Various Small Fires
812 North Highland Avenue
Designer: Johnston Marklee
The southern edge of Hollywood is becoming a destination for some of the country’s most esteemed galleries. Regen Projects moved into a space on Santa Monica Boulevard. Perry Rubenstein set up shop around the corner on Highland. Now just up the road is Various Small Fires, which, as of October, immigrated to the area from Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice.
Designed by Johnston Marklee, the 5,000-square-foot complex was built into the shell of a 1940s building, which had been renovated in the 1980s. The gallery, said studio principal Sharon Johnston, now maintains a “ghostlike presence,” with the Postmodern Deco facade covered over in white and replaced with a new side corridor entry into a back patio. “All you can see is the sky, and you’re further and further removed from the city,” said project manager Katrin Terstegen of the new entry experience.
Inside, the gallery is designed to take advantage of the city’s light and climate. The cluster of spaces connects inside and out, and the entry corridor is outfitted with hidden speakers in order to play a program of sound art. A 3,000-square-foot main gallery is attached to two project spaces, each fitted with oversized skylights. A “roofless” outdoor gallery, accessed via large glass doors, is dedicated to installations, sculptures, video art, and outdoor programs. Exhibitions will be rotated every two months.