In 1971, Alanna Heiss became a leader of the Alternative Spaces Movement. She carried the flag turning abandoned or under-utilized buildings in New York City into temporary centers for the production and presentation of contemporary art. Was in 1976, that it opened the first major exhibition in its permanent location in Long Island City, Queens, The seminal Rooms exhibition. An invitation for artists to transform the building’s unique spaces, thanks to Rooms the MoMA PS1 it established a tradition of transforming the building’s spaces into site-specific art that continues today with long-term installations.
During the next twenty years, the building was used as it conceived in the first instance, like a studio, performance, and exhibition spaces, supporting artists around the world.
Reopened in 1997, after a building-wide renovation, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (now MoMA PS1), confirmed its position as the leading contemporary art center in New York. True to the building’s history and form, the renovation preserved much of the original architecture as well as most of its unique classroom-sized galleries.
The latest artist residency is located in PS1’s Print Shop on the side entrance. The residency hosts young artists who get the opportunity to use the space for many different projects, from exhibitions to workshops and parties. The idea is to open up the museum and bring the energy of emerging artists and their community back like when PS1 was squatted by young artists in the 70’s.
The creativity in the streets of New York is overwhelmig. Being an artist in NY can be frustrating, the ever-rising living costs make it harder to find work spaces and time to realize new projects and forward-thinking ideas. It was Klaus Biesenbach, the director of MoMA PS1, who pointed out the importance of these kind of locations for the creative present and the cultural future of the city. So he was more than thankful to announce the extension of the partnership that MoMA has with Volkswagen.
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The partnership with VW is more than a simple sponsoring. It really has an ongoing impact on the New York City artist scene and enables MoMA and MoMA PS1 to work on progressive projects with new talents. And you can feel it at the museum’s annual block party where more than 6000 New Yorkers come along to celebrate in the backyard every year.
MoMA PS1 is one of the oldest and largest nonprofit contemporary art institutions in the United States. An exhibition space rather than a collecting institution, MoMA PS1 devotes its energy and resources to displaying the most experimental art in the world. A catalyst and an advocate for new ideas, discourses, and trends in contemporary art, MoMA PS1 actively pursues emerging artists, new genres, and adventurous new work by recognized artists in an effort to support innovation in contemporary art.
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