Occupying fuseproject’s lobby, the Fused Space gallery, now in its second year, hosts new art shows every two to four months, with a focus on exploring the overlap between art and design. The building, located at 1401 16th street, was covered with graffiti in 2011 as part of a Sean Parker/Shawn Fanning event celebrating the launch of the entrepreneurs’ video streaming startup, Airtime. Behind the urban façade are elegant white walls and high wood-beamed ceilings. A large concrete stairway leads to the main gallery space.
Curator Jessica Silverman, who founded the Jessica Silverman Gallery in 2008, said working at Fused Space enables her to curate solo and group shows that she finds interesting, but isn’t ready to represent at her own gallery. In some cases she’s been able to foster longer term relationships with Fused Space artists.
“It is important to understand that we set up Fused project as a satellite space for ‘Jessica Silverman Gallery,’ so that I could work with artists who are not represented in my program,” Silverman said.
Industrial designer and fuseproject founder Yves Behar made his name creating packaging and branding concepts and identities for corporate clients, such as Google and Pepsi. His work has often had to be kept behind closed doors. Behar wanted to use some of the fuseproject building for an art gallery that’s accessible to the public, where he could showcase art and design from upcoming talents without a corporate theme. The gallery also serves as a community space and meeting place for artists and designers.
“Yves is passionate about art and this makes for an exciting merging of his and my world,” Silverman said. “Although we often look at the crossover of art and design at fused space the programming is predominately art driven. Our remit is very flexible,” Silverman said.
Fused Space is currently hosting “Thin Skins, Infinity Pools, and Sand Slumps,” by Los Angeles-based artist Erica Mahinay. The installation features paintings and sculptures that “explore the nobility and ignominy of the body and the boundaries of self-obsession.” As with other artists who have shown at the gallery, most recently Julian Hoeber, Mahinay drew inspiration from the large stairway that leads to the exhibition area.
“The motif of the stairs connects the front and back spaces of fused and is a distinguishing factor of the building. The stairs are a metaphor for many things, including achievement,” Silverman said.
“Thin Skins, Infinity Pools, and Sand Slumps” runs until May 7.