being “a creative powerhouse, spirited breaker of rules and advocate for equality.” Her post-brutalist style with hints of color and curvature would make total sense for the gallery district and would brilliantly nest in the area. Decq can cultivate an aesthetic, and it seems like her brand would complement the DZ collection. I enjoy her so much that I don’t even care that there are THREE fonts in her branding (and I am easily shaken by font choices).
Suchi Reddy aka Solid with a Sense of Humor
First off, let’s just take a second to appreciate Reddy naming her brand Reddymade (a play on words for readymade, duh). According to her website “The Indian-born, New York-based architect creates spare, witty yet comfortable contemporary spaces that clients — and their guests — relish and savor.” YES. Urban development is severely lacking chic wit. Her buildings and spaces are grounded yet airy, and she’s collaborated with artists the likes of Ai Weiwei and designed an alternative space called 71% for MoMA PS1. She takes into consideration climate change and embraces the empowering nature of spaces as seen in her designs for The Women’s Building (she was on the shortlist but the commission went to Deborah Berke Partners).
Kazuyo Sejima aka the lady brilliance behind the New Museum building
Sejima is a pretty obvious choice. Let’s not understate the fucking force to be reckoned with that is the New Museum (a non-collecting gem, that has responsibly shown socio-political art and whose triennial is a hot damn career starter) and she’s the one who gave it a physical embodiment! Such a forward thinking institution (founded by the brilliant Marcia Trucker) deserves such a postmodern building by a talented woman. Sejima could’ve done some serious work for DZ! And, bold white-cube buildings just make sense for galleries, right? (Right.)
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