SoHo has long been known as a foremost dining and boutique shopping destination in New York, as well as a mecca for architectural and artistic innovations, like the cast-aluminum “floating” facade at the XOCO 325 Manhattan condos. True to its reputation, the Downtown neighborhood is still lined today with what the New York Times describes as “fantastic opportunities for viewing art in little museums, alternative spaces and galleries.” Arts and architecture devotees at the XOCO 325 condos can enjoy a dazzling range of arts spaces, all within a few blocks of their West Broadway condos. Here is a sampling of SoHo’s diverse offerings:
The Drawing Center | 35 Wooster Street
Housed in a classic 19th-century cast-iron building on Wooster Street, The Drawing Center is the only nonprofit arts space in America dedicated to works on paper. But this genre-defying gallery also exhibits a range of other media—from sculptures to multimedia installations—from all historical periods. Each year, the Center stages four exhibitions that highlight emerging artists, such as last year’s site-specific mixed-media installation Anxious Men—a meditation on African American identity and racial tension in America by New York-based artist Rashid Johnson. The Center also offers regular lectures and workshops for the general public.
The Swiss Institute | 102 Franklin Street
Though its original focus was on promoting works by Swiss artists, today the mission of the Swiss Institute is to use art from across nationalities as a catalyst for conversations on culture, the arts, and international social trends. This sleekly minimalist gallery still spotlights Swiss artists like Zurich-based Mathis Altmann, whose recent exhibition featured a collection of domestic objects and dollhouses, and famed Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, the subject of a show curating works that “channeled” his spirit. Entrance is free and open to the public, as are the gallery’s array of events, which include regular lectures, film screenings, and book and magazine launches.
Storefront for Art and Architecture | 97 Kenmare Street
When it was founded in 1982, this multidisciplinary organization was housed in a modest SoHo storefront on Prince Street. But since then, the aptly-named Storefront has turned into an important site for cutting-edge artists and architects—and transformed its new digs on Kenmare Street into a piece of art in its own right. In 1992, the Storefront commissioned a new facade by architect Steven Holl and artist Vito Acconci, who installed a row of panels that can be hinged to create a range of puzzle-like patterns or swung open to blur the line between gallery space and public street. One exhibition even saw the Storefront encased in shrink-wrap, reimagined as an interactive sonic show. Today visitors can enjoy site-specific installations by pioneering artists, group exhibitions, and a range of discussions and performances.