Glenn Horowitz Bookseller is a prestigious name in antiquarian literature and has had both feet in the literature of design history too. The design bibliographic expert Lauren Miller Walsh has taken the helm of Horowitz’s new Midtown gallery, GHB/Rare, located at street level in the Rockefeller Apartments at 17 West 54th Street, across from MoMA’s Sculpture Garden. The gallery’s launch exhibit, “Matter/Giacometti,” opened last Thursday, after which Walsh answered questions about the future of the new venture.
What prompted this extension of Glenn Horowitz Bookseller?
GHB has had a gallery in East Hampton since 1992, and until 2012, we also had a gallery in Manhattan. Since that closed, however, we’d been looking for another space in the city, as we missed having a public venue here, and when the opportunity for this unit opened up—in such an incredible building and location—we jumped at it.
What will be your strongest holdings and earliest shows?
Graphic design is most definitely an important part of our program, but we will also be showcasing fine and decorative arts, literature, photography and history. Our inaugural show, “Matter/Giacometti,” is an examination of Herbert Matter’s 1986 book on Alberto Giacometti, and features both Matter’s vintage photographs for the publication as well as his process materials, including hand-drawn font designs, storyboards, layouts and maquettes. The next show, opening in February, will display the architect James Evanson’s furniture and lighting designs, in conjunction with his original drawings and posters for the pieces. Following will be the artist Sari Dienes in March, and, in May, 1920s Constructivist graphic design for the Soviet cinema. We are also planning shows on modernist furniture, contemporary pop-up books, art pottery, and portraiture.
Do you have a process for selecting content?
One of our goals at Rare is to present material that is not only unique, but also expands the cultural discourse. With that in mind, we search out concepts, artists, authors and mediums which we feel are significant both intellectually and aesthetically, and that also deserve greater attention. In some cases the content will be derived from collections we are currently working on, in others by reaching out to individual artists and authors we admire. In all cases, though, related archival and process materials will also be displayed in order to provide greater insight into the creators, their techniques and their motivations.
How will the gallery make an impact on the design community?
Both because the material we’ll be presenting will often be one-of-kind and rarely—if ever—seen in public, and because the dynamic, scholarly and multidisciplinary manner in which we’ll be presenting it will promote discussion, discovery, reassessments and—hopefully—inspiration.