The Design Observer Group


Posted 09.24.12


Mark Lamster

Joy, Illustrated




I've been stuck in bed for the past week, an unpleasant circumstance that kept me from the highly anticipated opening of a friend's latest project. I refer not to the Barclay Center (Hi Gregg!), which you can read about elsewhere, ad nauseam, but to P!, a new experimental gallery that is the vision of Prem Krishnamurthy, one of the three principals of the design firm Project Projects. It's a small space, but one that is maleable (thanks to an ingenious moving wall created by Leong Leong Architecture), and has a blood red floor that adds a visual kick to whatever happens to be on display. 

It should not be a surprise that a designer, who by professional necessity must always be switching intellectual gears for new clients, would inaugurate a gallery with a show based on the diversity and pure pleasure of artistic practice. Such is the case with P!'s first exhibition, "Process 01: Joy," which features the work of photographer Chauncey Hare, artist Christine Hill, and designer Karel Martens. For design nerds, a show of Martens's monoprints alone would be a cause for major celebration; to see them paired here with Hare's enigmatic workspace images and an installation by Hill, who is turning a section of the small gallery into a research office, is gravy. 
 
P! is at 334 Broome Street, just off the Bowery, skirting the edge of Chinatown. In an effort to engage with the surrounding community, its written materials are produced in dual language. At the very least, it's a nice gesture, and one too few institutions make. Check it out. Then go for dim sum.