John Armleder to inaugurate The Dairy Art Centre

24 April 201324 July 2013

One of the most exciting new not-for-profit art spaces in London, The Dairy Art Centre, will be launched by leading collectors, Frank Cohen and Nicolai Frahm in April 2013. An art centre with free admission for all, the Dairy occupies a 12,500 sq. ft. milk deposit formerly used by Express Dairies.

Having worked together for over 15 years and collected and loved many of the same artists from around the world, Cohen and Frahm have joined forces to launch a different kind of art initiative, a “kunsthalle”, where all the fervour of the art world will merge into a new and innovative space. The Dairy will provide not only an environment for the connoisseurs of the art world, but also a place where artists, galleries, curators, collectors and the general public can come together.

The vision of the Dairy is to play with curatorial boundaries and, to this end, will work with some of the most creative curators of today. Exhibitions will vary in format: major survey shows of individual artists may take over the entire centre; two or three solo-shows may run simultaneously, allowing the artists to relate to one another; and major group shows of emerging and established artists may interact with each other. The space will provide a number of educational and creative opportunities for the local community, families, art professionals and enthusiasts.

The interior has been adapted by architect Jenny Jones. The history of the site as a dairy has been incorporated within the final plans, whilst introducing strong contemporary design features. The building has been divided into various exhibition spaces offering diverse communal, artistic and curatorial opportunities: two main halls, a converted milk fridge, two outdoor sculpture yards, an artist-designed milk bar and cafe, a book and media outlet, an education space and a design space.

The inaugural exhibition will be by Swiss artist John Armleder. His art is a celebration of reality in its everyday and most commonplace manifestations, and the exhibition will develop the multiple dimensions of his work through his intervention in both planning and setting up the exhibition route. Numerous pictorial works clarify how central the arbitrary is to Armleder’s ouevre, works made with neon lights revive the minimalist tradition of employing ready-made industrial materials, the multimedia installation in the Fridge will incorporate a variety of soundtracks and videos in an accumulation of audio-visual information without any hierarchical distinctions. Creating a bridge between Marcel Duchamp’s ready-mades and the Pop Art of Andy Warhol, Armleder’s work shuffles the cards and brings both historical precedents to a new level of understanding.

Frank Cohen is one of the world’s most influential and prolific collectors of international contemporary art. He began collecting Modern British art in the 1970s and in the early 1990s became a patron and supporter of the Young British Artists (YBAs). He also collected American and German art of the 1980s and 1990s and more recently has added contemporary Chinese and Indian art. In January 2007 he opened a foundation in Wolverhampton called Initial Access to show younger artists. An exhibition of his Modern British Collection was shown at Chatsworth earlier this year, and he was a judge on the Turner Prize in 2003.

Nicolai Frahm grew up in Copenhagen in a family collecting and showing post-war European art to the public at their private foundation. Based in London since 1997, Frahm is known as a leading collector, patron of the arts and art advisor. His own collection draws on post-war European abstract art, as well as art from the late 1970s up until today, and incorporates both emerging and established artists from America, Europe and Asia.

Dairy Art Centre
7a Wakefield Street
London WC1N 1PG
+44 (0)20 7713 8900