Ugo Rondinone Inaugurates Manhattan’s Latest Art Space

Sky Art, a 10,000-square-foot art space, crops up on West 42nd Street

Manhattan's new Sky Art gallery is located on the corner of West 42nd Street and 11th Avenue.
Photo: Casey Kelbaugh, Courtesy of Sky Art

On Manhattan’s Far West Side, where burgeoning Hudson Yards meets Hell’s Kitchen, the 71-story Sky, which opened last year, is taking an artful approach to filling its 1,175 residential units. The skyscraper—which already boasts New York’s first permanent public artwork by Yayoi Kusama—is now set to debut a 10,000-square-foot arts space on June 21. Christened Sky Art, the gallery is located on the ground floor of the building and is currently wrapped in a transfixing Ugo Rondinone creation titled the sky over manhattan, which is a prelude to the artist’s upcoming multi-venue exhibition, “ John Giorno.”

The exhibition, conceived as a festival of sorts, is free to the public and takes place across 13 Manhattan locations through November 26. For Sky Art’s portion, the Moinian Group (the project’s developer) joined forces with art-world experts Nicolai and Michael Frahm, otherwise known as Frahm & Frahm. 

One of the brothers, Nicolai Frahm, a co-founder of the cutting edge non-profit London art space Dairy Art Centre, shares the exclusive details about the exciting new venture and the inaugural show.

The 71-story Sky tower in Midtown. Photo: Casey Kelbaugh, courtesy of Sky Art

On the art space… 

“Sky Art was initially conceived by to host part of the exhibition, ‘I  John Giorno.’ The almost 10,000-square-foot space boasts 30-foot high ceilings, which allows for the display of large-scale sculpture and site-specific installations, resulting in an ambitious venue, perfect for a show of this scale.” 

On Ugo’s new show, I  John Giorno…

“The show is a sort of declaration of love from Ugo to his partner, the artist and poet John Giorno. The installations in each venue relate to the love story theme. It includes both the work of Ugo and John, as well as a number other artists. Our part of the exhibition is definitely the most ambitious component. [At Sky Art] we have a massive installation comprising 30,000 archive papers, which has taken almost a month to install. There is also a major video installation, THANX 4 NOTHING (2011), in which Giorno reads his poem of the same name. We reconstructed the entire space around it.”   

On the Moinians…

“The Moinian family are passionate art collectors and patrons of the arts in New York. We all thought this would be an amazing show to collaborate on, and we wanted to create a project on an unprecedented scale for New York City. To create a single show spanning across 13 museums simultaneously was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” 

On working with artist Ugo Rondinone…

“Michael and I have been supporters of Ugo for over 15 years. He is, in our opinion, one of the greatest artists of his generation. Everything Ugo does, he does to perfection, so the process of working with him is one of striving to make each tiny detail of the show perfect. Ugo asks a lot from anyone he works with and doesn’t compromise on anything. In return he delivers extraordinary results—a master of exhibition making!”   

On the Frahms’ past projects…

“Every exhibition space or show Michael and I produce influences our subsequent project. The way Sky Art runs in terms of being a free-entrance not-for-profit space is almost identical to the Dairy Art Centre.”    

On what’s next… 

“We [Frahm & Frahm] are currently working on a number of major projects. Of the ones which are official, we have Jenny Holzer at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire opening at the end of September, Ugo Rondinone at the Arken Museum in Denmark opening at the end of the year, and Ai Weiwei at the MUAC Museum in Mexico City.”

“I ❤ John Giorno” takes place through November 26 at the following locations: Artists Space, High Line Art, Howl! Happening, Hunter College Art Galleries, The Kitchen, New Museum, Red Bull Arts New York, Rubin Museum of Art, Swiss Institute, White Columns, and 80WSE Gallery.  ilovejohngiorno.nyc