By Catherine Wagley
By Channing Sargent
By L.A. Weekly critics
By Amanda Lewis
By Catherine Wagley
By Carol Cheh
By Keegan Hamilton
By Bill Raden
Phase one, which is ready now, includes a reception area, a storage room, offices, bathrooms, a private lounge and a small, rectangular gallery. Most of the open interior will serve as the main exhibition area. The building's brick walls will be left raw, although artist Yunhee Min is providing acrylic window treatments that add brilliant color to an otherwise gray edifice.
In phase two, the team will pay tribute to the original Night Gallery by installing a structure that is the exact size of the Lincoln Heights space. Its shape also will take inspiration from Michael Asher's landmark 1970 architectural intervention at Pomona College, in which the reshaping of two of the museum's galleries opened up a triangular social/performance space, which was kept open 24 hours a day.
The third and fourth phases are where things really get interesting: Zellner plans to build a chapel out of felt, and the two women envision an adjacent set of bleachers for film screenings or socializing.
According to Zellner, this type of buildings-within-a-building structure has been seen in workspace design since the 1980s. For an art space, however, Nemeroff called it "revolutionary." Zellner excitedly talked about the new possibilities that it opens up for artists, who can exhibit work both inside and outside the various structures.
This project comes at an opportune time for him as well; although Zellner is known for designing pristine, white cube spaces, he had grown tired of the repetitive model and jumped at the chance to work on something less orthodox.
"I believe in the spirit of Night Gallery," the architect said. "More specifically, I believe in Mieke and Davida. ... With this space, which is a model of a commercial venture within a noncommercial setting, they are opening up what it means to be a gallery today."
This dynamic sense of possibility doesn't show any signs of letting up. "I don't want to put any limits on what we might do," Marple said. "Art isn't just paintings."
Night Gallery's new space opens Saturday, Jan. 26, 8-10 p.m., with a solo show of new sculptural works by Sean Townley. 2276 E. 16th Street, dwntwn.; Tues.-Sat., noon-7 p.m. (650) 384-5448, nightgallery.ca.