In January 1983, the New Museum instituted WorkSpace, an experimental exhibition format that functioned as an intermediary between the artist’s studio and the museum gallery, providing an intimate glimpse into the artists’ creative process as the works evolved. Artists were invited to develop the space for the duration of month-long installations, creating flexible, non-object-oriented environments which might involve or be modified by direct audience participation. Adhering to the process established by the Currents exhibition series, each WorkSpace exhibition also produced a brochure featuring a critical essay, documentation, selected biography, and bibliography.
Following the New Museum’s relocation to 583 Broadway in 1983, the WorkSpace series was presented in a dedicated space that came to be known as the WorkSpace Gallery, a small gallery on the second floor.
In late 1984, WorkSpace was brought under the umbrella of the On View program, along with the New Work Gallery, and the Window series, forming a tripartite series of exhibitions. In keeping with the On View program’s objective of presenting emerging artists and new art, all of these series and related galleries rotated exhibitions on a roughly bi-monthly cycle, and their attendant essays were combined into a single brochure. Under this regimen, WorkSpace soon broadened its focus to include small thematic group shows in addition to solo artist presentations of immersive site-specific installations.
The exhibitions in WorkSpace eventually evolved to become larger in scale and scope, culminating with the final exhibition in the WorkSpace Gallery, “andresSERRANO: 1983-1993,” which was presented in the Museum’s Main, New Work and WorkSpace galleries.
1983 – 1985