Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Visit to Richard Prince's Second House in Rensselaerville, New York

Richard Prince, Second House, 2001–04 (damaged 2007).

Richard Prince's Second House occupies one of the stranger chapters in recent art history. In 2005, the Guggenheim acquired, as a gift from the artist, the building in rural Rensselaerville, New York, which Prince had turned into an exhibition space for a number of new car-hood paintings. The museum's plan was to make it open to the public for five months a year for at least a decade. (As part of the deal, museum trustees acquired the paintings as promised gifts to the museum.) Two years later, lightning hit the building. Fire engulfed it. But it was undergoing renovations at the time, so the paintings, thankfully, were stored elsewhere. Ever since, the burned-out building has been has been sitting there, empty. At some later point, Prince bought it back from the Guggenheim, as Kelly Crow revealed while reporting on a new art Shangri-La that the artist is building nearby. In 2011, during the first edition of the NADA Hudson art fair, I stopped by and took these photos.