A Serendipitous Art Space
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
The display in the window at 259-275 Tenth Ave. is intriguing but vexing: There is no clear way to enter the space and no indication of what’s behind the glass, beyond a small card noting the artist’s name (Denise Kupferschmidt), the title of the work, “This and That: My Grandmother’s Cabinet, or Mary Jean in Maputo,” and the date the installation made its debut.
The window is curated by a former director of the Zach Feuer Gallery, Lumi Tan. The building’s owner, Douglas Oliver, originally offered it to Mr. Feuer as a satellite space for his partner gallery in Los Angeles, Kantor / Feuer. Since the beginning of this year, Ms. Tan has been programming it on her own, primarily with work by women artists.
Ms. Kupferschmidt’s installation is based on the time her grandmother spent as a missionary in Mozambique; the objects, all of which Ms. Kupferschmidt created, represent a fantasy of the artifacts her grandmother might have brought back as souvenirs.
“I love the fact that this is open 24 hours a day, and anyone can have access to it,” Ms. Tan said. “There’s no budget, and no press.”
Each installation has an “opening”: a bunch of people hanging out on the street next to the window. Sometimes Ms. Tan serves nonalcoholic refreshments.
Ms. Tan will curate the window through November; after that, she’s not sure what will happen, though she said she hopes it will be passed on to another curator.
The purpose of the space is not commercial, she said, though a few of the pieces on display in the window have been sold. (She takes a modest 10% commission.)
“I used to put my e-mail on the label, but now I don’t,” she said. “I wanted to take it a little more away from me.” If anyone is interested, she added, “they can Google Denise and contact her easily.