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Courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rockwell Group
Courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rockwell Group
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New York Prepares for a Spring 'Prelude' to Manhattan's Colossal New Art Complex

Picture of Rachel Gould
Art & Design Editor
Updated: 7 February 2018
In May 2018, The Shed will host a two-week springtime event marking the one-year countdown to the official unveiling of New York’s first multidisciplinary art complex.

On West 30th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues, a mammoth 200,000-square-foot art complex by design studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with interdisciplinary architecture and design firm Rockwell Group is nearing completion. The futuristic building, which will stand at eight stories, is encased within “a telescoping outer shell” that “can be physically transformed and optimized to support artists’ most ambitious ideas.”

An innovative 200,000-square-foot structure designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group | Courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rockwell Group
An innovative 200,000-square-foot structure designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group | Courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rockwell Group

The Shed will house “two expansive, column-free galleries totaling 25,000 square feet of museum-quality space; a 500-seat black-box theater that can be subdivided into even more intimate spaces; event and rehearsal space; and a creative lab that will be provided free to early-career local artists,” according to the project’s website. There, artists, performers, and musicians will be commissioned to produce and present new work beginning in the spring of 2019.

But the masterminds behind this colossal project can’t wait that long—so from May 1 to May 13, 2018, The Shed will be hosting a free, off-site art event in a nearby lot on West 30th Street and 10th Avenue called “A Prelude to The Shed.”

Prelude rendering courtesy of NLÉ Works
Prelude rendering | Courtesy of NLÉ Works

“One block away from our future home on the west side, we are temporarily transforming an empty lot into a flexible public space for new work, collaboration, and dialogue,” says The Shed’s founding artistic director, Alex Poots. “‘Prelude’ begins to demonstrate our mission to nurture artistic invention by commissioning and presenting new work for a wide audience.”

Events at “A Prelude to The Shed,” which are designed to provide attendees and participants with a taste of the innovation, experimentation, and artistic culture that the complex will soon contribute, include an immersive dance and sound piece by Berlin-based artist Tino Sehgal, a new work by American choreographer William Forsythe, and dance battles with FlexNYC alongside choreographer Reggie “Regg Roc” Gray and his D.R.E.A.M. Ring Dancers. There will also be live concerts by Atlanta-based R&B singer ABRA, Venezuelan music producer Arca, and New York City-based rapper Azealia Banks, as well as panel discussions and an educational event by artist Asad Raza.

(NEW) ABRA Press Photo
Atlanta-based R&B singer-songwriter ABRA | Courtesy of The Shed

“Art institutions—museums, exhibitions, theaters, concert halls, festivals—have always been spaces in which a social structure becomes manifest,” writes scholar and curator Dorothea von Hantelmann for The Shed. “To find ritual forms that correspond to contemporary forms of life and to the social structures of the early 21st century, that is the aspiration to which this project is dedicated.”

“A Prelude to The Shed” will run from May 1 through May 13, 2018. Advanced tickets can be purchased on The Shed’s website come April, or at the door in May. To learn more about The Shed’s pre-opening program, click here.