A nearly 13,000-square-foot expansion of David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles opened on September 19 with two new exhibition spaces and a landscaped courtyard that will allow for open-air programming including film screenings, outdoor sculpture, and performances. The multidisciplinary architecture and design practice wHY, with offices in L.A. and New York City, designed both the expansion and the original lauded contemporary art venue, which is housed in a former martial arts studio on the bustling La Brea corridor in the Mid-City district. Founded in 2003 in Chinatown as a small incubator for up-and-coming artists, David Kordansky Gallery moved to the first of two more spacious new digs in Culver City in 2008, and then again to its current, wHY-designed home in 2014.
The expansion opens to the public with Hearts, an exhibition by Linda Stark that marks the L.A.-based painter’s inaugural show at David Kordansky Gallery, and with new sculptures by Rashid Johnson and Will Boone in the courtyard, which links the original building with the expansion via a terraced stair-corridor. Per a press statement, the 3,768-square-foot courtyard, executed by wHY’s Landscape Workshop, brings the gallery’s “signature minimal aesthetic” outdoors with asphalt grey exterior walls and a splash of greenery that comes courtesy an array of drought-resistant plants and vines. With the addition of the courtyard and the new exhibition spaces, the single-building venue is rendered less a standalone gallery and more a proper contemporary arts compound, allowing for expanded programming and multiple events and exhibitions to be held at once.
Inside, the new exhibition spaces are largely aesthetically in-line with the original gallery. Visitors will find white walls, concrete floors, and subdued, skylight-illuminated interiors. However, the expansion aims to provide a sense of intimacy that’s more or less lacking in the more cavernous 15,000-square-foot original gallery building as the new spaces, cozier and more contemplation-friendly, in scale, being better suited for smaller scale works and private viewings. A sculptural coved ceiling helps to achieve this “chapel-like atmosphere.”
“In LA, so many great moments of cultural exchange happen in backyards where people feel at home,” said wHY’s Creative Director, Kulapat Yantrasast, in a statement. “We felt that the David Kordansky Gallery environments should highlight this unique aspect of the city’s cultural life. The art scene in LA is very down-to-earth and personal, and I think exhibition spaces should reflect that rather than trying to appear commercial or corporate.”
Both the original gallery and the expansion are currently open by appointment only with timed reservations that can be made up to four weeks in advance. Entry is free, and virtual experiences are also available.