Constructed from reclaimed windows in a vacant lot, the new Glass House exhibition space at the Invisible Dog Art Center on Bergen Street in Brooklyn appears like a DIY greenhouse, but from within the art is given a lightness against the walls of illumination.
The Invisible Dog itself, located in a former warehouse next door, is a massive, concrete and brick-heavy space that can feel a little closed off from the street. And when Anne Mourier, one of the resident artists at the art center, was working with the gallery on a solo show, it became clear that her delicate art in miniatures and mixed media work involving bits of debris was going to get shadowed by the gallery itself.
So Mourier, collaborating with Invisible Dog director Lucien Zayan, worked to design this new gallery space, which opened on September 7 with her first solo exhibition — a gathering of mixed media related to her childhood memories of cleaning and the often false appearance of a happy home, called Cleaning It Up. Naturally, as few artists get the chance to actually design the gallery where their art will be shown, it’s an ideal fit between the airy space and the ephemeral-feeling art with its little brooms poised to whisk away any dust that wanders in.
When I stopped by the Glass House this past weekend, Zayan told me that he hopes the gallery also fills another purpose in conjunction with the main gallery. Most of the artists who have applied for solo shows at the Invisible Dog since it opened in 2009 have been men, and while there have been exceptions, there’s been a lack of women artists represented with their own exhibitions, so the aim is to make female artists the focus of the Glass House, while of course not excluding them from the main gallery.
Zayan also said that they anticipate doing performances in the space, using the transparency as a component. Yet for now, it’s matched with Mourier’s playful, sculptural pieces, and what seems most successful from spending some time at the space is the openness to the sidewalk. People walking by, perhaps curious about the new structure suddenly appearing where there had only been gravel before, kept stopping by and looking with curiosity at this little glass space with its rough wood edges grasped around the panes letting in the sun. It will be interesting to see how another exhibition fits into the Glass House, and how other women artists will take on such a beautiful, but ultimately wall-less in terms of a traditional gallery, space.
Anne Mourier: Cleaning It Up is at the Invisible Dog Art Center’s Glass House (adjacent to 51 Bergen Street, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn) through November 9.