P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center
Learn more about P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center
The P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center is one of the largest and oldest institutions in the United States dedicated solely to contemporary art. It is located in the neighborhood of Long Island City, Queens in New York City. In addition to its renowned exhibitions, the institution also organizes the prestigious International and National Projects series, the Warm Up summer music series, and the MoMA/P.S.1 Young Architects Program with The Museum of Modern Art. It also runs WPS1, an Internet art radio station founded in 2004. P.S.1 has been affiliated with The Museum of Modern Art since January of 2000.
P.S.1 was founded in 1976 by Alanna Heiss. It originated from The Institute for Art and Urban Resources, an organization Heiss founded five years prior with the mission of turning abandoned, underutilized buildings in New York City into artist studios and exhibition spaces. Heiss, the center’s current director, was born in 1943 in Louisville, Kentucky, and raised in a farming community in southern Illinois. The daughter of teachers, she graduated with a B.A. from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, which she attended on a scholarship from the Lawrence Conservatory of Music.
Recognizing that New York was the worldwide magnet for contemporary artists, and believing that traditional museums were not providing adequate exhibition opportunities for site-specific art, Heiss decided to establish a formal, alternative arts organization. She was working as a contemporary art organizer with various civic organizations when she formed what became a long-term friendship and working relationship with architecture/theater critic Brendan Gill. In 1971, she and Gill founded The Institute for Art and Urban Resources, and began renovating many old abandoned buildings in New York City. Among the sites transformed by the Institute were 10 Bleeker Street, the Coney Island Sculpture Museum, and the Idea Warehouse in Tribeca. Later in 1973, the Clocktower Gallery, located in a municipal building in Lower Manhattan, opened with its inaugural three shows: Joel Shapiro, Richard Tuttle, and James Bishop. The Clocktower Gallery became a legendary alternative space and its distinctive location "in the sky near" City Hall made it an icon of one-person shows. It currently serves as the broadcast center of WPS1, P.S.1's Internet radio station.
In 1976, Heiss exponentially increased the organization's exhibition and studio capacity by opening P.S.1 Museum (now P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center) in a deserted Romanesque Revival public school building. This building served as the first school in Long Island City until 1960, when the school was shuttered due to low attendance. In October 1997, P.S.1 reopened to the public after a three-year renovation project designed by Los Angeles-based architect Frederick Fisher. The building's facilities were expanded to include a large outdoor gallery, a dramatic entryway, and a two-story project space.
 Affiliation with the Museum of Modern Art
P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center and the Museum of Modern Art formalized their affiliation in January 2000, bringing together a leader in cutting-edge art and the world's foremost museum of modern art. The principal objective of MoMA's partnership with P.S.1 is to promote the enjoyment, appreciation, study, and understanding of contemporary art to a wide and growing audience. Collaborative programs of exhibitions, educational activities, and special projects allow both institutions to draw on their respective strengths and resources and to continue shaping a cultural discourse. The first significant collaboration between P.S.1 and The Museum of Modern Art took place in 2000 with Greater New York, a widely acclaimed exhibition showcasing the work of more than 140 emerging New York-area artists. This ambitious effort was successfully repeated five years later with Greater New York 2005. Both shows demonstrated the diversity and dynamism of the metropolitan area’s artistic community.
 Artist and exhibition programs
From its inception, P.S.1 has championed the innovative and the experimental. P.S.1 has produced adventuresome surveys of the works of major artists such as Janet Cardiff, Robert Grosvenor, David Hammons, Hilma af Klimt, Donald Lipski, John McCraken, Dennis Oppenheim, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Alan Saret, Katharina Sieverding, Keith Sonnier, Michael Tracy, John Wesley (artist), and Franz West. Many exhibitions organized by P.S.1 travel to museums in the United States and abroad.
Within P.S.1's exhibition seasons, a minimum of eight spaces have been reserved for International and National Project artists. This initiative, modeled after the inaugural P.S.1 Rooms exhibition in 1976, has been widely regarded as the premiere exhibition opportunity in New York City for young and mid-career artists. These solo exhibitions are selected by the P.S.1 curatorial staff. Artists are provided with both a space to design their exhibition and assistance with the installation. Recent artists who have participated in International and National Projects include Joe Bradley, Mike Cloud, Kira Lynn Harris, Drew Heitzler, Kalup Linzy, Curtis Mitchell, Lisi Raskin, Kon Trubkovich, and Su-Mei Tse.
 Young Architects Program
The Young Architects Program (YAP) is an annual competition hosted by P.S.1 and The Museum of Modern Art that invites emerging young architects to submit design proposals for P.S.1's courtyard. The winning entry is then converted from concept to construction and becomes the architectural setting for P.S.1's summer Warm Up music series.
 Current YAP installation
OBRA, the 2006 winners of the Young Architects Program designed BEATFUSE!, an installation that ripples through the coutryard, evoking a sense of interior space via seven curved, interconnected shells made of plywood and polypropylene mesh. The project also includes two wooden tidal pools, water misters, and light strainers that create constantly changing shapes in the mist. Three outdoor spaces: a caldarium, a tepidarium, and a frigidarium, offer three distinct climatic zones based on the divisions of a traditional Roman bath. The installation is on view through October 29, 2006.
