About Storefront for Art and Architecture
Storefront for Art and Architecture amplifies the understanding of the built environment through artistic practice. Founded in 1982 by artists and architects in downtown New York, Storefront has chronicled the changing urban landscape of the city over the years, and remains committed to producing and presenting work about diverse notions of place and public life.
Storefront was founded in 1982 by Kyong Park as an independent, artist run forum that reframed the relationship between public and private space. The organization brought together artists, architects, designers, and other creative professionals with the general public, and sought to engage emerging voices in public discourse around the most pressing issues and challenges that affect the built environment. Storefront presented its first program, Performance A-Z, on September 18, 1982 at (and on the street outside of) its first space: a small storefront space on Prince Street, one block north of its current location. This inaugural event consisted of a series of 26 consecutive nights of performances by 26 artists.
Since this inaugural program, Storefront has continued to serve as a platform for emerging ideas that lie at the intersection of art and architecture, and for open dialogue and exchange beyond and across borders, backgrounds, and ideologies. Throughout its history, the organization has investigated critical social issues such as homelessness (1985), gender identity (1994), and public housing (1984). It has also responded to geopolitical and economical conflicts and movements such as the Gulf War (1991), the Israeli occupation of Palestine (2003), and Occupy Wall Street (2011).
Throughout all these programs and initiatives, Storefront has sought to offer emerging artists and architects the opportunity to present new ideas and exhibit innovative work. Many now internationally recognized artists and architects have shown their early work at Storefront, including Peter Cook, Diller+Scofidio, Tony Feher, Dan Graham, Coop Himmelblau, Alfredo Jaar, Kiki Smith, Lebbeus Woods, Enric Miralles and Carme Pinós, Eyal Weizman, Bjarke Ingels, and Didier Fiuza Faustino, among many others.
Storefront is one of the only platforms focusing primarily on the intersection of art and architecture as a lens to explore the stories, places, dynamics, and people that shape our built environment. The organization remains committed to its founding mission as it enters the 40th year since its founding.
GALLERY SPACE AND FACADE
Storefront’s gallery space is at the corner of Kenmare and Centre Streets in downtown Manhattan. Located in Nolita, it sits at the border of three distinctly different neighborhoods: SoHo, Little Italy, and Chinatown. The gallery is situated in a unique triangular ground-level space that is nearly 100 feet long, tapering from 20 feet at its widest end to just 3 feet at its narrowest corner. In 1993, Storefront commissioned a collaborative building project by artist Vito Acconci and architect Steven Holl. The project replaced the existing exterior façade with a series of twelve movable panels that pivot vertically or horizontally to open the entire length of the gallery directly on to the street.
Storefront’s physical location and façade can be understood as a reflection of its mission and practice. It blurs the boundary between interior and exterior, and enables an endless possibility of panel configurations that encourage artists and visitors to create their own experiences of entry, navigation, and absorption into the gallery space. The unusual conditions of the gallery space, from its triangular floorplan to the unprecedented access to the street created by the façade, have made the gallery space an architectural landmark in New York City and in the collective imaginary of artists and architects worldwide.
LOCATION AND HOURS
Storefront’s gallery space is always free and open to the public, and we welcome visitors year-round free of charge, except during installation periods. The gallery is located at:
97 Kenmare Street (between Lafayette and Mulberry)
New York, NY 10012
Closest subway stations include:
6 at Spring Street (2 minute walk)
J, Z at Bowery (4 minute walk)
N, R, W at Prince Street (5 minute walk)
B, D, F, M at Broadway/Lafayette (7 minute walk)
Q at Canal Street (8 minute walk)
Gallery hours are Wednesday – Saturday from 12–6 pm.
Storefront is happy to provide assistance to visitors who require specific needs by request.
To request audio format, large-print materials, sign language, or other assistance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We appreciate notice of your request one week in advance of your visit.