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New York Mag’s Jerry Saltz on Knockdown Center

By June 16, 2016 February 18th, 2019 No Comments

I don’t think I’ve ever had my breath taken away in New York the way I did when I first set eyes on the not-for-profit artist-run operation in Brooklyn known as Knockdown Center. Not only did I not feel like I was in New York, I remembered the jealousy I always feel when I’m in Berlin or Los Angeles, walking in off some street through an unassuming doorway to a hidden huge courtyard and a magical vast building for art. I was staggered at what I saw, and then starting seeing, as possible art-world futures. New York must have a lot of derelict industrial spaces like this, in Maspeth and elsewhere, I thought. It was the most hopeful real-estate moment I’ve had in New York since the days of the East Village in the early 1980s (or maybe since galleries settled Chelsea in the 1990s). Somehow the man who saved Knockdown Center from developers coveting the site found a way to transform this magnificent 50,000-square-foot former door factory into a “radically cross-disciplinary” space devoted to “diverse formats, nourishing experimental impulses, questioning traditional notions of authorship, cultural production, and reception.” The space also “accepts proposals” for shows. You can propose something. I met an artist who did and the show is there now.

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