The former Emigrant Industrial Bank on Chambers Street in downtown Manhattan has been brought back to life. Gianfranco Iannuzzi, the ingenious creative director, has reinvented and repurposed this majestic Beaux Arts building and created Hall des Lumière now New York’s permanent digital arts center.
The inaugural exhibition features a multi-sensory celebration of Gustav Klimt’s most iconic work with shorter exhibitions featuring Friedensreich Hundertwasser and more.
The columns in the former bank remain stoic and strong, the stained glass windows intact and the general floor plan, unchanged, including bank teller booths. Reminiscent of the setting of the Van Gogh show at Pier 36 in 2017, the walls, floors and ceiling become one with the art. Moving screens roll over and across the main auditorium reflecting light and illusion surrounding and encompassing the viewer. A feast for the eyes the senses and the spirit.
Accompanied by an original soundtrack, visual images created by the magic of Gustav Klimt’s art at the Hall des Lumières, is a show to behold.
Created by Gianfranco Iannuzzi, along with Renato Gatto and Massimiliano Siccardi, the digital installation features animated 30 foot images from Klimt’s most renowned paintings synchronized to an original score.
In conjunction with the show, is a tribute to Friedensreich Hundertwasser, an Austrian artist and architect who incorporated elements of surrealism and ornamentation in his work. The similarities of their work leaves you imagining life in the Secessionist era of Vienna. The erotic imagery of both and the disparate conflicts of their subjects informs a time in European art when all could be longed for and openly enjoyed. Sexual taboos and political bans appear absent from the art.
‘The Kiss’ was and still is one of the most appreciated artistic images. Its patchwork metallic of two lovers embracing conjures the essence of life and love, it ignites the sensations of the couple kneeling in rapture. The emotion conveyed by the image, the exquisite use of gold encrusted leaf, all combine to make it one of Art Nouveau’s preeminent pieces. Klimt was a master at expressing art in the most reverent form of seduction, while layering his canvases with gold and interjecting a scent of lust. His is a very rare and highly imaginative artistic accomplishment.
Tickets on sale through December 31 here.