Christian Berst Gallery

Behind a lush, but absolutely anonymous, store window sits the American version of the Christian Berst Gallery. Originally, the French version was the sole art gallery entirely devoted to offering a vibrant collection of art brut pieces to its visitors. The spin-off was commissioned to Charlap Hyman and Herrero, a duo of architects with a strong penchant for minimalism and bespoke narratives; the New York-based branch retains the same function of celebrating the eccentric art style, with a slight throwback to industrial elements from Paris.

Since the name ‘Art Brut creators’ clearly does not suit the myriad of unclassifiable artists to have appeared since the mid-twentieth century, I suggest using expressions that, while doubtless also unsatisfactory to a degree, are nonetheless less restrictive, such as outsiders or artists who are heretical, heterodox, or simply different. — Christian Delacampagne.

The art style in question is eclectic by nature, an indomitable force with no clear aesthetic but the method or outcast element of the artist as a feature in itself. The choice to feature a white box is fitting and necessary, as a minimalist dwelling offers a perfect refuge for the selected artworks. The absolute use of white colour may act as an antidote to the sullen dialogue on its walls.

The understated use of tiles as the sole figurative element, and direct reference to the Parisian gallery, is refreshing as the reminder of the modernist era of 1920’s—when the art world was beaming with new possibilities in opposition to classic standards.