 Past YAP winners
- 2005 — SUR by Xefirotarch (principal, Hernan Diaz Alonso)
- 2004 — Canopy by nARCHITECTS (principals, Eric Bunge and Mimi Hoang)
- 2003 — Light-Wing by EMERGENT (principal, Tom Wiscombe)
- 2002 — Playa Urbana / Urban Beach by William E. Massie
- 2001 — Summer Oasis by ROY (principal Lindy Roy)
- 2000 — Dunescape by SHoP (principals Christopher R. Sharples, Coren D. Sharples, William W. Sharples, Kimberly J. Holden, and Gregg A. Pasquarelli)
- 1999 - DJ Pavilion by Philip Johnson
- 1998 - untitled? by Gelatin
 Warm Up
Warm Up is P.S.1's critically acclaimed music series and has become one of the most anticipated summer events in New York City. The series is housed within the architectural installation created by the winner of the annual P.S.1 and MoMA organized Young Architects Program. Together, the music, architecture and exhibition program provide a unique multi-sensory experience for music fans, artists, and families alike.
Warm Up was conceived in 1997 as a summer-long dance party to attract crowds to P.S.1 and Long Island City, Queens. The series runs every Saturday from July through early September and draws thousands of local and international visitors each day.
Highlights from the series include a stellar group of international DJs and live music ensembles: DJ Harvey, Groove Collective, Afrika Bambaataa, Mad Professor, Richie Hawtin, Francois K, Fischerspooner, Kid Koala, Arto Lindsay, The Scissor Sisters, Luke Vibert, and many more.
WPS1, the Internet radio station of P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, provides a free 24-hour stream and an on-demand archive of cultural programming. The station operates out of the historic Clocktower Gallery in Lower Manhattan, New York City, where a network of interlinked studios stream live and pre-recorded talk, performances and historic recordings to a worldwide audience. Launched in April 2004, WPS1's web-tracking statistics show that listeners from over 50 countries tuned in to nearly 1,000 programs each day over the first year of operation. Visitors select from a traditional radio program format or choose from an on-demand archive of over 1,000 hours of material.
WPS1 features talk radio style discussions and interviews with artists, authors, musicians, actors, filmmakers, critics, curators, poets, educators, journalists, media experts, and other cultural leaders, innovators, and challengers. The station also carries a unique and important collection of music assembled by a team of music curators. This material ranges from live recordings of the widely acclaimed P.S.1 summer Warm Up series, to rare and thoughtful surveys such as the recent Robert Moog Memorial Hour (honoring the passing of the synthesizer inventor), and the Gulf Coast Music Special assembled from rare vinyl recordings. WPS1 broadcasts historic recordings from university and private collections, and from the audio archives of The Museum of Modern Art; presents live remote programs from festivals including The Armory Show, Art Basel Miami Beach, and the Venice Biennale; and frequently features panel discussions hosted by different New York cultural institutions.
 Long-term installations
Though P.S.1 does not have a permanent collection, it does house several long-term installations:
Richard Artschwager, Blips, 1976. Location: Throughout P.S.1
Richard Artschwager, Exit-Don’t fight City Hall, 1976. Location: First floor, hallway, Five red “exit” bulbs
Keith Sonnier, Tunnel of Tears, 1997. Location: “Chimney” in the foyer of the lobby
Lawrence Weiner, A bit of matter and a little bit more, 1976. Location: Front door, stenciled on glass
Pipilotti Rist, Selbstlos im Lavabad (Selfless in the Bath of Lava), 1994. Location: Lobby, single-channel video installation
William Kentridge, Stair Procession, 2000. Location: Staircase B
Ernesto Caivano, In the Woods. 2004, Location: Staircase A
James Turrell, Meeting, 1989. Location: Third floor
Alan Saret, Brick Wall and Sun, 1976. Location: Third floor, eastern end of the north wing
Matt Mullican, Untitled, 1997. Location: Steel inset in basement floor
 Current, recent and upcoming exhibitions
Opened on October 29, 2006
Burt Barr: Recent Work
Defamation of Character
The Gold Standard
John Latham: Time Base and the Universe
Katrín Sigurdardóttir: High Plane V
Loris Cecchini: Cloudless
Music is a Better Noise
Sam Samore: The Suicidist
International and National Projects: Charles Atlas, Suntek Chung, E.V. Day, Amy Granat, Kayrock and Wolfy, Philip Maysles, Ed McGowin, and Hope Sandrow
 Hours and admission
P.S.1 is open from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Thursday through Monday. It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day.
- Artbook@PS1 is open from 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Thursday through Sunday.
- LeRosier Café is open from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Thursday through Monday.
Admission is a $5.00 suggested donation; $2.00 for students and senior citizens; free for MoMA members and MoMA admission ticket holders.