BLUEPRINT at Storefront

The impressive exhibition named BLUEPRINT, which opened on the 24th of January in the New York City-based Storefront for Art and Architecture, asks individuals from the world of art and architecture to embark on a trip of self-reflection to identify a place of origination for their work in the literal and metaphorical form of a blueprint. The fascinating curation of 50 pieces, dating from 1961 to 2013, are presented as traces willing to bring clarity to work, practice and the context in which they were created, selected by photographer Sebastiaan Bremer and Florian Idenburg & Jing Liu of design office SO-IL. With the installation which was created for the exhibition by SO-IL, BLUEPRINT leaves the gallery in a totally new organic form, totally open, but at the same time closed and fixed. Wrapped in time and in space, the Acconci-Holl façade opens its doors permanently to the works that –while present in the show by reference– are outside the gallery walls. The space looses its literal operational transparency to become a white, translucent icon of its curatorial aspirations. Rendering everything on either side as a world of shadows, the installation denies the spatial properties and the implications of the processional exit of the platonic cave towards a world of truth.

Now, however long a time may pass, according to the eternal laws governing the combinations of this eternal play of repetition, all configurations that have previously existed on this earth must yet meet, attract, repulse, kiss, and corrupt each other again…

The curators on the origins of BLUEPRINT:

BLUEPRINT at Storefront has its curatorial blueprint at a show Sebastiaan Bremer and Pieter Woudt put together in 1999 in a DIY gallery called Spark in Chelsea, New York. The show brought together a bunch of young artists, ambitious and broke, trying to find their voice and an audience for their work.

Blueprints were easy to make, quite beautiful, and cheap – an advantage, since money was an issue. This ‘concept’ gave the structure for the exhibition, which ran for a few months in the gallery. Fifteen years later, this old idea seemed newly relevant. The funding for art institutions in Europe is drying up at the same rapid speed at which prices are soaring at the auction houses, giving the low cost of producing blueprints new relevance.

With 15 years passed since the original BLUEPRINT exhibition, many of the artists  have gone on to impressive careers, flourishing in their careers creating work from the signature styles which most of them started working from around the turn of the century when they were put on that stage in New York City. A second installment of BLUEPRINT took place at Kunsthal KAdE in Amersfoort, the Netherlands and at MOCA Tucson, in the USA, where many of the original BLUEPRINT artists —as well as some new names from the art and architecture world selected by Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu— to look back at their practice and identify one fundamental work: the first piece that could serve as a blueprint of their mature work. Again, this extended group was only bound by the same constraint, yet one might be able to discover a set of affinities between the works. The exhibition at Storefront is born out of the same constraints: blueprints of the intrinsic heart of one’s work.

Such a highly inspirational project.

Photography by Iwan Baan.

Find Storefront for Art and Architecture at 97 Kenmare Street in New York City, where the exhibition will run until the 21st of March.

For more information see here.