TOP ARTISTS URGE CITY OF NEW YORK: “STOP THE FRICK’S DESTRUCTIVE EXPANSION!”

BREAKING NEWS: New York Magazine’s Vulture site publishes letter from prominent artists, calling upon New York City leadership to stop the Frick Collection’s destructive expansion!

** CLICK HERE to read Vulture’s full article **

World-renowned artists have signed a letter requesting that Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission deny the Frick Collection gallery’s ill-conceived proposed expansion plan. The famously intimate Gilded Age residential gallery is seeking to destroy its beloved, landmarked 70th Street Garden and Reception Hall Pavilion, replacing them with a 106-foot-tall tower.

In a letter to key municipal decision-makers, the artists and other art professionals praise the Frick’s existing combination of human-scale galleries and gardens. The letter praises the ensemble of the 70th Street Garden, by preeminent 20th Century garden designer Russell Page, and the Reception Hall Pavilion as the architectural masterstroke that positions the Henry Clay Frick mansion “in counterpoint to the Manhattan street grid.” The letter continues: “Razing these two elegant and essential elements and replacing them with an institutional 106-foot tower will indeed destroy the Frick experience for artists and art lovers around the world.”

** CLICK HERE to read the artists’ letter opposing the Frick’s expansion plan **

Artists from an array of media – painting, sculpture, photography, filmmaking, video installation, fashion design – along with gallerists, art dealers, and critics signing the letter include:

Jeff Koons, artist

Chuck Close, painter

Rachel Feinstein, artist

John Currin, painter

Helen and Brice Marden, artist

Marc Jacobs, fashion designer

Inez van Lamsweerde, artist

Vinoodh Matadin, artist

Ben Kinmont, artist

Deborah Kass, artist

Marie Lalanne, painter

Dorothea Rockburne, painter

Sean Landers, painter

Cecily Brown, artist

Walton Ford, artist

Lisa Yuskavage, artist

Rudolf Stingel, artist

Jessica Craig-Martin, artist

Sofia Coppola, filmmaker

Frank Stella, artist

Richard Prince, artist

Cindy Sherman, artist

Claude Lalanne, sculptor

Nir Hod, artist

Matvey Levenstein, artist

Richard Phillips, artist

Marianne Vitale, artist

James Capper, sculptor

Laylah Ali, artist

David Salle, artist

Makoto Saito, artist

Jackie Buechner, painter

T.J. Wilcox, filmmaker

Sarah Morris, artist

Paul Branca, artist

Julian Lethbridge, artist

Sarah Sze, sculptor

This group is rallying to protect the Frick Collection from the proposed short-sighted expansion that will squander the very qualities that make it a New York City and global treasure – the gallery’s unique value lies in the residential experience it evokes: “We strongly believe that the Frick’s effectiveness as a display space lies in its intimacy…we are transported by the gallery’s serene environment, and encouraged to reflect on what it means to let art inhabit one’s daily life.”

In voicing disapproval of the Frick’s current expansion plan, the letter asks Mayor de Blasio and the Landmarks Preservation Commission to consider design alternatives which can address the Frick’s desire to modernize, while preserving its landmarked pavilion, garden and ambiance.

This group of artists adds their voices to those of prominent architects, landscape architects, preservationists, garden advocates, authors, historians, civic leaders and groups speaking out against the Frick’s plan, including: Robert A.M. Stern, architect and Dean of the Yale University School of Architecture; Peter Pennoyer, architect; the New York chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects; Madison Cox, garden designer; Andrew Scott Dolkart, architectural historian and Director of Columbia University’s masters program in Historic Preservation; Witold Rybczynski, architect and critic; the Historic Districts Council; the Garden Club of America; Victoria Newhouse, architectural historian; Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, founder of the Central Park Conservancy and the Foundation for Landscape Studies; Annette de la Renta, philanthropist; and the Defenders of the Historic Upper East Side.

Over four thousand individuals have already signed an online petition urging the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission to deny the Frick’s ill-conceived proposal and consider alternatives that preserve the legacy of leading 20th Century landscape artist Russell Page, and allow the Frick to maintain its identity as a “house museum,” ideal for viewing art for generations to come.

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