It was an unusual occasion — a world-famous architect presenting his own works of sculpture and collage in a building he personally designed — but it drew quite a crowd.
“Art in Architecture: Selected works by Richard Meier,” an exhibition presented inside a ground-floor space in Meier’s own glass and steel tower, On Prospect Park, at 1 Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn last night, featured a selection of 56 collages and four stainless steel sculptures created by Meier between 1992 and 2009.
“I really do the collages and the sculpture for myself,” Meier told his audience at a reception to mark the opening of the exhibit (see photos above), “as a hobby, a pastime — instead of going to the movies. I wasn’t so sure [the exhibition] was a good idea, but seeing how it’s all been put together… It’s like I’ve come out of the closet. And to be in this building of course, is extra-special.”
The Meier exhibit, which will run until Jan. 15, is just one of many recent collections to show in the common spaces of the residential building. Last year, the building’s residents came together to form an art committee, starting the Gallery @1GAP, named after the building’s address on the ground floor of the property. They recently organized an exhibition by conceptual artist Raphael Zollinger.
“Each time they have an exhibit, they buy one piece of art from the artist and display it somewhere in the building,” said Cheryl Nielsen-Saaf, a senior vice president at the Corcoran Group who is heading sales at the building. “It makes so much sense in a Richard Meier building.”
On Prospect Park, by developers Mario Procida and Louis Greco, is now over 75 percent sold, according to Nielsen-Saaf. Sales initially launched in 2008, but the building fell victim to the financial crisis.
“There is now only one one-bedroom left and most two-beds are sold,” Nielsen-Saaf told The Real Deal. “We recently revealed five penthouses, but two are now sold and occupied. I suspect that we’ll be done in the next six months.”
For Corcoran, the series of art exhibitions has proved a powerful marketing tool, bringing people into the building who might otherwise have never stepped inside.
“[Visitors] get to see what the community is like and get a different perspective on a Meier building than they would get by just looking around a unit,” Nielsen-Saaf said.
As for Meier, when The Real Deal caught up with him after the reception, he said he was glad he had chosen this project as his first in Brooklyn.
“I thought the location was just fabulous,” he said, “on the corner of Prospect Park and right by Flatbush Avenue, next to an amazing monument [at Grand Army Plaza]. What better location is there in Brooklyn?”
Meier, who is currently working on a residential tower in Tel Aviv, said he was particularly happy with the design of the building’s communal amenities spaces.
“I don’t know if the pool table was their idea or mine,” he said, “but I wouldn’t mind having one in my basement.”