“One of the quirkiest spaces in Williamsburg is Holland Tunnel, on South Third Street, a front-runner for first place as the tiniest gallery in the metropolitan area.”—Roberta Smith, The New York Times November 6, 1998
Williamsburg pioneer Paulien Lethen, a Dutch artist, started the Holland Tunnel Gallery in 1997 in her newly installed 8 x 10 ft Home Depot garden shed. The mini art space rapidly gained recognition in the art world and became a neighborhood icon. On Nov 7, 8 and 9, Lethen and her sister Heleen Schuttevaêr will present their collaboration, the Holland Tunnel Gallery Book. It captures “the land of Holland Tunnel,” the extraordinary things that happened in the gallery over a period of 17 years, as the neighborhood changed from a rough area where artists were moving in — the New Bohemia — up until today’s hipster and developer paradise. The book includes 550 photos, all shows, events, introductions by art critic and curator Dominique Nahas and others, and much more.
The Holland Tunnel Gallery book will be launched during a festive Weekend of Events. In a party tent in front of the gallery, jazz pianist/vocalist Schuttevaêr will present daily music performances and jazz concerts by her own quartet and other bands. Two new exhibitions are opening.
In Stairmasters, the long term exhibition space in the monumental hall and four-flight staircase of the brownstone next to the gallery, FRAMED with works by 50-100 artists that have participated in shows before is featured. Visitors can enjoy this salon style display while having some physical excercise. Lethen invited the artists to play with the meaning of ‘framed’ or the idea of a frame, which has resulted in highly divergent and surprising art works. In the original gallery, the garden shed where Lethen regularly managed to hang works by 100 artists — as can be witnessed in the book — three artists of Holland Tunnel’s stable are represented in the show 3 IN ONE: sculptor Bix Lye, Dutch painter Jan Mulder, who also co-organized a couple of shows that traveled to The Netherlands, and Lethen herself.
The Williamsburg venues are only two of the exceptional locations of Holland Tunnel Gallery. In the summer, Paulien Lethen and Heleen Schuttevaêr organize exhibitions, concerts and other cultural events in the extension of the gallery on the Greek island of Paros. Here, the gallery is located in a 17th century merchant’s house, where people can wander through the living rooms and arched storage spaces, experiencing contemporary art in a beautiful historic environment.
Fri Nov 7, 6-9pm
Rock and blues by Williamsburg legend Lex Grey and the Urban Pioneers at 7:30pm; Holland Tunnel Gallery book presentation; 2 new shows opening
Sat Nov 8, 1-6pm
concert by Dutch guitarist Syberen van Munster & Quintet at 3pm and 4:30pm; book presentation and 2 new shows on view
Sunday Nov 9
Heleen Schuttevaêr/Ron Jackson Quartet at 3pm; Quartet with guest musicians at 4:30pm; every hour short performances by Dutch theatre group The Silent Brass Band; book presentation and 2 new shows on view
Weekend of Events celebrating 17 years Holland Tunnel Gallery, free admission
Holland Tunnel Gallery and Holland Tunnel/Stairmasters
61 and 59 South 3rd St, Williamsburg
More info about book, shows, and events here.
The Holland Tunnel Gallery book has received funding through a grant from the Netherland-America Foundation