The David Roberts Art Foundation Goes Big with New Mornington Crescent Premises

The David Roberts Art Foundation Goes Big with New Mornington Crescent Premises
Gerhard Richter, Fuji (detail),1996
(Courtesy of the Artists and David Roberts Art Foundation)

After four years in Fitzrovia, the David Roberts Art Foundation is relocating to Morning Crescent, North London, and a former 19th century factory. The new venue will be inaugurated on September 20, 2012. It was described by DRAF director and curator Vincent Honoré as a "production site."

"We are moving from working in a relatively small contemporary art center to now establishing a museum for contemporary art," Honoré told ARTINFO UK. "We are working on the dynamic model of the 'museum' as part community center, part laboratory, part academy, part  gallery."

The DRAF's new premises will allow a more regular display of Roberts' extensive collection, which includes works by the likes of Tony Cragg, Martin Creed, Anselm Kiefer, and Ai Weiwei. The idea, explained Honoré, is to open up and define the collection's use "so it is not a group of works we own but a vivid system of thoughts and forms activated at all times in the building, a source of energy for the museum and the visitors."

Entitled "A House of Leaves" after a novel by Mark Z. Danielewski, the first exhibition will take three works from the collection — Louise Bourgeois' "ECHO VIII" (2007), Gerhard Richter's "Fuji" (1996), and Pierre Huygue's "Silent Score" — as starting points for three chapters, or movements. The show is conceived by Honoré as a "symphony." It will have a prologue dedicated to the possibilities afforded by the space, comprising semi-permanent interventions by Jason Dodge, Marie Lund, and Kris Martin among others.

"The larger space allows so much more flexibility with performances and the exhibition of some major works," Roberts told ARTINFO UK. "There is also more space in the building for further expansion in the future, something we didn't have before."

"We’re really looking forward to an exciting programme," the collector concluded. "And, from my point of view, seeing how a variety of curators will use the collection to express their ideas."

"A House of Leaves," September 21, 2012 - February 23, 2013, David Roberts Art Foundation, Symes Mews/ 37 Camden High Street, London