Artisphere stages ‘The Loft Generation’

Bend the Arc and Durable America Theater co-present a peek inside New York’s newest, coolest and hottest cultural subculture, the neo-Fifties Midcentury Art Scene in the world premiere of “The Loft Generation” at Artisphere. Over the next few weeks we will be peeling back the 1950s and 60s for a journey from workaday 1960s offices to fully realized eclectic living rooms and condos on Third Avenue.

From “midcentury chic” turntables with pop art patterns to steel wire-lined gardens and glass beach umbrellas, “The Loft Generation” brings a fresh vision of quintessential New York City to us in an entertaining and delightful one-night stand.

Julian Hassler runs an art gallery called OCRMA, (Orange Design Media Gallery). Like many art bloggers, he had his first experience of following the art movements of the 1950s from his OBMA home.

He explores the possibilities of the era with stop-motion footage of tenants of their then-new home.

In the guise of the original Midcentury Modern structures like Sam Spade’s old “D.E.S.S.” company building (now Holliday Grove Apartment Houses), the sun becomes the central subject in each scene.

“The Loft Generation” was the impetus for the Head Shift artistic residency program developed by Durable America Theater.

Curt Hansen and Marc Schaffel’s acclaimed experimental theater company recently celebrated a massive expansion. The expansion also sparked Durable America Theater’s re-imagining of these 1960s buildings as exemplars of how cultural landscape is inspiring on the markets and the role they play in nurturing community and creativity.

Kristen Ruffoni works in real estate. “The Loft Generation” helps to illustrate the complex microeconomics of neighborhood re-development. Two companies, Jotti Land Ventures and New York City Neighborhood Development Partnership jointly undertook a project to transform the two Holliday Grove properties into “The Loft Generations.”

Justin Koscielski teaches Urban Studies at Virginia Tech. A historic preservationist by trade, “The Loft Generation” argues that preservation of design remains critical to America’s urban landscape.

Long Island artist Dan Fischman has worked in film, television, video, painting, performance, intermedia and furniture-making. New York’s High Line, the piece de resistance in the multifaceted Arts District, is a favorite of his.

Each scene explores the urban architecture of midcentury buildings (original and replicas) rich in designs by industrialist Eero Saarinen, and visually, provocative animation and swirling light treatments brings the big question that this show explores to life.

“The Loft Generation” will be performed at Artisphere until June 16.

Tickets are available at Artisphere.

Tickets can also be purchased online.

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