Blast from the past
Sheila Kim -- Interior Design, 10/1/2003 12:00:00 AM
By moving from SoHo to a former warehouse in west Chelsea, New York's Maya Stendhal Gallery was keeping up with the times. But the design of the 4,000-square-foot interior, by Scott Weinkle Architect, intentionally looks back to the 1980's.
Allusions begin in reception, which is installed in a niche in a sidewall. The built-in desk was fabricated from a single 3 1/2-foot-high sheet of stainless steel. "Its concept came from the minimalist industrial sculpture of Donald Judd, his metal boxes and slabs," principal Scott Weinkle says. Behind and above the desk, fluorescents backlight a grid of acid-washed glass panels framed in stainless steel. Beyond the glass and steel lie an open office area for gallery staff, an individual office for owner Maya Stendhal, and a private viewing space that doubles as a conference room.
That same glass-and-steel construction repeats in front of a run of south-facing windows. "When you have Andy Warhols hanging on the walls, you have to be careful with direct sunlight," the architect explains.
The gallery's overall whiteness makes reference to the paintings of Robert Ryman. Weinkle repeatedly whitewashed the red-oak floor—"as pale as we could make it"—and the snowiness of the walls exudes both tranquillity and formality. Distinctly not white, however, are the screen prints on display: colorful selections by 1980's artists Donald Baechler, Barry Bogin, Peter Halley, and Julian Schnabel.