Does this qualify as de-gentrification? Paul Kasmin, owner of the eponymous blue chip Chelsea gallery at the corner of West 27th Street and Tenth Avenue (and a small annex space on 27th), has bought the neighboring space formerly occupied by West Side nightclub Bungalow 8, and tells ArtInfo that he’ll be turning the skylight-lit space into another gallery, likely dedicated to sculpture.
Michael Slenske writes that during a recent visit, the former club at 515 West 27th Street
looked like a ravaged version of its former self, as if trapped in the morning-after amber of some epic bacchanal…To wit, the photo murals of the Beverly Hills Hotel pool had been ripped from the walls, the palm trees are slumped over in various states of decay, and the iconic booths and neon green lattice below the glass roof appeared to be rotting amidst the flotsam of nightclub detritus… An old game of Clue was sitting in pieces on a half-shattered cocktail table.
But with a little cleaning and clearing out, the tall space with its ceiling of skylights will make for a kind of indoor sculpture garden. Kasmin tells Artinfo he plans to remove the bar and DJ booth, paint the walls white, and replace the trademark façade with a clear one that will bring more light into the space, making for a “very, very white and clean” interior—the international contemporary art gallery standard, in other words. No word on when the space might open, but Kasmin suggests sculptors like Les Lalanne, Ivan Navarro and Will Ryman would work well in the new gallery. Looking over his roster, though, we’d opt for a club full of Nancy Rubins sculptures.