November 20th, 2007
The Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation signed a lease for Gallery 216 (2,415 sqft) in 55 Washington St/111 Front St. They, along with RW Work, will use Gallery 216 as an art gallery that will exhibit art and photography created by Robert Wilson, art and photography from Mr. Wilson’s personal collection and the foundation’s collection and as offices for their not for profit art foundation.
Four months ago, avant-garde theater director Robert Wilson was evicted from the Vestry Street loft he’d lived and worked in for 34 years by developer Aby Rosen (whose art-patron instincts were trumped by his desire to build more condos). Now Wilson has signed a lease at 111 Front Street, where he’ll unveil a 2,400-square-foot gallery in January. “I do not like Soho so much anymore,” Wilson says. “Dumbo seems more interesting. It reminds me a little of Tribeca 30 years ago.” Wilson’s new building is owned by David Walentas’s Two Trees company, which has a policy of subsidizing the arts to spice up the neighborhood it owns so much of. The company gave Wilson and his Byrd Hoffman Foundation a break on the lease. “We really wanted the esteemed Robert Wilson in Dumbo,” said Zannah Mass, Two Trees’ cultural-affairs director.