The Hollows, Williamsburg

A gallery, exhibition space and artist residency program in a Brooklyn townhouse

For anyone who thinks all the emerging artistic substance (and flair) has left Williamsburg, Brooklyn for other neighborhoods, The Hollows might change your mind. Originally residents of Bushwick (where they opened in 2014) until their landlord wouldn’t renew the lease at the last moment, co-founder and curator Piril Gündüz made the shift to Williamsburg upon finding a five-floor townhouse with a backyard that met all their needs and—with help from Kickstarter supporters—was made possible. The new space, which includes eight bedrooms and multiple common areas, plays host to living space, studio space and frequent exhibitions—which commenced a while after their late-March 2016 move-in. There’s an array of powerful programming en route, some of which will take place in the townhouse’s backyard.

Gündüz explains to CH, “We generally present large-scale group shows, incorporating both exhibitions and programming.” Their next, “Electrique” opening 15 June, features work from 20 different artists. The focus—across 16 unique galleries set-up throughout the five floors—is on sound, light and mechanical pieces, but the exhibition will forego digital works. The opposition between humans and machines (or even humans and electricity) factor heavily into the experience.

Gündüz curated the exhibition while Baptiste Semal curated the previous. She has worked with many different curators in the past and plans on working with different curators in the future. Among the other forthcoming presentations, there will be a “Nighttime at The Hollows” event once a month (featuring the creation of live art) and an exhibition dedicated to the changing social and architectural fabric of Brooklyn, with a talk series affixed.

In August, the venue will play host to screenings and come September there will be further educational programming and talks. Most fascinating, however, is their continued “Room as a Canvas” series. Gündüz says, “We’ve been collecting proposals from artists who propose projects that make sense in the bedroom. It is a living space project. They have to find a reason to turn their private space into a public space.” As the townhouse can accommodate seven artist residents, there’s ample space to transform a bedroom into a work of art for all to see.

“I, myself, find it really interesting to link art pieces with specific locations and make them fixtures within interiors rather than putting them in neutral, sterile exhibition venues,” concludes Gündüz. “In the townhouse, built in 1905, so many different surfaces will inspire artists and me as a curator—and the space adds a lot to the pieces. That was one of the things that led us to committing to it.” In fact, the space does brim with life and hints at its potential are evident upon visiting. Of equal importance, however, is that an art gallery that grew in acclaim for its DIY aesthetic is attempting to reinvigorate a neighborhood that’s 10 years into a corporate bulldoze.

Learn more about programming at The Hollows online. The space is located at 151 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn.

Kiichiro Adachi chandelier image courtesy of Triangle NY, all other images courtesy of The Hollows