Art and architecture blend beautifully at Boesky West Gallery, allowing visitors to see modern work in new ways this summer.
A sunny terrace captures views of Aspen Mountain.The gallery’s exterior is a blend of rough-hewn plank and standing-seam metal. PHOTO BY DAVID MARLOW
Experimenting with space, architecture and location as essential to the experience of art has been of interest to noted New York City gallerist Marianne Boesky since she opened her first Soho gallery in 1996. Still, turning a rundown building at the edge of the Aspen core into a contemporary 3,000-square-foot project space, dubbed Boesky West, might be considered her most ambitious undertaking yet.
“It needed everything,” says Boesky. “When we bought the building, it was in bad condition. But it was in the right location, more of a destination than [a] commercial [space] like in town on the mall. With the right team, I knew [we] could make anything beautiful.”
Reimagining and transforming the structure (400 square feet of which was the cabin of photographer James “Horsethief” Kelly back in the late 1800s) fell to longtime friend Annabelle Selldorf of renowned NYC Selldorf Architects; her institutional work includes an in-progress expansion of The Frick Collection. “I’d been friends with Annabelle for 20 years but never worked with her,” says Boesky. “I wrote and asked if she would consider taking this [Aspen project] on. She said, ‘Absolutely. Done, I’m in.’” Local architect firm David Johnston Architects (now DJA) was engaged to facilitate and execute the plan.
Outside, the vernacular of the building, part rough-hewn plank and part standing seam metal, speaks to Aspen’s architectural history and “doesn’t shout gallery,” according to Boesky. Inside, white-walled, sky-lit galleries occupy two floors, and there’s an upper sitting room and sunny terrace with views of town and Aspen Mountain.
Danielle McKinney, “Whisper” (2021, acrylic on canvas) PHOTO: BY JASON MANDELLA
Since opening in 2019, Boesky West has showcased numerous exhibitions from contemporary international artists. This spring, a group exhibition, titled In Situ, featured new and recent paintings by 13 artists (Cecily Brown, Olivia Erlanger, Barnaby Furnas and Jammie Holmes, to name a few), as well as a selection of paintings from Suzanne McClelland’s MUTE series.
Forrest Kirk, “Mindset” (2020, acrylic, spray paint and glue on canvas) PHOTO: BY BY PETER KAISER
This summer’s lineup includes a series of four consecutive exhibits, all paintings, by young artists Simphiwe Mbuyunza, Danielle McKinney, Antone Könst and Forrest Kirk. Five “functional objects,” such as a carved teak bench, by Los Angeles-based Haas Brothers will be installed at outdoor locations around town.
Antone Könst, “Buffoon (conspiracy theorist)” (2021, oil on canvas). PHOTO: BY IAN EDQUIST
Interestingly, Boesky notes that visiting artists and local collectors that she’s known for years enjoy engaging with the gallery’s location and architecture. ”It’s not just a white box,” she says. “It’s an awesome little building.” 100 S. Spring St., 970.300.4015, marianneboeskygallery.com
Clean, modern lines offer the perfect backdrop for new work in the gallery. PHOTO: BY COURTESY OF THE ARTIST, TILTON GALLERY AND MARIANNE BOESKY GALLERY
Photography by: Photos: by David Marlow; by Jason Mandella; by Peter Kaiser; by Ian Edquist; courtesy of Antone Konst; Tilton Gallery; Marianne Boesky Gallery