New York’s First Permanent Immersive Art Center to Open This Summer

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The Manhattan branch capitalizes on the concept, with works by the world’s most famous artists animated to monumental scale and set to music. Culturespaces, the firm behind the project, is currently renovating the historic Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank, a Beaux-Arts building opposite City Hall Park, for the inaugural installation—a mashup of paintings by Gustav Klimt.

Titled “Gustave Klimt: Gold in Motion,” the show is being billed as a “multi-sensory celebration” of the Austrian painter’s oeuvre. Klimt’s The Kiss, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, and Lady with Fan are among the works featured in renderings on the exhibition’s website. The animated projections will be accompanied by a “digital experience” based on works by one of Klimt’s successors, the Austrian visual artists and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The presentation also includes a history and design of the Emigrant Industrial Saving Banks, one of the oldest banking institutions in the city.

Buoyed by a desire for post-pandemic escapism, immersive digital art shows have sprung up in dozens of cities around the globe. Last summer two simultaneous van Gogh light experiences competed for crowds in New York, while 30 spaces nationwide hosted similar shows dedicated to the popular post-Impressionist. Works by Frida Kahlo, Claude Monet, and Leonardo Da Vinci have since been digitized and shown at pop-ups from Barcelona to Chicago. Each experience offered glowing animated projections of the artist’s best-known paintings and an assortment of add-ons, usually a modicum of artist biography and some form of VR.

The Hall des Lumières will feature a new installation every 10 to 12 months, with opening dates for the first show to be announced in the coming weeks.

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