In 2001, after 70 years in Manhattan, SculptureCenter packed up its Upper East Side exhibition space and departed for scrappier pastures in Queens, opening in a former trolley repair shop in Long Island City. The lively neighborhood pulsed with possibility and the building’s exposed brick walls and catacomb-like basement promised an exhibition space as unique as its cutting-edge programming.
But, as with so many outer-borough transplants, the institution outgrew the space, and it came time to renovate. So, this month, SculptureCenter has launched construction on a $6 million expansion and upgrade led by Andrew Berman Architect. Plans include a 2,000-square-foot addition to serve as an entryway, bookstore, and lobby, plus a 1,500-square-foot courtyard and outdoor exhibition space—all of which is expected to be completed by fall of 2014.
In the meantime, the shows must go on—and, despite the construction, the center has announced an ambitious exhibition lineup filled predominantly with young international talent. Beginning in November, the Danish artist Tue Greenfort will make his solo United States museum debut at the space with an onsite archive and event program concerning art and environmentalism in America from the 1960s to the ‘90s. Greenfort is one of SculptureCenter's two artists-in-residence this year, alongside Poland’s Agnieszka Kurant, who will debut a film she wrote titled Cutaways, which stars three actors who have had their scenes edited out of major motion pictures like Pulp Fiction and The Conversation.
Next spring, the space will host a series of solo shows by Rosella Biscotti, David Douard, Radmes “Juni” Figueroa, and Jumana Manna. In the summer, Icelandic star Katrin Sigurdardottir will take over with her large-scale floor sculpture Foundation, which will have already made stops at the Venice Biennale and the Reykjavik Art Museum. Finally, SculptureCenter director and curator Mary Ceruti said to expect some kind of "international survey" in 2015, but details on that are very much still in the works.